The importance of maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is nothing new and is well-known for ages. This article highlights some specific foods that deserve a prominent place on the mother’s menu to answer the question “what are good pregnancy foods”.
Foods that are rich in vitamins, irons, folic acids, fibers, and protein bring benefits to the mother’s health as well as to the developing baby.
The pregnant woman should not double the food but should consume essential nutrients for the health of both mother and baby. The keyword is quality, not quantity.
There are always many doubts about the diet of mothers who have just found out they are pregnant. New mothers always wonder what are good pregnancy foods and how to consume them.
This confusion is normal, after all, the mother wants to develop a beautiful, wonderful and healthy child. Be informed that there is no magic or exact formula about what are good pregnancy foods. However, there are indeed many precious tips for healthy eating throughout pregnancy.
Remember that each mother’s body is different, therefore their response to a specific food is different. Therefore, only your doctor or a nutritionist can recommend a specific diet. Hence, what works for Maria may not work for Fernanda.
Let’s make it clear that pregnancy is not the time to eat everything you want and whenever you want without bothering about what are good pregnancy foods. The phrase “now I have to eat for two because I’m pregnant” is not valid. Okay, we know that hunger increases. Control yourself, woman!
I would say that the best phrase would be “now I have to eat for both”, thus ensuring health for the mother and the complete development of the baby. Generally, a woman should increase her intake to only 200 calories after her second trimester.
Throughout pregnancy, a woman should eat every three hours. Experts recommend a very varied and colorful diet, including six daily servings of bread and cereals, preferably whole grains, five fruits, and three to four servings of vegetables. In addition, meat, milk, and dairy products. Also, always varying to obtain the most varied minerals and vitamins that mom and baby need. Not forget to drink at least two liters of water a day.
The first trimester is marked by an increase in the mother’s heart rate and blood volume, an important phase in the development of vital parts of the baby, such as the nervous system. In this phase, the intake of iron, folic acid, and fluids are important. This does not mean that these components are only important at this stage, they have to be part of the entire pregnancy.
Therefore, to understand what are good pregnancy foods, a woman needs to have an idea of ??the value of each nutrient and will be able to assemble dishes according to her taste and the stage of pregnancy.
What are Good Pregnancy Foods in Terms of Nutritional Value?
Minerals and Vitamins
Found in meat, liver, eggs, beans, and vegetables (spinach, for example). For better absorption of iron by the body, consume foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes. At the same meal avoid foods rich in calcium, such as milk and its derivatives, which decrease the bioavailability of the food.
Found in dark green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), cereals, and citrus fruits. What good pregnancy food is one thing and how to eat them is another. Microwave cooking and high temperatures destroy folic acid. Prefer steam cooking.
From the second trimester of pregnancy, it is time to reinforce the intake of vitamins C (acts in the formation of collagen – skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage, in addition to strengthening the mother’s immune system) and B6 (important for the growth and weight gain of the fetus and the prevention of postpartum depression) and the mineral and magnesium (promotes the formation and growth of body tissues).
Found in nuts, soybeans, cocoa, seafood, whole grains, beans, and peas.
Should be boosted in the third trimester as a part of understanding what are good pregnancy foods, as the baby begins to deplete the mother’s reserve. The baby needs it for its bone formation (teeth and bones). In addition, it helps in muscle contraction and heartbeat. On the other hand, the mother needs to keep her nails strong, and teeth free of cavities, avoid gingivitis and cramps, in addition to helping with milk production after childbirth.
Found in fruits such as kiwi, orange, strawberry, melon, watermelon, papaya, pineapple, and vegetables (broccoli, peppers, tomato, cauliflower).
Found in wheat, corn, liver, chicken, fish, milk and dairy products, and yeast.
Found in fortified milk, butter, eggs, and liver. Sunbathing is essential for this vitamin to help fix calcium in bones.
Helps in cell and bone development and the formation of the tooth bud of the fetus and the immunity of the pregnant woman. It is found in milk and dairy products, egg yolks, liver, oranges, papaya, cabbage, and yellow vegetables.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Transforms glucose into energy, maintaining the vitality of maternal and fetal cells and stimulating fetal brain development. It is found in vegetables, legumes, egg yolks, lean meat, milk, and dairy products.
It stimulates the mother’s energy metabolism. It is found in meats, whole grains, fruits, eggs, vegetables, and yeast.
These aren’t the only nutrients mom and baby need throughout their pregnancy. Other important ones are:
Provide energy for mom and baby’s development. The best ones are whole grains: rice, bread, pasta, and cereals that are absorbed more slowly and therefore satiate the mother more.
Found in meat, beans, milk, and dairy products. They are responsible for building, maintaining, and renewing the tissues of the mother and baby.
Lipids are fats that help in the formation of the central nervous system of the fetus. Found more in meat, milk, and dairy products, avocado, olive oil, and salmon. Good fats are extremely important during pregnancy and for the understanding of what are good pregnancy foods.
What are Good Pregnancy Foods in Terms of Morphology?
Milk and Dairy Products
Rich in calcium, milk cannot be missing from the menu of pregnant women because it helps to develop the baby’s cellular structure. Both milk and its derivatives (cheese, yogurt, and butter) form the fetus’s red blood cells, which are responsible for defending the body and carrying oxygen, explain the obstetricians.
According to nutritionists, dairy products consumption between 200 and 300 grams per day is beneficial, answering the question of what are good pregnancy foods.
Consuming tuna, salmon, herring, or sardines at least three times a week is essential for the formation of the fetal brain and nervous system. These fish are rich in omega 3 (a type of good fat), proteins, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and various types of vitamins, such as A, B, D, E, and K, explain the obstetricians.
The nutritionist also points out what are good pregnancy food that it is always necessary to opt for fresh versions since canned ones have a lot of sodium. Salt favors fluid retention and causes more swelling among pregnant women.
Like fish, egg yolk is also rich in Omega-3, which in addition to being good for the mother’s nervous system (responsible for memory) and helps to develop children’s eyesight. Therefore, eggs are a vital answer to the question of what are good pregnancy foods.
It is only essential to pay attention to the quantity. It should not be ingested less than three times a week, nor more than once a day, especially in the diet of mothers who already have some predisposition to high cholesterol, suggests the obstetrician.
In addition to fiber, which helps regulate the intestines, orange is rich in vitamin C, which favors the absorption of iron by the body. The compound deserves so much attention because, according to nutritionists, from the fourth month of pregnancy, the pregnant woman tends to need more of it. If you don’t receive the adequate amount, you can have anemia, for example.
The fruit is also beneficial for the mother’s health because it helps to prevent colds. Just one unit a day can already guarantee all these advantages and still avoid dehydration since the fruit has a lot of liquid in its composition.
And it’s not just the orange that deserves all these credits. Other fruits rich in vitamin C, such as guava, lemon, and strawberry, can also be enjoyed without fear, say the nutritionists.
Famous for its presence in green juices, the benefits of kale go far beyond detox. A large amount of folic acid, calcium, and iron present in the vegetable help in the development of the baby’s brain during the first trimester of pregnancy making it one of the favorites in the quest of what are good pregnancy foods.
Obstetricians also point out that the antioxidant properties of kale butter help prevent miscarriages. However, it is important to remember that kale should be ingested either at lunch or dinner because it cannot be consumed together with foods made with milk, which makes it difficult to absorb the iron present in the vegetable. The ideal daily portion is 100 grams, which can be divided into two meals, teaches the nutritionist.
From the fifth month, it is common for pregnant women to feel more cramps. That’s why bananas are on the list of essential foods that should be consumed during pregnancy, answering another point on the list of what are good pregnancy foods.
Banana has potassium and magnesium, which prevent the dreaded pains and counterbalance the common tiredness at this stage. And there’s more! One unit a day can guarantee an extra dose of tranquillity for moms. The fruit has tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the formation of serotonin, a hormone that provides well-being, and guides the nutritionist.
What are good pregnancy foods?
Foods that are rich in iron, folic acid, vitamins, proteins, complex carbohydrates, good fats, and minerals can be considered as good pregnancy foods.
What is the need for good pregnancy foods?
During pregnancy, food is required by not just the mother, but also by the developing baby. Therefore, there is an immense need for the consumption of quality nutrients. A pregnant woman must go for quality and not for quantity.
Can the pregnancy food be the same throughout the pregnancy period?
No, the foods should be suggested taking regarding the body, likings, and duration/month of pregnancy. But generally, foods should be rich in nutrients.
Summary: What Are Good Pregnancy Foods?
The list of good pregnancy foods includes sources of protein, good fats, complex carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. This article not only explains what are good pregnancy foods but also educates when and how to consume those foods. Although pregnancy can be frustrating and tiresome, the inclusion of the right and quality foods can make the journey easy. A quality food not only impacts the health but also the psychology of the pregnant mom.
Please let us know in the comments section what you think what are good pregnancy foods?
Hi, I am Humayun, I hold MS and PhD degrees in Chemical Sciences from Germany. Currently I am working as faculty at the Department of Chemistry, Food Science and Technology, at a Public Sector University. I have immense interest in the fields of Food Science and Sports Nutrition.