Being pregnant demands a great deal from your body, and one of the ways you stay healthy during this time is by eating a proper diet. Both your body and your baby’s growing body require certain nutrients, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, and these can be found in the foods that you eat. What to eat when you’re expecting, therefore, is a hugely important topic that you should discuss at length with your medical practitioners, but today we’ll go over some of the basics to get you started.
Where to Get Your Calories
Everything you eat contains calories, and to ensure that you and your baby get the nutrients you need, you can use calories as a form of measurement. Here’s a simple breakdown of where your calories should come from:
- 50 percent from carbohydrates like whole grains, fresh vegetables, and legumes
- 25 percent from healthy fats like avocados and nuts
- 25 percent from lean proteins like chicken, eggs, beans, legumes, and nuts
Eat Dark Leafy Greens and Other Foods that Are Rich in Folate and Calcium
Folate is vital for reducing the risk of certain birth defects, so you’ll want to load up on this vitamin. Great foods to eat that contain folate include asparagus, avocados, papaya, fortified grains, bananas, and legumes.
Calcium is crucial to the development of healthy bones and teeth, and you can get calcium from spinach, broccoli, milk, cheese, almonds, and salmon.
Eat Nuts and Other Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are needed for the development of your baby’s eyes and brain, and loading up on this can also reduce your risk of premature birth. Here are some of the best sources:
- Fortified eggs
- Flax and chia seeds
- Hemp hearts
- Leafy greens
Eat Legumes and Similar Iron-Rich Foods
Without iron, your body wouldn’t have red blood cells, and without those, your body would have no way to transport oxygen to and from your cells and to your placenta. You can get iron from many foods, such as lean protein, fortified orange juice and cereals, red meat, molasses, clams, and dark leafy greens like kale.
Eat the Rainbow to Ensure You Get Necessary Nutrients
Foods of certain colors often contain specific nutrients. For instance, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are usually high in beta-carotene. By eating fruits and vegetables of all colors, you’ll ensure your body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive and keep your baby healthy. Here are some other healthy examples:
- Blue/purple: Blueberries purple cabbage
- Green: Spinach, celery, and green peppers
- Orange: Oranges, carrots, and mango
- Yellow: Yellow squash, pears, and bananas
- Red: Beets, cherries, watermelon, and raspberries
The food you eat when you’re expecting has a huge impact on your health and the health of your developing baby. It’s important to get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need through your diet, and this list will get you started. Another important thing you can do to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy is to maintain good oral hygiene practices, so drop by your Nashua dental office to schedule an appointment to clean your teeth!