Essential foods to eat during Pregnancy

What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is her baby's main source of nourishment. Experts recommend that a mother-to-be's diet should include a variety of healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients a baby needs for growth and development. Healthy diet is essential during pregnancy as your body requires additional vitamins and nutrients. So choosing healthy food will help your baby grow and nourish. Below are some foods that a pregnant woman should consume:

1) Beans:

Beans like black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas are high source of protein and fiber. Fiber is important for a pregnant woman to prevent constipation. They are an excellent source of iron, folic acid and magnesium which are all essential for a pregnant woman.

2) Eggs:

Eggs contain all essential amino acids meaning they contain plenty of protein, this is important for the growth and development of your baby. Eggs are safe to consume during pregnancy but make sure to cook them properly. Raw eggs should not consumed as they contain bacteria.

3) Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt typically has twice the protein of regular yogurt. It's a great source of probiotics and calcium. Calcium helps keep your own bones strong and contributes to the growth of a healthy skeleton for your baby.

4) Leafy Greens:

Leafy greens like spinach, broccoli, asparagus and kale are high in calcium, potassium, fiber and vitamins. It’s easy to include them in your diet. Just chop them coarsely and toss into smoothies, soups, omelettes, or stir-fries.  An intake of these vegetables can help to protect your baby from developing allergies and allergic symptoms later in life.

5) Lean Meats

When eating meat, it is important to ensure it is cooked all the way through to avoid food poisoning. Meat should be lean, and the skin should be removed from poultry. Your body needs a lot of protein to help your baby grow and to ensure proper muscle development. This protein can be obtained from beef, chicken and pork as they are high in protein.

6) Oranges

Oranges are packed with vitamin C, folate, and fiber, and since they're nearly 90 percent water, they'll also help you meet your daily fluid needs. Vitamin C can help prevent cell damage and assist with iron absorption. Oranges also eliminates the problem of constipation.

7) Dried Fruits

Dry fruits are tasty and portable snack that's especially helpful when you're craving something sweet. One serving of dried fruit can provide a large percentage of the recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron and potassium.

8) Salmon

Salmon contains essential fats which are vital for the development of your baby’s brain and vision. Mackerel and sword fish have high mercury levels which is dangerous for your baby. Whereas Salmon has very low amount of mercury and is safe to consume. It also helps in preventing premature delivery.

9) Whole grains

Whole-grain breads and cereals are fortified with folic acid and iron and have more fiber than white bread and rice. Grains supply energy for your baby's development and help the placenta grow.

10) Avocados

Avocados are a type of fruit that’s considered a superfood, especially for pregnant women. They contain a high content of healthy fats, folate, and potassium. Healthy fats assist in the development of the skin and brain of your growing baby. Foods with  high content of potassium are known to help relieve leg cramps during pregnancy. So if you are having leg cramps at night, add avocados to your diet during the day.

Expecting a baby is both exciting and overwhelming. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your developing baby is to implement a healthy diet during your pregnancy. So, include these foods in your diet for staying healthy and energetic during pregnancy.