Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important.
During this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
In fact, you may need 350–500 extra calories each day during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
A diet that lacks key nutrients may negatively affect the baby’s development.
Poor eating habits and excess weight gain may also increase the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth complications.
Put simply, choosing healthy, nutritious foods will help ensure the health of you and your baby.
It will also make it a lot easier to lose the pregnancy weight after you’ve given birth.
During pregnancy, you need to consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of the growing fetus.
Dairy products contain two types of high quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy is the best dietary source of calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, various B-vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is particularly beneficial for pregnant women.
It contains more calcium than any other dairy product. Some varieties also contain probiotic bacteria, which support digestive health.
This group of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts.
Legumes are excellent plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium, all of which the body needs more of during pregnancy.
Folate is one of the B-vitamins (B9). It is very important for the health of the mother and fetus, especially during the first trimester.
However, most pregnant women are not consuming nearly enough folate.
This has been linked with an increased risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight. Insufficient folate intake may also cause the child to be more prone to infections and disease later in life.
Eggs are the ultimate health food, because they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need.
A large egg contains 77 calories, as well as high-quality protein and fat. It also contains many vitamins and minerals.
Eggs are a great source of choline. Choline is essential for many processes in the body, including brain development and health.
Low choline intake during pregnancy may increase the risk of neural tube defects and possibly lead to decreased brain function .