If you have just found out you’re pregnant, then congratulations. It’s an exciting occasion and one that’s going to prove rewarding for the rest of your life. However, with this news comes the realisation that you now have to look after your health far better than you may have before. Not only must you be eating well for yourself, but your baby too.
If you want to put yourself on the track to wellness and health for the sake of your baby, then read on. Here are a few of the many nutritious and delicious food options that are the epitome of eating well.
The term ‘legumes’ incorporates a whole host of ingredients that can form the foundation of your diet. Peas, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, and beans are all excellent sources of calcium, fibre, and protein – which your body undoubtedly needs more of while trying to grow a healthy baby.
What is also present in legumes in high amounts is folate, which is a B vitamin you need plenty of for the first trimester of your pregnancy. Low levels of folate have been linked to low birth weights and neural tube defects, so talk to your doctor about how to make sure you get enough of this necessary vitamin.
Growing a baby can put a lot of pressure on your body, and you have to consume far more vitamins and minerals to meet your baby’s demands. Dairy products offer calcium, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus – all of which can be beneficial for yourself and your baby.
Pregnant women may also like to consume Greek yoghurt and dairy products with probiotic bacteria to support digestive health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for any pregnant woman, and the best way to get them – and more – is through eating salmon. These fatty acids are paramount for brain and eye development in babies, and salmon also helps you get enough Vitamin D as well. Eat no more than three servings of fatty fish per week.
Iron is an essential mineral at any stage of your life, but even more so if you’re pregnant. Your blood volume is increasing, and iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen to all your body’s cells. Beef, pork, and chicken are also valuable sources of protein. If you are unable to source protein and iron from lean meat, talk to your doctor about alternative sources you can try.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat or a light snack during pregnancy, then let berries be the answer. Berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, fibre, water, good carbs, and antioxidants. Their vitamin C content is also essential for iron absorption, your immune function, and skin health.
Now that you’ve had your exciting news, it’s time to prepare both your body and mind for your impending arrival. Make sure you’re eating well by including plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet and get as much iron, protein, and calcium as possible. Talk to your GP about pregnancy-safe supplements you might be able to take alongside your balanced diet.