foods during pregnancy

Eating nutritious food is one of the vital things you can do for your unborn baby’s health. If you start off your pregnancy at a healthy weight, you do not  have to eat additional calories during the first trimester. The food you eat during pregnancy is the basis of your baby’s growth and development, so consuming nutrient rich foods during pregnancy are crucial for healthy baby growth.

Eating foods that contain calcium, omega-3 oils, vitamin D and minerals will help in your baby’s bone, teeth and brain development.

Foods for second trimester

Nutrient rich foods during pregnancy

Baked potatoes

Potatoes are rich in dietary fibre, folate, Vitamin C and B-6. All these nutrients are important during pregnancy. Especially folate reduces the risk of your baby developing brain and spine problems. The main source of energy for the little one growing inside you is glucose which is found in carbohydrates. The daily intake of carbohydrate depends on the stages of pregnancy. The best form of eating potatoes are either baking or steaming and flavouring them with herbs instead of cheese and butter.

potato salad

Eggs

Eggs contain many essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin A, D, B-6, B-12, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron and phosphorous. The yolk of egg contains a vital nutrient called choline which plays an important role in the development of baby’s brain. Every expectant mother must take 450 mg of choline per day.

eggs boiled

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt contains lot of protein and calcium. Both are essential during pregnancy. Normal non fat yogurt contains only 6 to 8 grams of protein per serving, while greek yogurt contains 15 to 18 grams of protein per serving. The amino acids in protein are building blocks of body cells, so protein consumption is imperative for baby’s growth and development.

 yogurt

Avocado

Avocados are good sources of folate, fibre, vitamin K, C, potassium, and vitamin B6. Also filled with mono-unsaturated fats, they are good fats helps protect from heart diseases. Avocados help against morning sickness, also help baby’s brain and tissue growth. Avocado helps in strengthening neural system, maintaining blood sugar level and decreases the level of cholesterol in blood.

Milk

Iodine is essential for producing hormones, physical and mental development of babies during pregnancy. To improve the baby’s IQ and memory power, the expectant mother should increase her iodine intake. Drinking conventional milk is better than organic milk. Organic milk contains 42% less iodine. Milk contains calcium that helps in strengthening bones and teeth. Regular intake of milk reduces the risk of birth defects, and vitamin D presents in milk protects from neonatal rickets.

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, vitamin A, B, V and K, and also contains omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids. The iron and folic acid content prevents the risk of anemia and ensures good hemoglobin count, also folate eliminates neurological defects. The calcium, zinc, phosphorous and magnesium makes strong and healthy bones. Glucoraphanin and sulforaphane present in broccoli minimizes skin inflammation due to exposure of ultra violet radiation during pregnancy. Vitamin C and beta-carotene helps boost immunity and ensures good health of you and your baby.

broccoli dish

Spinach

A great addition to your diet during pregnancy is spinach. This leafy green has good amounts of iron and that helps in increasing the overall blood flow in pregnant women. Vitamin C, the great antioxidant present in spinach helps to keep the immune system strong and keeps both the baby and mother healthy throughout pregnancy. The fibre content eases bowel movements and reduces the risk of constipation.

Fish

Fish contains essential amino acids that helps create baby cells from skin to hair and bones. Fish is loaded with baby friendly DHA and omega-3 fatty acids that boost baby brain power and improves memory power. Omega-3 intake lowers the risk of preterm birth. Diet rich fish is heart healthy too.

Papaya

A ripened papaya is rich in fibre, vitamin C , vitamin E and folic acid. Eating papaya fruit in the evening helps in controlling constipation and heart burn. It improves hemoglobin, prevents from anemia and an important ingredient called Galactagogue presents in papaya increases milk production, especially lactating mothers should include in their diet.

Strawberries

Strawberry contains phytochemicals that are extremely good for the fetus and the mother. Crucial minerals such as manganese and potassium work well in controlling blood pressure which normally shoots up during pregnancy. Also strawberry has high amounts of lodine that helps in nervous system and healthy brain development of fetus.

strawberryplate

Some of the other nutritious foods to eat in the second trimester are,

Green and red peppers, bran cereals, orange juice, tomato, whole wheat bread, sesame seeds and carrot juice.

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.