13 Foods To Eat When You Are Pregnant

Posted On Jan 19, 2023

5 Min Read

Dr. Polly Chatterjee

Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Manipal Hospital - Salt Lake

Obstetrician Gynecologist in Salt Lake Kolkata

It's crucial to keep up a healthy diet when pregnant. The body requires more nutrition, vitamins, and minerals at this time. In fact, throughout the second and third trimesters, women may need 350–500 additional calories per day.

A diet deficient in essential nutrients may harm a baby's development. The risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth difficulties may also increase as a result of poor eating habits and excessive weight gain. Eating wholesome foods will contribute to the health of the mother and the unborn child. The body requires more nutrition, vitamins, and minerals at this time. Including a variety of fruits, vegetables, nutritious grains, protein-rich foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy items in the prenatal diet helps promote a healthy pregnancy and the baby's development. To know more about pregnancy related information, contact a top obstetrician and gynecology hospital in Salt Lake Kolkata.

Here are 13 foods that are incredibly nutritious to eat while pregnant to help the mother reach their nutrient targets for a healthy baby's development.

  • Dairy products

The mother needs to eat more protein and calcium throughout pregnancy to fulfil the demands of her developing foetus. Milk, cheese, & yoghurt must be consumed. Casein and whey are two types of superior proteins found in dairy products. The finest food source of calcium is dairy, which also has significant amounts of phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. Greek yoghurt, in particular, is beneficial because it contains more calcium than most other dairy products. Some probiotic bacteria, which assist digestive health, are also present.

  • Legumes

  • Lentils, peas, chickpeas,beans, soybeans, and peanuts are included in this category of foods. Legumes are excellent plant-based providers of calcium, iron, folate, fibre, protein, and other nutrients that the body needs more of while pregnant. One of the most essential B vitamins is folate (B9). 

  • It is crucial for both the mother and the unborn child, especially in the first trimester and even earlier. Mothers should consume at least 600 micrograms (mcg) of folate each day, which can be difficult to do through diet alone. If their doctor recommends supplementation, legumes can help them get there. 

  • Legumes typically include a lot of fibre. Some kinds have high levels of iron, magnesium, and potassium. With dishes like hummus on whole grain toast, black beans in a taco salad, or lentil curry, the inclusion of legumes in the diet is recommended.

  • Sweet potatoes

Beta carotene, a plant molecule that our body converts into vitamin A, is abundant in sweet potatoes. Infant growth requires vitamin A. Luckily, sweet potatoes are a good plant-based food for fibre and  beta-carotene. Fibre prolongs satiety, lowers blood sugar surges, and enhances digestive health (which can really help if that pregnancy constipation hits).

  • Salmon

Salmon is a great addition to this list, whether it's teriyaki-grilled, smoked on a whole wheat bagel, or covered in pesto. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial and offer several advantages, are abundant in salmon. These are abundant in seafood and help in the development of a baby's brain and eyes. They may even extend the gestational period.

  • Eggs

The essential vitamin choline, which is required during pregnancy, is abundant in eggs. It is crucial for a baby's brain development and helps in preventing improper brain and spine growth.

  • Broccoli and dark, leafy greens

  • Many of the nutrients needed by expectant mothers can be found in broccoli and other dark, leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium are a few of them. 

  • More antioxidant-rich foods include broccoli and leafy greens. Additionally, there are plant-based substances that are good for digestion and the immune system. These vegetables' high fibre content may also aid in preventing constipation. This is a pretty typical issue for expectant mothers. 

  • A lower risk of low birth weight has also been associated with eating green, leafy vegetables.

  • Lean meat

  • A lower risk of low birth weight has also been associated with eating green, leafy vegetables. Additionally, beef and pork are abundant in choline, other B vitamins, and iron, all of which are essential during pregnancy. 

  • Red blood cells use iron as part of haemoglobin, which is a necessary mineral. It is crucial for getting oxygen to every cell in the body. Because their blood volume is growing, pregnant women need more iron. During the third trimester, this is very crucial. 

  • With many pregnant women developing a dislike for meat, it may be challenging to meet iron requirements just through food. 

  • Consuming vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges or bell peppers, may also improve the rate at which iron is absorbed from the diet.

  • Fish liver oil

  • The development of the foetal brain and eyes depends on the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are abundant in the oil. Consumption of cod liver oil during pregnancy has been linked to larger birth weight and a lower risk of disease for the unborn child. 

  • One tablespoon of fish liver oil contains more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin A than is recommended for daily consumption. Because too high a consumption of vitamin A can be harmful to the foetus, it is not advised to ingest more than one serving (one tablespoon) every day. Additionally, a high omega-3 intake may have blood-thinning effects.

  • Berries

Water, carbohydrates, vitamin C, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, and plant components are all present in berries. They might encourage expectant mothers to consume more nutrients and fluids.

  • Whole grains

Consuming whole grains may help, particularly in the second and third trimesters, to fulfil the increased calorie needs that occur with pregnancy. A reasonable quantity of protein, which is essential during pregnancy, is also included in oats and quinoa. They are also abundant in fibre, magnesium, and B vitamins, all of which are essential for pregnant women.

  • Avocados

Avocados are rich in fibre, potassium, folate, and monounsaturated fatty acids. They might enhance foetal health and ease leg cramps that are frequent in expectant mothers.

  • Dried fruit

Considering how compact and nutrient-dense dried fruit is, it may be extremely advantageous for expecting mothers. Prunes are high in sorbitol, potassium, fibre, and vitamin K. They are effective natural laxatives and can help with constipation. Dates are rich in plant chemicals, potassium, fibre, & iron. Consuming dates regularly during the third trimester may facilitate cervical dilatation and lessen the need for labour induction.

  • Water

Due to the increased blood volume during pregnancy, it's crucial to drink water. In addition to preventing urinary tract infections and constipation, adequate water may also help.

For consultation and treatment, please book an appointment with a top obstetrician gynaecologist in Salt Lake Kolkata

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Manipal Hospitals, Salt Lake, Kolkata

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