DAIRY PRODUCTS: Dairy products, especially yogurt, are a great choice for pregnant women. Dairy products help meet increased protein and calcium needs. Probiotics may also help reduce the risk of complications.
LEGUMES: Legumes are great sources of folate, fibre and many other nutrients. Folate is a very important nutrient during pregnancy, and may reduce the risk of some birth defects and diseases.
SWEET POTATOES: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which the body transforms into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for the growth and differentiation of cells in the growing foetus.
SALMON: Salmon contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are important for brain and eye development in the growing baby. Salmon is also a natural source of vitamin D.
EGGS: Whole eggs are incredibly nutritious and a great way to increase overall nutrient intake. They also contain choline, an essential nutrient for brain health and development.
BROCCOLI AND LEAFY GREENS: Broccoli and leafy greens contain most of the nutrients that pregnant women need. They are also rich in fibre, which may help prevent or treat constipation.
LEAN MEAT: Lean meat is a good source of high-quality protein. Beef and pork are also rich in iron, choline and B-vitamins, all of which are important nutrients during pregnancy.
FISH LIVER OIL: A single serving of fish liver oil provides more than the required amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and vitamin A. Fish liver oil may be particularly important for women who don’t eat seafood.
BERRIES: Berries contain water, carbs, vitamin C, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and plant compounds. They may help pregnant women increase their nutrient and water intake.
WHOLE GRAINS: Whole grains are packed with fibre, vitamins and plant compounds. They are also rich in B-vitamins, fibre and magnesium, all of which pregnant women need.
AVOCADOS: Avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, fibre, folate and potassium. They may help improve foetal health and relieve the leg cramps that are common in pregnant women.
DRIED FRUIT: Dried fruit may be highly beneficial for pregnant women, since they are small and nutrient-dense. Just make sure to limit your portions and avoid the candied varieties.
WATER: Drinking water is important because of the increased blood volume during pregnancy. Adequate hydration may also help prevent constipation and urinary tract infections.
NOTE: What you eat during pregnancy affects your energy and well-being. It may also directly affect the health and development of your baby. Since calorie and nutrient needs are increased, it is very important that you choose nutrient-dense, healthy foods. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal, but it is important to gain it the healthy way. This benefits you, your baby and your health after the pregnancy. This list should be a good start towards a healthy, well-nourished pregnancy.