Pregnancy, something so special. It may be that you waited a long time for this part of your life. So yes, pregnancy is a welcome joy, however, pregnancy can also be confusing and maybe a tad scary.
You want to do everything that you can to have a normal, healthy baby. Sometimes, you Obstetrician will do a gestational diabetes test. This will let you and him know if you are experiencing symptoms of diabetes. There may be times when you have such fierce morning sickness, that lasts most of the day, or possibly you are not gaining enough weight as you should be throughout the term. Some pregnant women go through the opposite and gain too much weight.
There are ways to maintain healthy eating patterns during your pregnancy. These following suggestions for the top ten foods to eat during a pregnancy will help you if you are experiencing gestational diabetes, too little weight gain or too much weight gain.
When you put together a meal plan that includes the top healthiest foods for pregnancy, you can be assured that you are eating what your body and your baby needs as far as nutrition. Of course, there may still be those moments when one of those wild cravings hit. Don’t worry, unless you are guzzling a gallon of sugary syrup, I can guarantee one treat will not affect you drastically, as long as it is an edible product that can normally be eaten by you. Do not answer a craving for raw meat of any kind, that is NOT part of a healthy pregnancy.
No one is going to tell you that you cannot eat, there will be suggestions as to what to eat, how much to eat and maybe how often you should eat. There is no question you want foods that taste good, something that satisfies the hunger, and possibly that craving you get.
We believe if you stock your pantry and refrigerator with certain foods, these will be all that you have to be concerned with.
When you are told to eat healthy, what precisely does that mean? Simply put, you need to make sure that you are meeting your daily requirements of certain food groups. These will allow you to have the nutrition, vitamins, taste and minerals that your changing body is needing during the pregnancy.
Ugh! I can hear you already. You are thinking here we go, the bland, the disgusting and the dreadful. I promise you this is far from. If you do come across something that you are unsure of, enlist the advice or assistance from family or friends. They may have a recipe that will give you vitamins and nutrition without being disgusted by it.
These categories are:
- Dark, leafy Greens
- Fish with Omega 3 fatty acids
- Lean meats and Proteins
- Whole Grains
- High fiber foods
The list is not so bad. You already shop for these items already. Eating healthy is really no different if you already maintain a healthy food consumption. As you plan out your menu, you will want to focus on ensuring those foods that are filling and nutrition are part of each meal. We will also go through some of what each category includes, so this will all seem less confusing for you.
The following are each category with some of the recommended foods for each.
Now that you are pregnant, you do need extra protein, extra calcium and dairy products will be ideal choices for the calcium and protein. Include the following on your shopping list:
- Yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt
Dairy is necessary for calcium. However, there are other vitamins and minerals in these products also. There are B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Plus the milk has two types of proteins, casein and whey. All of these help with strong bone growth. You can use yogurt in smoothies, eat it plain or mix with fruit or add some oats or bran.
The name alone is enough to scare people away. Basically, legumes are the entire family of beans. You may be surprised to know that many brands of hummus are made with chickpeas. Peanuts can be easily added to muffins or salads. Some of the ones to add to your weekly shopping:
This category is all about fiber. But, there are many other benefits to these products also. They are all plant based. They contain fiber, protein, folate, calcium and iron.
3. Dark, Leafy Greens
Yes, they are part of the vegetable group. However, ensuring that you have the dark, leafy greens is one of our concerns. Grab items such as:
Within these tasty vegetables you will get fiber, Vitamins A, C and K, calcium, potassium and folate.
4. Fish, Specifically with Omega 3 fatty acids
The Omega 3 fatty acids are great benefits to you and your baby. The healthy fatty acids help with brain development and eye growth.
Avoid the following fish: These have far too high of a mercury amount to be considered safe to eat.
- King Mackerel
- Big Eye Tuna
- Tile fish from the Gulf of Mexico
5. Lean Meats and Proteins
- Lean Beef
- Lean Pork
- Lean Chicken
Not only will you get vast amounts of protein, you will also benefit with choline, iron and B vitamins. These are what you will need higher amounts of while pregnant.
6. Whole Grains
Think digestion with this category. All of these include high amounts of fiber which will help keep you moving. Constipation during pregnancy is a very unwelcome happening. You feel even worse when you are bloated and in pain. Consuming whole grain products like bran and oats and wheat will help you be regular.
- Salad greens
Vegetables are like miniature miracles during pregnancy. They are great for snacks or side dishes, they can be added to foods. They are low in calories and low in cholesterol. You do need to watch yourself with some, potatoes and rice have carbohydrates, they can add up and not be beneficial. Those are best when eaten in moderation.
- Acai berries
- Goji berries
Many fruits have a natural sugar content to them. You must use caution when eating them. Too much of certain ones can cause weight gain. However, fruits can be added to all items. They can be mixed in cereals, tossed into salads and even cooked with some meats.
- Trim back on the coffee and caffeinated sodas
- AVOID Alcohol
- Drink more water
- Fruit juices 100% fruit juice
Pregnancy is not one of those times that you want a caffeine rush and then sudden drop. You should limit the amount of caffeine throughout the day. Sugary drinks will only help to add to the weight gain, in the wrong way. Stick to the healthy drinks for your baby’s sake.
10. High Fiber Foods
- Whole Wheat
- Leafy greens
Again, it is the digestion issue. You want the soluble fiber as it aids in digestion. Soluble fiber helps to manage cholesterol, reduces high sugar levels and also lowers the risk of heart problems.
Fiber during the pregnancy will help control weight gain, prevents constipation and regulates the blood sugar levels. A diet rich in fiber will also help reduce the risk of preeclampsia.
It is likely that you are going to crave some strange things. For the most part, you could probably go ahead and have them, as long as it is not one of those situations where all you eat is one item. It is not just you who needs this nutrition now. The little one inside you probably wants you to think that sugar is great, snacks are wonderful and no one needs all that healthy food. Be strong for yourself and that little bundle of joy.
Many of the foods within this article can be eaten as snacks. Fruits have natural sugar and do taste delicious. Many vegetables can be nibbled on while you are working or watching a movie. Popcorn is also an ideal snack. Popcorn has loads of fiber and is always a welcome treat. Cut back on added salt and butter though. You can use a butter flavor topping for popcorn which is truly delicious.
Those fun treats are acceptable once in a while, Do not go overboard. If you want ice cream, try frozen yogurt or even Sherbet. Popsicles can be made at home with whatever flavor you like.
You could make a turkey sandwich in a Rye Pita Pocket, add in lettuce and tomato, You will have a treat loaded with flavor, healthy and with the turkey it will even help you rest.