Since what you eat directly affects your growing bundle of joy, it's important to make sure you are eating the best pregnancy diet you can! A healthy diet promotes healthy growth in your baby.
When you eat good, you feel good! Try eating a balanced diet of whole grains, protein, healthy fats, calcium, and plenty of fruits and veggies. Eating these foods will help decrease your odds of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and anemia. Women who eat a healthy diet are able to minimize their morning sickness, moderate mood swings, and are less likely to go into preterm labor. Below is a list highlighting the foods you should be eating, how much, and good sources of where those nutrients can be found.
Carbohydrates should be unrefined with nothing added and nothing taken away.
They include starches, sugars and fibers. They provide energy. Contrary to popular belief they are not fattening if they are eaten in the form of complex carbohydrates.
Good Sources: Whole grains, wholemeal flour, millet, wholemeal bread, oats, oatmeal, buckwheat, brown rice, maize meal, fresh vegetables and fruit.
Proteins are called building blocks. They are necessary to build or repair tissue, muscles, organs, enzymes and hair. Proteins are made of amino acids that are broken down in the body to form other amino acids. The potential role of amino acids in preconception of health care has only just begun to be understood.
Good Sources: Fresh meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, cheeses, nuts, and whole grains.
Folate and Folic Acid
Folate is a naturally occurring B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects and spina bifida. Folic acid supplementation has been proven to help decrease the risk of preterm delivery. It's suggested to take around 800 micro grams of folate or folic acid, per day, before conception and pregnancy.
Good Sources: Fortified cereals are great sources of folic acid. Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, and dried beans and peas are good sources of naturally occurring folate.
For strong bones and bone development, doctors recommend 1,000 mcg per day. Not only will your baby have strong bones, calcium is proven to help the circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems run smoothly.
Good Sources: Dairy sources are the best form of calcium as the bodily easily absorbs them. Foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk, pack the biggest punch of your daily source. You can also get great calcium from broccoli, kale, spinach, and salmon.