What Foods Are Essential for Healthy Pregnancy?

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While battling craving and morning sickness, make a list of the best foods for pregnancy. These foods are full of nutrients that you and your baby need to grow throughout the pregnancy. With your list on hand, you can choose the items that satisfy your cravings and settle your nauseated stomach.

Whole Grains

You and your baby need carbohydrates to grow. Strive for 10 servings per day. Whole grains bring complex carbohydrates to your diet. Instead of moving through your body quickly like a simple sugar, whole grains will stick with you longer, warding off hunger and nausea. Whole grains are also packed with folic acid, the B vitamin that is necessary to prevent birth defects. Buy crackers, breads, pastas, oatmeal and rice that are fortified with the folic acid to get an extra boost of this vitamin. Some of these items also have iron added to them. Iron helps your body create blood cells for yourself and your baby; it is missing in many pregnant women’s diets.

Proteins

Whether you are a carnivore or vegetarian, proteins are critical in your pregnancy diet. You will need about three protein servings per day. Lean meats bring that protein to your diet. Lean beef and other red meats provide iron, especially useful if you are anemic. Lean poultry, pork and fish contain protein. Cook your meat thoroughly to prevent bacterial infection or disease. For a vegetarian option, look to nuts, beans, soy products and quinoa.

Dairy

Your baby needs calcium to develop his little bones, teeth and other body systems. Dairy products are a natural source of calcium. You will need three servings per day of calcium and protein-rich dairy products. Milk and cheese offer these nutrients. Yogurt and some low-sugar, fruit ice creams provide you with vitamins and nutrients from the fruit included. Dairy products are often fortified with other nutrients, such as vitamin D. Look for milk fortified with iron or folic acid.

Fruits and Vegetables

It’s never too early to teach your baby to eat his fruits and veggies. In fact, throughout your pregnancy you should strive from five servings of each a day. That’s plenty of opportunity to consume the rich nutrients offered by fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C in citrus and other fruits will help you ward off disease and keep you and the baby healthy. Folic acid in dark green veggies will help keep your baby safe from birth defects. Watermelon is filled with choline which aids in learning and memory in our babies and lycopene which is an antioxidant. You can also drink watermelon! We love WTRMLN WTR.

Photo Credit

  • healthy pregnant #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com

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