Perfect Pregnancy Foods For You and Your Growing Baby

drinking water
 
1. Water. Water is good for YOU for a flood of reasons, Medical News Today lists a few, “To function properly, all the cells and organs of the body need water. It is also used to lubricate the joints, protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, regulate body temperature, and assist the passage of food through the intestines.” Same for your growing baby, according to Absopure “Since water is responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to our cells, tissues and organs, staying hydrated ensures that essential nutrients are being transported to meet the developmental needs of your growing baby. Drinking water also helps preserve an adequate level of amniotic fluid and even aids fetal kidney function by facilitating the amount of waste your baby’s kidneys filter.”
vitamin
 
2. A good prenatal vitamin: Prenatal vitamins are an important addition to your diet when pregnant. Women and their fetuses both need extra nutrients during pregnancy such as folic acid, calcium, and iron. These vitamins and minerals promote healthy and strong development and keep you strong and healthy as well.
 
Some good brand options: Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prental , Nature Made Prenatal Multi + DHA, New Chapter Perfect Prental Multi-Vitamin, Bellybar, One a Day Women’s Prenatal Vitamins, Vitafusion Prenatal Gummies
asparagus-eatpicks
 
3. Foods rich in folic acid: leafy greens (spinach), asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits (papaya is especially high), avocados, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, corn, celery, carrots, squash (winter is a touch higher than summer types), beans (lentils and pintos are best), seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, peanuts), breads, cereals, rice, pastas.
 
Folic acid is necessary for the synthesis of DNA, the genetic blueprint of the cells, and also for normal cell growth. People who do not take in enough folic acid can wind up with not enough red blood cells, which is called anemia. Other problems can also occur, such as a decrease in appetite, weight loss, and diarrhea, as well as weakness and headaches, along with memory difficulties and irritability. When you're eating for two, the importance goes beyond mama's health: Without enough folic acid, babies can be born too early, too small, or with a condition called a neural tube defect.
Slide-7-The-Right-Recipe-Salmon-Blueberry-Salsa
 
4. Fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA): Mackerel, salmon (wild-caught, if possible), cod, herring, sardines, freshwater trout. From things that aren’t fish: walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, egg yolks.
 
According to WebMD, ” Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the “good” types of fat. They may help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. Your body can't make them. You have to eat them or take supplements.” Omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) support baby’s brain development. The March of Dimes recommends that women consume at least 200 milligrams in a pregnancy diet and in a breastfeeding diet. Although foods such as low-mercury fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines, freshwater trout, or DHA-enriched foods) are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, you may want to consider taking a daily vitamin supplement that contains at least 200 mgs of DHA during pregnancy.
milk
 
5. Protein: Cottage cheese, grass-fed (if possible) beef, artichokes, coconut, pumpkin seeds, white beans, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas, pork tenderloin, peanut butter, cow’s milk, greek yogurt, edamame, bone broth, rye berries, quinoa, pistachios, chicken, turkey.
 
According to Dr. Axe, “Proteins are considered long chains of amino acids, which are the important molecules we get from our diet. Amino acids can be found in many different types of foods, even vegetables, but the highest sources are those that come from animals – like meat, dairy, eggs and fish – plus to a lesser extent certain plant foods like beans and seeds.”

Additionally, limiting the amount or types of amino acids in your diet can have negative effects. “The result? Low energy, trouble building muscle mass, low concentration and memory, mood swings, unstable blood sugar levels and trouble maintaining or losing weight.”

Dr. Axe notes, “Proteins are used every single day to keep the body going. Because they are used to develop, grow and maintain just about every part of our body – from our skin and hair to our digestive enzymes and immune system antibodies – they are constantly being broken down and must be replaced.”

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A non-pregnant woman should get around 45 grams of protein per day, but during pregnancy, that number literally doubles to support you and your growing baby. Protein is one of the major building blocks of your body and, of course, your baby’s body! It will help you have more energy, too, which is nice on those days when you just feel drained. It has also been shown to help keep your bag of waters stronger, and it is said to make it less likely that your water will break at the start of your labor or before that. While you are growing another being, your liver uses the protein to synthesize albumin. Albumin pulls fluid into your blood vessels and out of your tissue. When too much fluid enters your tissues you will experience edema (swelling) in your feet, hands, and face.  So a diet rich in protein helps decrease, if not eliminate edema.  If a woman can’t afford organic meat, non-organic meat is beneficial as well.
kelly steak
 
6. Iron: Red meat (especially liver), beans (navy and black especially), dark leafy greens (swiss chard, collard greens), dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes), iron-fortified foods (cereals, breads, pastas), peas, dark chocolate, shrimp, fruit (strawberries, watermelon), tofu, tomato products, maple syrup, molasses
 
According to WebMD, “Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. If you don't have enough iron, your body can't make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia.
The problem arises when the lack of healthy red blood cells leads to a decrease in oxygen. This limited oxygen can cause fatigue and has a negative impact on everything from brain function to your ability to fight off infection. Additionally, “If you're pregnant, severe iron deficiency may increase your baby's risk of being born too early, or smaller than normal.”

During pregnancy, the need for iron increases. Your developing baby will collect enough iron from your body to last through the first six months of his or her life, so it is very important that you get enough. It is helpful to eat foods that are high in iron, such as red meats, along with foods that are high in vitamin C, which aids in the absorption of iron.

The recommended daily intake of iron during pregnancy is about 22-36 mg. The amount that you will need really depends on how much iron was in your body prior to becoming pregnant. If your iron levels are very low, you may need to take an iron supplement, but be sure to check with your OB-GYN beforehand.

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Most of these foods mentioned have other several other nutritional benefits as well. Here are some other “bonus foods” for nutrients that haven’t previously been listed:

  • Brazil nuts – selenium
  • Sweet potatoes – beta-carotene, other foods high in this (also rich in Vitamin A) are pumpkins, green and yellow vegetables, yellow fruits, cantaloupe
  • Vitamin D: Sunshine!
  • Vitamin E: Wheat germ
  • Vitamin C: Bell peppers, potatoes
  • Pyridoxine/B6: Cabbage, bananas, brown rice, bran
  • Calcium: Cheddar cheese
  • Zinc: Oysters

Happy healthy eating, mamas-to-be! According to this information, have you been eating the right foods for you and baby?

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Perfect Pregnancy Foods For You and Your Growing Baby

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