As a mom-to-be, you’re likely more cautious about what you eat. Early on that might be focused around morning sickness, but as time goes on its becomes a concern to make sure that you are eating nutritiously. So what should the diet of a pregnant woman look like? Here’s how to make sure both you and your baby get the necessary nutrients.
- Foods that are rich in protein such as eggs, chicken, lean meats and legumes (i.e. beans, lentils, edamame, chickpeas, etc.)
- Fruits and vegetables – fresh is always preferred. Other options include dried, frozen, and canned. Berries are rich in antioxidants. A diet that includes a good balance of fruits and vegetables is preferred. Below you will find those listed that are high in folic acid.
- Starchy foods such as pasta, potatoes, bread, and rice.
- Dairy foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk.
- Plenty of water to remove toxins from the body.
Sources of Folic Acid
During pregnancy folic acid intake is important because it helps to protect an unborn baby from developing neural tube defects like spina bifida. Your doctor will tell you how much folic acid is recommended. The following are good sources of folic acid.
- Vegetables including avocados, endives, green peas, broccoli, baby carrots, seaweed, cauliflower, parsley, spinach, Brussel sprouts, mustard greens, beets, Romaine lettuce, and asparagus.
- Legumes including Romano beans, lentils, white beans, black beans, edamame, kidney beans, chickpeas, and pinto beans.
- Pasta, bread, and bagels that are made from enriched wheat flour.
- Fruits and berries such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwis, blackberries, and clementines.
- Seeds and nuts such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts.
- Juices including pineapple juice and orange juice from concentrate.
- Enriched breakfast cereals.
During your pregnancy, making healthy food choices is important. There may be some foods that don’t agree with you – of course, you should avoid those foods. There are many choices under every category so choose an option that you enjoy and that agrees with you.
Calorie counting may not be necessary; however, weight gain is a common concern among mothers-to-be so it’s a good idea to monitor your weight, and to at least be aware of the foods you are eating. Cravings can be hard to control and often changes in metabolism can result in burning calories differently. Making healthy food choices will help with weight gain and ensure you and baby are getting the nutrition you need.