Pregnant and Hungry? Here's What You Should Be Eating
Allison Bush | April 23, 2013
The phrase “you are what you eat” couldn’t be more accurate, especially for a mom-to-be. What you put into your body will directly affect your growing baby, so it’s crucial that you eat the right foods leading up to, and during, your nine months of pregnancy.
Eggs are packed with a ton of vitamins and quality protein, which are important for both mom and baby. Beyond protein, eggs are also a great source of choline, which supports overall growth and brain health in your growing baby.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C and A (from plant-based cartenoids), folate, and fiber. Vitamins C and A will help form your baby’s bones, skin, eyes, and cartilage, so eat up!
Not only is Greek yogurt delicious, but it’s also a great source of protein and calcium. Unfortunately, women typically don’t get enough calcium to sustain the health of their own bones and teeth, so it’s extra important to really amp up your calcium intake while pregnant so as not to deplete your calcium stores.
Salmon tops the list of foods highest in omega-3 fats, and it’s also a fantastic source of protein. Unlike the fish on the “do not eat” list, like mackeral, shark, and swordfish, salmon has very low amounts of methylmercury, the substance harmful to your baby’s developing nervous system. Even so, the FDA recommends eating no more than 12 oz of salmon a week while pregnant to avoid ingesting too much mercury.
Beans are another good source of protein, but, more importantly, they’re a good source of fiber. As your intestinal tract slows down during the nine months, bouts of constipation may occur, and so it’s important to have that fiber in your diet to keep things moving.
Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green veggies are a good supply of folic acid. This B vitamin is used to produce the extra blood you and your baby need and also helps some enzymes function. Taken before conception and early in your pregnancy, folic acid also helps prevent neural-tube defects in your baby.
Drinking water may sound obvious, but many of us don’t drink enough water to keep ourselves hydrated adequately, let alone enough for an additional human! Water is essential for maintaining blood volume, cell creation, and it will help mom-to-be minimize swelling and constipation. Try to drink at least eight glasses a day.