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30 Healthy Foods to Eat During Pregnancy: What to Eat for a Healthy Baby

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What is pregnancy?

Pregnancy is the process of fetal development in which an embryo becomes a human body. It begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg in the fallopian tube, resulting in fertilization and starts to grow in the uterus.

  • The number of weeks pregnant can be estimated by ultrasound measurements starting from the last menstrual period (LMP).
  • Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks or 280 days if it is calculated from ovulation.

Why pregnancy care is important?

Care during pregnancy aims to the mother and newborn the best possible conditions for a healthy pregnancy. It focuses on preventing birth defects, reducing risks of miscarriage, infections, and developing preterm labor.

If you’re pregnant,

You’re probably wondering what kinds of foods you should be eating to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. There are many different opinions on the matter,

But I’ve compiled a list of 30 healthy foods that are great for both you and your little one. This list has something for everyone, from fruits and vegetables to whole grains and protein-rich foods! So read on to learn more about the best foods to eat during pregnancy.

healthy-foods-to-eat-during-pregnancy

Healthy Foods list to Eat During Pregnancy

1. Salmon

  • Salmon is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • It is also a prosperous source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Which are essential to the development of your baby’s nervous system.
  • It is well known that salmon has been proven to be beneficial at any stage of pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
  • Because it provides DHA, which contributes to normal brain function and eye development in infants.

Many studies have been done on pregnant women who consumed fish with high levels of mercury that show that there was no evidence it had any harmful effects on their babies/pregnancy outcome. Take advice from your doctor or midwife!

Try heart-healthy salmon patties recipe.

2. Brown Rice

  • Brown rice is a whole grain and an excellent source of magnesium
  • Which has been proven to be very helpful in treating many pregnant women’s common complaints such as leg cramps.
  • Magnesium also aids in proper muscle contraction, nerve function, and energy metabolism.

Studies on rats show that the offspring of mothers who receive supplemental magnesium during pregnancy were significantly healthier than those whose mothers did not get a supplement.

3. Bananas

Bananas are fruits that naturally contain essential nutrients for your baby’s growth and development needs without any additives! They are full of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, B6… they’re basically nature’s multivitamin that can help relieve morning sickness during early pregnancy due to their high levels of serotonin.

banana-to-eat-during-pregnancy

4. Yogurt

  • Yogurt, in general, automatically comes with a good amount of probiotics, calcium, and protein without the added sugars some other yogurt products contain!
  • It’s also a really great snack to keep in your purse for later when it’s not convenient to eat, which is most of the time during pregnancy. This will help maintain proper muscle tone and activity throughout all three trimesters.
  • Studies have been done on rats that have shown improved performance during labor when given yogurt compared to those who were not given any. Not only has yogurt been proven beneficial for labor but also for postpartum recovery, according to a study done on rats with wound infection. The group that was given yogurt had less scar tissue than the group that was not given yogurt.

5. Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes are known as one of the best sources of beta carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A by your body (and your baby’s body!).
  • This is very beneficial for the development of your baby’s eyes! Since this is something that crosses the placenta, you can rest easy knowing this will support your developing fetus’ vision during any trimester.
  • They also contain many other nutrients like fiber and potassium, which is always a bonus!

6. Watermelon – Pregnancy

  • Watermelon contains high amounts of citrulline amino acid, which has been proven to help prevent preeclampsia by helping to relax blood vessels throughout your pregnancy… but don’t go overboard because too much citrulline can cause arterial stiffness.
  • They’re a great choice for a watery summer snack, and they help to keep you hydrated during pregnancy.
  • It is important to stay properly hydrated when pregnant, but it’s also very important not to go overboard either because there have been studies done on rats that show kidney damage when the mothers were given too much water.

I have already written fruits nutrition and health benefits, you have to read that blog also.

watermelon-pregnancy-healthy-food

7. Salmon Roe

Salmon roe is eggs from salmon that contain high levels of essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, associated with proper eye development in growing fetuses. They also contain many other nutrients such as protein, vitamin A and calcium… but please note that this should NOT be eaten by anyone who has a shellfish allergy because there has been a reported case where a man experienced anaphylaxis after eating salmon roe.

8. Shellfish

  • I hate to break it to you, but shellfish are definitely on this list of 30 food to eat in pregnancy because they contain high amounts of zinc, which has been proven beneficial to fetal growth and development… but there is also a dangerous side!
  • One serving of shellfish can contain pollutants that can be harmful to pregnant women, so please do not consume more than one serving per week because there have been cases where pregnant women were hospitalized due to very high levels of pollutants in the bloodstream.
  • I know this may seem alarming, but don’t let it keep you from shrimp cocktails or lobster rolls! Just make sure to always check the advisories before consuming any seafood!

9. Bell Peppers – Pregnancy

Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C that can help your immune system and protect you from infections during pregnancy… be sure not to let them sit out at room temperature for too long because they can actually start losing their nutritional content. Overtime! Bell peppers contain beta carotene, fiber, vitamin A and calcium, which is a bonus if you’re looking for a colorful way to add some more veggies into your daily meal choices. 

And also read the health & nutrition advantages of capsicum benefits.

bell-peppers-pregnancy-healthy-food

10. Sweet Corn

Sweet corn contains quite a lot of folate, which is important in reducing congenital disabilities such as spina bifida… it also contains high amounts of fiber and antioxidants that can help both momma and baby stay healthy, protecting against cancer and boosting the immune system.

11. Pomegranate – Pregnancy

  • Pomegranates are known for helping to boost your immune system and protect you from cancer thanks to their antioxidants, but these tasty fruits also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which can help boost your immunity!
  • Don’t forget that it’s always best to drink fresh pomegranate juice instead of canned juices because the heat can damage some of the nutrients.
  • The seeds are even good for you! They contain polyphenols that have been proven effective in preventing many types of cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
  • So next time someone offers you a seed, don’t be afraid to say yes… they’re super healthy! 

Eating healthy fruits plus vegetables can help you be more healthy this blog is also more useful for you.

pomegranate-pregnancy-healthy-food

12. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are not only tasty, but they also contain high amounts of vitamin E, which provide many benefits during pregnancy! It helps boost your immunity reduce inflammation and asthma symptoms by thinning out your blood… I know what you’re thinking… more thinned-out blood?! But the studies show that it can actually make it easier for your heart to pump because of better circulation. Be sure always to get them dry roasted or raw because the oils in fried sunflower seeds can damage some of their nutrients.

sunflower-seeds-pregnancy-healthy-food

13. Artichoke – Pregnancy

Artichokes are on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because they contain fiber, folate, vitamin C, and antioxidants which can all benefit both momma and baby… but don’t go overboard on the artichokes themselves because they also contain a chemical called cynarin, which can cause excessive gas and indigestion if you don’t cook them well. But, if you decide to eat them raw, be sure to chew with caution!

14. Nectarines

Nectarines are on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because they’re high in beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium that can help provide protection from some cancers as well as boost your immunity… but nectarines also contain high amounts of phosphorus which is necessary for fetal development so make sure not to reduce the number of servings consumed per day. If you can’t find fresh nectarine around your area, frozen ones work just as well! Just be sure to steer clear of canned nectarines.

15. Sun-Dried Tomatoes

These are great for your heart immune system and help to reduce inflammation which is especially important during pregnancy! Sun-dried tomatoes are high in lycopene which helps protect you from cancer by increasing the production of infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes… just be careful with any sun-dried tomato products that have been packed in oil because the oil can actually damage some of their nutrients.

sun-dried-tomatoes-healthy-food

16. Wild Rice

Wild rice contains selenium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium, which help prevent anemia and constipation thanks to the fiber content. It also contains tryptophan (the same chemical found in turkey), making you feel relaxed or even sleepy after eating it!

17. Strawberries

Strawberries are on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because they’re high in folate, which can help prevent congenital disabilities such as spina bifida… but strawberries also contain high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants. That can protect momma from cancer while boosting the baby’s immune system! 

When eating strawberries during pregnancy, one thing to be careful about is the number consumed per day because too many strawberries can also cause the body to become overly acidic.

18. Walnuts – Pregnancy

Walnuts are actually a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them super healthy for both you and your baby! Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven effective in promoting brain growth and development early on in utero…just be careful with the number of walnuts consumed per day because they can cause problems with momma’s blood sugar levels if eaten in large quantities.

walnuts-pregnancy-healthy-food

19. Pecans

Pecans are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that are super healthy for both you and your baby…

But pecans are also high in antioxidants which have been linked to reducing certain birth defects! As I mentioned earlier, just be sure not to eat too many per day; otherwise, they might cause serious stomach aches!

20. Carrots

Carrots are on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because they’re high in beta carotene, which becomes vitamin A after the body processes it… now Vitamin A is important to the body because it helps protect cell membranes while promoting healthy eyesight and brain development in your baby… just be sure not to eat too many carrots per day or else your skin will become orange, and even though that’s normal for pregnant women, people may mistake you for a carrot driven crazy person!

21. Lemons

Lemons can help prevent dehydration which is especially important during pregnancy because it helps to prevent preterm labor and low birth weight… but lemons also contain citric acid that can increase the risk of kidney stones and gallstones in momma; so be careful!

22. Mango

Mango is on the list of food to eat in pregnancy because they’re high in folate, which can help prevent congenital disabilities such as spina bifida…but mangoes are also high in fiber and vitamin C, which are both great for momma’s digestive system! Mangoes are also one of those superfoods that have anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial to momma during her pregnancy. 

You can get more information from this blog orange fruit the top best nutritional benefits of using it.

pregnancy-healthy-food-mango

23. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because they’re high in lutein which can help protect momma’s eyesight while preventing congenital disabilities such as blindness! It contain also rich in zinc, which helps reduce morning sickness…just be careful not to eat too many per day, or else you’ll start smelling like a pumpkin, bleh!

24. Collard Greens

Collard greens are on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because they’re high in vitamin C, which is essential for boosting your immune system by producing more infection-fighting lymphocytes that keep your body healthy and fight off disease… but collards are also good for reducing the risk of preeclampsia because they contain high amounts of calcium and vitamins K, A, B6, and E too!

25. Cantaloupe

Just like strawberries, cantaloupe is another fruit that contains folate, which can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida… but cantaloupes also contain both vitamin C and antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer in momma by protecting cell membranes from harmful free radicals that increase the risk factor for cancer. If you suffer from morning sickness or have a hard time swallowing whole foods, then adding cantaloupe to your daily diet will be beneficial too because it’s easy to chew and swallow, plus it’s super easy on your stomach!

26. Spinach – Pregnancy

Spinach is on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because it contains folate, which can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. It is also high in calcium, iron, and vitamins A & C…but spinach has also been linked with promoting healthy vision by preventing macular degeneration later on in life! Just be sure not to eat too many per day, or else you’ll start smelling like a rat that’s died! Ewe gads!

pregnancy-healthy-food-spinach

27. Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is on the list of food to eat in pregnancy because,

  • It’s made through fermentation using wild yeast instead of using commercial baker’s yeast.
  • This makes sourdough bread super-rich in enzymes that help break down food for digestion which can benefit momma.
  • Especially during her pregnancy, because it helps to reduce the risk of heartburn.

This also contains prebiotics which is beneficial because they promote healthy bacteria in your gut!

28. Cinnamon – Pregnancy

Cinnamon is on the list of food to eat in pregnancy because, cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels by helping cells take up glucose more efficiently… plus, low blood sugar levels could cause fatigue, headaches, and cramps. which can all be remedied with just one little sprinkle of cinnamon… but please don’t sprinkle too much or else you could end up smelling like a fella who’s been doing plumber work and needs a shower quick! Ew, I know!

Read also honey cinnamon cleanse health benefits.

29. Beets

  • Beets are on this list of food to eat in pregnancy because they’re rich in folate
  • Which can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.

It is also high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin A… but be careful not to overdo it with beets because too many of them could lead to nausea and vomiting.

30. Kale – Pregnancy

Last but not least, Kale is on the list of foods to eat during pregnancy because they’re rich in calcium which can help reduce the risk of preeclampsia by strengthening momma’s bones, muscles & heart… kale is also high in fiber, vitamin C, and iron… but please don’t overcook your kale because you’ll lose all those healthy vitamins, minerals and enzymes… so steam your kale instead!

healthy-food-kale

Conclusion:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth is a time of major physical changes for both mom and baby.
  • It’s important to take care of yourself by eating the right foods.
  • Taking prenatal vitamins, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, getting enough rest each day—and so much more!

Knowing what you should eat during pregnancy will help ensure that your growing baby has all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.

Are you planning to include these healthy foods in your list during pregnancy?

Let us know in the leave comments below!

 

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Magudeswaran
Magudeswaran
My full name is S. Magudeswaran, am working as a Professional Knits Garments CAD pattern designer, in the Knits Garments Industry for the past 15 years. And also I have an interest in writing blogs about healthy foods.
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