Being pregnant is one of the most joyous and rewarding times in your life. However, diet and lifestyle play a huge role in your baby’s growth and development while in the womb. A healthy diet for pregnant women includes a balance of whole foods high in essential nutrients, getting regular exercise, abstaining from smoking, alcohol and non-prescribed drugs will go a long way to ensuring you deliver a healthy, happy, baby. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, consult with your doctor before taking any supplements. Below are some of the healthiest foods for pregnancy.
Kiwifruit, along with other fruit and vegetables, contains abundant quantities of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber needed for the optimal health of both you and your baby. Kiwis are also an excellent source of vitamin C required for a strong immune system, tissue growth and repair. Good reasons to add kiwis as part of your 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Fruit and vegetables contribute to a more alkaline pH of your body, which is optimal for a healthy pregnancy.
Lentils are full of antioxidants and are great vegetarian sources of protein, which is essential during pregnancy as your body requires more protein for the development of your baby. Protein provides the building blocks necessary to build and repair all cells. Lentils are a great source of folate, which is essential especially during the first month of pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects such as Spina Bifida. They also possess a range of minerals including magnesium and zinc as well as iron, which helps prevent iron deficiency anemia, which is common during pregnancy. Lentils are a less acid forming source of protein than meat, so will help contribute to a more alkaline pH, which is optimal for a healthy pregnancy.
Raspberries are one of the richest of all fruits in antioxidant compounds which are protective for the overall health of you and your baby during pregnancy. Fruit and vegetables also contribute to a more alkaline pH of your body, which is optimal for a healthy pregnancy. Good reasons to add raspberries as part of your 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
Avocados are one of the world’s healthiest foods and amongst their many nutrients, they’re a rich source of glutathione and vitamin E, powerful antioxidants that help to protect against harmful free radicals. Avocados are also rich in folate, vital for the healthy development of your baby during pregnancy.
Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, which play a crucial role in hormone balance, fertility and the development of a healthy baby. Scientists have found that they are vital for the formation of a growing baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system. Almonds provide valuable protein, which your body demands more of while you’re pregnant, so make sure that you have some protein with every meal. Almonds are also excellent sources of numerous beneficial pregnancy nutrients such as calcium (for your baby’s bones and teeth), iron (for the increased need for hemoglobin for an increased blood supply), vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and B-vitamins (including folic acid, needed to prevent neural tube defects).
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens supply you and your baby with important antioxidant nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin C, the latter of which your baby needs for healthy teeth and bones. They are also a good source of many minerals including magnesium, calcium and B-vitamins such as folic acid that encourage a healthy pregnancy by supporting bone growth and helping to prevent neural tube defects.
Eggs a good source of healthy fats and protein. Your body demands more protein while pregnant and you should try to have some with every meal. Eggs also contain many other important pregnancy nutrients such as B-vitamins, iron (needed for increased blood supply), zinc, vitamins D and E, and selenium. . Avoid raw or lightly cooked eggs.
Oily fish such as salmon provide much needed protein (you should have some protein at every meal when pregnant) and are excellent sources of essential fats. These fats are crucial for the brain, eye and central-nervous-system development in a growing baby, especially in the last trimester. Salmon are also a good source of other nutrients particularly beneficial for pregnancy such as B-vitamins, vitamin D, and selenium.
Ginger is a very well studied herb for the treatment of NVP ( Morning Sickness). It has been proven to be a totally safe and effective herb in NVP. it is suggested to keep the dosage under the equivalent of 1 g per day. It can be taken in any form including ginger ale (provided it contains real ginger).
Multivitamin / Mineral
A good quality multivitamin and mineral would form the foundation of your supplement programme to make sure that you are getting a ‘little bit of everything’. You then add in those nutrients in slightly higher amounts which are known to be valuable during pregnancy.
The mother’s microbiome is crucial for starting her baby out with a good microbiome. One of the ways women can help is by taking probiotics themselves, and trying to avoid excessive sugars, antibiotics, high carb diets, and other things that would foster imbalance in their own gut flora. I recommend 50 billion live organisms of a high-quality probiotic per day. There are a number of high-quality probiotics that I like, and I’ll often rotate them.
Essential omega 3 fats have a profound effect on every system of the body, including the reproductive system and they are crucial for healthy hormone functioning. They are essential for healthy blood flow to the foetus and the DHA part of the fish oil is essential for the development of baby’s eye and brain and help improve cognitive function.