With pregnancy being a period of numerous changes, both physical and psychological, for the mother and the baby, adequate nutrition is required. This results in a stress free pregnancy period culminating in a healthy parenthood. Eating for two, let alone finding the right foods, can be a nerve-wracking responsibility. There is also the issue of the constant nausea and morning sickness that happens in the first trimester of the pregnancy and may drag on to the second for some women. Replenishing the lost nutrients is very important to avoid health complications for both the mother and the child. One should eat a wide variety of foods so as to get as many nutrients as they can. The major nutrients needed at this stage are protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A, B, C, folic acid, magnesium and zinc.
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So what is the best food to eat during these months of pregnancy?
BEANS: being an excellent source of protein, they are also rich in fibre. Black beans, kidney beans, lentils and soy beans should be included in the diet as they will enhance fast growth of both the mother and the growing foetus. They can be included in pasta and rice dishes. Beans have the added advantage of being rich in folic acid(necessary for preventing neural tube defects).The fibre contained in them goes a long way in reducing constipation.
BANANAS: Rich in potassium, bananas have been found to offer quick energy to exhausted pregnant women.in the early weeks of the pregnancy, vitamin B6 found in the bananas has helped combat morning sickness. They are also a great source of fibre and vitamin C. The bananas may be added to cereal or made into a smoothie in addition to oranges.
EGGS: from one egg one can get over 12 different kinds of vitamins and minerals as well as a lot of quality protein , necessary for quality growth of the foetus as well as providing for the mother’s one dietary protein needs. eggs are also rich in choline necessary for the baby’s brain development. If one does not like eggs, they may substitute with beef, milk or soy beans. However, one should avoid undercooked or raw eggs. They can be taken as hard boiled, or just scrambled and since they are easy to make, they are perfect for those days that your moods will just not allow you to cook a full meal. the eggs can be taken with lots of chopped vegetables and a bit of cheese.
DARK GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES: Spinach and kales being readily available in most places, in addition to other leafy vegetables, offer a lot of vitamins and minerals. They are also an important source of folic acid. These vegetables have been found to prevent eye defects. The greens may be added to a sandwich or stirred up in stews. Alternatively lightly fried veggies are a good accompaniment to rice and pasta dishes.
LEAN MEAT AND LOW FAT MILK: meat and milk are rich in protein and calcium necessary for the development of strong bones and teeth. Lean meat also contains choline. One should look for lean meats that have the fat trimmed off during purchase.
In addition to the above foods, others that are also necessary include colorful fruits, dried fruits (to help with the nausea), and whole grain products high in fibre content, fatty fish as well as nuts.
With these foods, having a healthy, complications-free pregnancy will be an easy task.