Eating a healthy diet is very important for pregnant women. During pregnancy, a woman needs more of certain nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, minerals, iron, calcium, folic acid, and iodine. What a pregnant woman eats and drinks is her baby’s main source of nourishment. Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet will ensure the health of pregnant woman and her baby. Healthy diet during pregnancy is critical to the baby’s growth and development.
Here is the list of what to eat, what to limit, and what to avoid during pregnancy:
FOODS TO EAT
- Fruits, such as apricots, pomegranates, pears, oranges, avocados, bananas, and grapes.
- Vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, cabbage, asparagus, carrots, beans, peas, pumpkin, broccoli, spinach, and other dark, leafy greens.
- Whole grain foods, such as wholegrain bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and wholegrain breakfast cereals.
- Legumes, such as lentils, peas, tofu, soybeans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, and peanuts
- Fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products, such as yoghurt and cheese.
- Lean meats containing high quality protein, such as beef pork, and chicken.
- Fully cooked eggs
- Seafood low in mercury and high in healthy fat
FOODS TO LIMIT
- Limit fish containing small amounts of mercury, such a canned light tuna, cod, and catfish to 8-12 ounces a week
- Food and drinks containing caffeine such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and colas and sodas
- Refined grains and starches, such as cookies, white bread, and some snack foods
FOODS TO AVOID
- Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or shellfish
- Undercooked ready meals, such as deli meats, smoked seafood, and hot dogs
- Mercury laden fish, such as king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, or tilefish.
- Soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie, and goat cheese
- Unpasteurized milk and milk products
- Prepared salads, such as chicken salad, ham salad, or seafood salad
- Raw sprouts, such as alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts
- Alcohol or any drink containing alcohol
- Drinks with added sugars, such as soda, fruit drinks, and energy or sports drinks.