Having a Comfortable Pregnancy
The Secret to a comfortable pregnancy? The foods you eat!
Pregnancy is a special time. Not only will the foods you eat impact the growth of your baby, it'll also influence your experience and health during the process. Here are some top foods to enjoy as you plan your pregnancy, during pregnancy and post baby!
Unsung Heroes: Vegetables and Fruits
Having fruits and vegetables provide color for half your meals is a no fail method to meeting the USDA's recommendation of 4 to 5 cups fruits and vegetables each day during pregnancy.
- Want to prevent the risk of neural tube defects for baby and help him grow efficiently? Eat plenty of folate-rich fruits and vegetables such as oranges, avocados, edamame and spinach.
- Want to minimize discomfort caused by changes in your digestion? Include plenty of fiber-rich powerhouses such as beans, legumes, pears and raspberries into your meals.
- Stay hydrated to meet your increased blood volume and baby's ever changing amniotic fluid. Crunch on foods with high-water content such as romaine lettuce, celery, watermelon and apples.
- Help minimize fluid accumulation in your feet and legs by including plenty of potassium-rich goodies to counteract excess sodium. Potassium can be found in foods like canned pureed tomatoes, baked potatoes, bananas and papaya.
- As your iron needs increase in the second half of pregnancy, pair up iron-rich foods such as broccoli and white beans with vitamin C stars like red peppers and strawberries.
- Keep your immune system strong and baby's development on par with foods packing plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A like mangos, carrots and butternut squash.
The Whole Grain
There's a reason the USDA recommends making half your daily servings of grain foods whole grain. They offer fiber which creates a sense of fullness when you eat — perfect for maintaining your energy — as well as keeping blood sugar, cholesterol and your digestive tract in check.
Eat oatmeal, whole grain toast, cereals, waffles, wraps and pancakes for your morning wake-me-up. Snack on low-sugar, whole grain granola bars and lowfat whole grain crackers and air-popped popcorn. Include whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, farro and wheat berries at lunch and dinner.
Build with Protein
Protein-rich foods provide essential building blocks for your growing body and baby. Incorporate a variety of options such as iron-rich beef, turkey and chicken, omega-3-rich salmon and tuna (limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces each week), fiber-packed lentils and beans, heart-healthy nuts and seeds and calcium-packed milk, yogurt and cheese.
Heightened blood volume and baby's constant turnover of amniotic fluid makes proper hydration by mom a must. Keep those non-sugary beverages coming with unsweetened decaffeinated iced tea, seltzer water and plain water flavored with slices of citrus fruit, cucumber or fresh berries.