List of Nutritious Foods for Pregnant Women and Their Benefits
List of Nutritious Foods for Pregnant Women and Their Benefits
Nutritious food for pregnant women is very influential on the health of the mother and the growth of the fetus. Therefore, it is important for pregnant women to know the choices of nutritious foods that can be consumed so that the fetus they conceive remains healthy.
Consumption of nutritious food for pregnant women is done so that nutritional needs during pregnancy are fulfilled properly. However, pregnant women need to pay attention to what they consume. This is because there are nutritious foods that are not allowed to be consumed during pregnancy, such as raw eggs and meat, as well as dairy products that have not gone through the pasteurization process.
Nutritious Food Options for Pregnant Women
Nutritional intake during pregnancy, both type and amount, really needs to be considered. Moreover, the need for various types of nutritional intake will increase along with gestational age.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, for example, the number of calories consumed generally does not need to be added. However, when entering the second and third trimesters, the calorie intake needed can increase to reach 340-450 calories per day.
To meet this need, pregnant women need to eat nutritious foods such as:
The first highly nutritious food that can be an option is broccoli. This green vegetable has many nutrients needed during pregnancy, such as calcium, folic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids which are good for eye health.
Broccoli also contains vitamin C which is useful for helping the body absorb iron so that it helps relieve constipation and prevents babies from being born with low weight.
Spinach is good for consumption during pregnancy, especially for young pregnant women, because it contains folic acid. Folic acid is an important nutrient needed in early pregnancy because it can help prevent birth defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida. Not only that, folic acid also plays a role in preventing the risk of preterm labor and preeclampsia.
Bananas contain vitamin B6 which is good for consumption by pregnant women in the first trimester because this vitamin can reduce nausea. In addition, bananas are also rich in potassium which is useful for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance during pregnancy.
When the gestational age enters the second trimester, pregnant women are recommended to consume avocados. Avocados are rich sources of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, and high in good fatty acids.
The good fatty acids in avocados are beneficial in helping the development of the brain, nervous system, tissues, and skin of the fetus. While the high potassium content in avocados can reduce complaints of leg cramps experienced by pregnant women.
The next nutritious food for pregnant women that is recommended to be consumed is citrus fruit. This fruit is rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. Nearly 90 percent of the content in citrus fruits is water so it can help prevent dehydration during pregnancy.
Meanwhile, the high folate content in oranges can also help the development of the brain and spinal cord in the fetus, thereby preventing the fetus from being born with defects.
Another fruit that is recommended to be consumed during pregnancy is mango. Mangoes are high in potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A. Potassium in mangoes can help maintain blood pressure and retain fluids in the body.
While vitamin A functions as an antioxidant, it helps support the development of the baby's immune system, vision, and nervous system. Mango also contains high fiber so that it can prevent constipation or constipation in pregnant women.
7. Sweet potato
Sweet potato is one of the highly nutritious foods for pregnant women which is rich in vitamin A. Adequate vitamin A needs during pregnancy is very important for the growth of fetal cells and tissues.
Apart from sweet potatoes, vitamin A can also be obtained from pumpkin, spinach, kale, mango, pumpkin, non-fat milk, to supplements. For those who take supplements, it is better to consult a gynecologist so that the dose consumed is not excessive. Because if consumed in excess, vitamin A can cause fetal defects.
Peanuts, peas, and soybeans are types of nuts that can be used as sources of folic acid, fiber, protein, iron, and calcium needed during pregnancy. These nutrients are very important for the health of the mother and fetus, especially in the first trimester.
9. Lean meat
Beef, chicken, and fish are food groups that are rich in protein. In addition, there is also iron content as an important mineral that is useful in the formation of red blood cells. Red blood cells play an important role in delivering oxygen to all cells in the body.
Therefore, pregnant women need more iron, because blood volume also increases during the pregnancy period, especially in the third trimester. Iron deficiency in early and mid-pregnancy can lead to anemia. If this happens, pregnant women are at risk for giving birth prematurely or giving birth to babies with low birth weight.
Salmon is a source of animal vitamins that must be included in a highly nutritious diet for pregnant women. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which are important for the development of the brain and eyes of the fetus.
Salmon also contains vitamin D which is good for both mother and fetus. But keep in mind, pregnant women are advised to eat salmon that is cooked first. Consumption of raw salmon, such as in sushi and sashimi, should be avoided because it can harm the growth of the fetus.
11. Dairy products
During pregnancy, consumption of foods and drinks containing protein and calcium is required to support fetal growth and development. Milk and processed products such as yogurt and cheese are good for consumption because they contain high enough protein and calcium.
Eggs are one of the foods that are recommended to be consumed during pregnancy, because they contain almost all the nutrients that the body needs. Eggs contain calories, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
In addition, eggs also contain choline, which is an important nutrient for brain health and fetal development. However, pregnant women should not eat undercooked eggs because of the risk of carrying germs that can be harmful to the health of the mother and fetus.
13. Dried fruit
Dried fruit is high in fiber, calories, and various vitamins and minerals. One dried fruit usually contains the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, though without the water content and in a smaller form.
There are many dried fruits that can be beneficial for health, such as raisins, dates, pineapples, jujubes, and figs. One that is easy to get and good for pregnant women is dates. Dates contain fiber, potassium, and iron. Regular consumption of dates in the third trimester helps dilate the cervix and lowers the risk of induction at the time of labour.
However, pregnant women are not recommended to consume more than one serving of dried fruit at each meal. The reason is because dried fruit contains high sugar.
14. Drink enough water
Water is one of the things that must be consumed a lot during pregnancy. The reason is, the blood volume of pregnant women will increase by 45 percent compared to before. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to consume no less than 2.3 liters of water per day.
This is important to do so that the balance of body fluids is maintained so as to avoid dehydration. Drinking enough water can also help prevent pregnant women from getting constipation and urinary tract infections. Pregnant women can also get fluid intake from various fruits and vegetables, such as radishes.
Make sure that nutritious food for pregnant women is presented in the daily diet that is consumed so that the health of the mother and fetus is well supported. In addition, do not forget to regularly consult an obstetrician so that the health of the mother and fetus is continuously monitored until delivery arrives.