To provide essential nutrients to the baby that will aid in its growth and development expectant mothers are required to eat healthily. Pregnancy nutrition is quite a broad topic, and the foods that you should include in your diet must be rich in folic acid, calcium, protein, iron, potassium, essential vitamins and more. Also, during pregnancy, weight gain is important; you need to eat an average of 300 extra calories a day. Thus, let’s check out the basic food groups that you should eat along with foods that you should avoid.

Best Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

  • Vegetables: Especially, dark green leafy vegetables are a powerhouse of essential vitamins and nutrients. Some of the vegetables to eat during pregnancy is kale, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots and more. These provide you with folate (folic acid), vitamin A, fibre, iron which helps prevent constipation and reduces the risk of low birth weight.
  • Fruits: There are plenty of fresh fruits that you can include in your pregnancy diet, such as kiwis, berries, apricot, banana, oranges, apples, avocados, etc. Oranges provide Vitamin C that prevents cell damage, whereas avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin K, C, and E, which prevents neural tube defects. Likewise, bananas have high fibre content while berries are a good source of antioxidants that help boost the immune system.
  • Legumes: Offering nutrients like iron, protein, folate, zinc, calcium and fiber; legumes are one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy. Soya beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, green peas and lentils are some of the legumes that are recommended during pregnancy.
  • Fish and Lean Meat: While fish provides DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) and high-quality protein, lean meat offers vitamin B12, iron, calcium and zinc. During pregnancy, you can eat salmon and sardines as they help in the development of the baby’s brain and eyes. Whereas, lean meat helps your body to absorb iron and assist in the development of the baby’s brain, muscle and nerve.

Foods To Avoid Eat During Pregnancy

  • Unpasteurised Milk, Cheese, and Fruit Juice: While dairy products are a rich source of calcium, unpasteurised (raw) milk, cheese, and fruit juice can contain harmful bacteria (salmonella) which can affect the health of the fetus and lead to food poisoning.
  • Raw and Unwashed Food Products: These may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, so it is best to avoid them and only consume thoroughly washed and cooked veggies, fruits, sprouts, meat and eggs.
  • Sugar-sweetened and Canned Foods: These can hamper foetal growth and lead to excess weight gain during pregnancy. So, it is best to avoid them and instead only eat freshly cooked healthy food.

For more information on pregnancy nutrient, check out this guide.

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