What to Eat When Pregnant: Nutritious Foods

A healthy pregnancy starts with a diet that’s filled with a variety of nutritious foods. Understanding the basics of what you should and shouldn’t put into your body when you are expecting can help you make healthier food choices for you and your baby. Here are some tips on what to eat when pregnant.

Eat a Variety of Organic Fruits and Vegetables While Pregnant

Fruits and vegetables contain some of the vitamins you need to stay healthy during pregnancy. For instance, citrus fruits contain folic acid, which helps prevent spina bifida; cauliflower contains vitamin C, which is vital for a healthy immune system; and broccoli contains the calcium you need for healthy bones.

Organic fruits and veggies are always best during pregnancy because they aren’t littered with the synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides found in industrially grown produce. When you eat fruits and vegetables that have been covered with chemicals, the toxins can cross the placenta and put your unborn baby’s health at risk.

Fruits and vegetables that are particularly prone to chemical contamination are leafy ones like spinach and lettuce, and those with thin skin. Examples of thin-skin produce include peaches, nectarines, celery, grapes, berries, potatoes and bell peppers.

Add Plenty of Seafood to Your Diet During Pregnancy

Fish is full of the omega-3 fatty acids that your baby needs for healthy brain, eye and nervous system development. This polyunsaturated fat is not only good for your baby; it also helps reduce your risk of preeclampsia, postpartum depression, cesarean birth and preterm labor.

Studies show that adequate exposure to omega-3 in the uterus can reduce the risk of behavior difficulties and developmental delays in children.

It is suggested that you get 250mg of omega-3 per day when you are expecting. Adding seafood to your diet is an excellent way to accomplish this.

Be careful when adding seafood to your pregnancy diet. Some types of fish contain high levels of mercury and can cause damage to your unborn child’s nervous system. The types of fish you should absolutely avoid when you’re pregnant include shark, king mackerel, swordfish, orange roughy and tilefish.

Limit your in take of saltwater bass, halibut, bluefin tuna, sea trout, and American lobster to three 6oz servings per month. The safest types of fish to eat during pregnancy include butterfish, anchovies, catfish, clams, tilapia, oysters, shrimp, crawfish, rock lobster, sardines, ocean perch and haddock.

Eat Organic Meats, Poultry and Eggs While Pregnant

The amino acids in protein are essential for the formation of internal organs, fingers, toes, hair, skin and nails. Your fetus is developing rapidly during the second trimester, so it’s especially important that you get enough protein in your diet during this time.

Iron is important for the production of red blood cells and to help transport oxygen through the body. If you don’t get enough iron during pregnancy, your baby will rob from your reserves and leave you weak, pale and tired.

Lean meats, eggs and poultry are chocked full of the iron and protein that your baby needs to thrive in the womb. However, animal products from industrial sources are not healthy to eat when you are pregnant. These products are littered with growth hormones and antibiotics.

The overuse of antibiotics in livestock is the primary culprit for antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. And do you really think growth hormones only make animals rotund?  Whenever possible, eat organic meats, eggs and poultry products when you’re pregnant.

There’s no secret formula to good health during pregnancy. Eating a diet that’s rich in seafood, organic produce and organic animal products can give your body what it needs to help support your growing baby’s nutritional requirements.

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