There are certain foods that you should definitely consider eating during pregnancy. Certain foods are rich in the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy and you should try to incorporate these into your diet, where possible.
Yoghurt is rich in calcium and certain varieties are also fortified with vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for healthy bones in both mother and baby.
Berries are full of nutrients including vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for both the mother’s and baby’s immunity. Vitamin C helps with the mother’s absorption of iron, and fibre can help prevent constipation, a common problem in pregnancy.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, the form of vitamin A found in vegetables. Vitamin A is essential for the development of the baby’s heart, eyes and brain. The intake of vitamin A from animal sources needs to be limited during pregnancy as high levels can damage an unborn baby. However this is not the case for beta-carotene.
The intake of oily fish like salmon does need to be limited during pregnancy, but they definitely shouldn’t be avoided completely. Oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are vital for the development of the baby’s brain.
Broccoli, along with most green vegetables, is a good source of folate, which is essential for the development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Oats are high in fibre and low in fat. Unlike some of the other carbohydrate-rich foods, oats release their energy slowly which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Pulses such as beans, lentils and peas are a great source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Healthy fats are an essential part of all diets. Rapeseed oil is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and has the lowest saturated fat content of all oils. It is also a great source of the antioxidant, vitamin E. Unlike many other oils, it also contains some omega-3 fats and can be heated to reasonably high temperatures making it suitable for cooking.
Dried apricots are a convenient snack and are a good source of folic acid, iron and fibre.
Water is needed to keep the body properly hydrated, to maintain energy levels and to avoid constipation.