When you are pregnant, your body needs special nutrition to stay healthy, and help support the growing life inside of you. Eating pregnancy foods that are rich in iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids is the most effective way to ensure a hale and hearty pregnancy.
Eat Iron-Rich Foods During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, your iron stores not only have to serve your own body’s needs, but the needs of your unborn baby as well. This nutrient is important for the body to form hemoglobin, transport oxygen to the cells, and regulate the body temperature.
Iron deficiency during pregnancy can lead to anemia. This condition can make you tired, weak, pale, and dizzy. Low levels of iron in the body during pregnancy can also cause cold hands and feet, and make you more prone to infections.
These pregnancy foods will help you maintain proper levels of iron in your body.
• organic beef
• dry beans
• turnip greens
• bok choy
• green beans
• pumpkin seeds
Eat Calcium-Rich Foods While You Are Pregnant
Calcium is important for the health of both you and your baby during pregnancy. This mineral helps with fetal development, muscle growth, and the formation of healthy teeth and bones.
If you don’t get enough calcium while you are pregnant, your baby will rob your body of its calcium stores and leave you with weakened bones. Adding plenty of calcium rich foods to your pregnancy diet can ensure your body has enough of this mineral to supply you and your fetus’ needs.
A common misconception is that dairy foods are the best sources of calcium for pregnant women.
This is not true; there are plenty of plant-based foods that are excellent sources of calcium. In fact, calcium obtained from plant-based sources are absorbed better in the body than calcium obtained from dairy sources.
Pregnancy foods that are rich in calcium include:
• green beans
• black beans
Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, you should eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help your baby’s brain, nervous system and retinas develop properly. Babies who are exposed to proper amount of omega-3 in the uterus are shown to have better attention spans and greater visual acuity than babies who were not exposed to adequate amounts of this nutrient in the womb.
It is important for pregnant mothers to get enough omega-3 in their diets because deficiency in this nutrient has been linked to preterm labor, postpartum depression, and cesarean birth.
Getting enough omega-3 in your diet can have long-term effects on your baby. Studies indicate this nutrient helps reduce the chances of developmental and behavioral problems in children later in life.
Foods rich in omega-3 include:
• organic eggs
• flaxseed oil
• dark green vegetables
Seafood is the most widely recognized source of omega-3. However, use caution when choosing the types of fish you eat as some kinds of fish contain high levels of mercury. Overexposure to mercury while you’re pregnant can make your baby vulnerable to brain damage, damage to the nervous system, learning disabilities and hearing loss.
Some types of fish to avoid during pregnancy include grouper, swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tilefish, orange roughy, and marlin.
During pregnancy, your body needs plenty of nutrients to maintain your health and support your developing fetus. Choosing foods that are rich in calcium, iron and omega-3 can give you the best chance for a healthy pregnancy.