The best foods to eat while pregnant
When you’re eating for two, mealtimes can be a minefield. It can be hard to know what you should eat to ensure you’re both getting the nutrients you need. Here are some of the best foods to eat that will help both you and your bub stay healthy.
Whether you like them boiled, poached or scrambled, eggs are a fabulous option for any mum-to-be. They’re an excellent source of protein, and are also rich in over a dozen vitamins and minerals – including folate, iron and the relatively unheard-of (but still vital) choline. Contained in the yolk, choline is critical to foetal brain development and reduces the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential during pregnancy, as they help develop your baby’s brain and eyes. Salmon is very rich in these fatty acids, and it’s also a good source of lean protein and vitamin D. While pregnant women are often warned off eating too much fish due to the potential for contaminants, just two serves of salmon a week is enough to safely achieve the recommended intake of omega-3.
You need plenty of calcium during pregnancy to keep your bones and teeth strong, and to help your baby develop theirs. Failing to consume enough of this nutrient could put you both at risk. Yoghurt is an excellent dietary source of calcium, as well as B vitamins and zinc. If you stick to plain Greek yoghurt it’s also high in protein, and some varieties even contain probiotics to help boost your digestive health.
Delicious and healthy, this humble vegetable contains an array of vitamins and minerals including iron, potassium, selenium, and B and C vitamins. They’re also high in fibre, as well as an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A once consumed. Vitamin A plays an important role in the development of your baby’s eyes, bones and skin.
Beans & Lentils
If you’re vegan, vegetarian or just don't eat a lot of meat, beans and lentils are a great option to help boost your intake of protein and iron. This will help with your baby’s muscle and tissue development, and help you avoid the all-too-common pregnancy anaemia. They’re also full of folate and calcium, as well as fibre – which can help prevent and relieve constipation.