Categories: Conditions

12 important foods in pregnancy

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Discover the 12 important foods in pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the mother needs to consume a diet of nutritious foods such as fruits, cereals, vegetables, greens, chicken, fish, among others.

One of the most important stages in a woman’s life is pregnancy, a period of 37 to 42 weeks where the pregnant woman should consume healthy foods and avoid those that may contain ingredients that will not benefit the nutrition of the fetus.  

Note: Formerly it was considered that for the fetus to receive sufficient food supplies, its mother had to feed “for two”.

Today, there are scientific arguments that demonstrate the importance of nutritional quality during pregnancy.

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During pregnancy, many opinions arise regarding what you should consume, for this reason in this article we offer you a list of foods that should be consumed in pregnancy due to their great nutritional value for the mother and the baby. 

What should be eaten during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the mother should eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, do moderate exercise, and avoid weight gain.  

You should know: During pregnancy, there is a greater probability of suffering from gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and cesarean delivery in pregnant women with high levels of weight, so it is necessary to avoid the consumption of unnecessary calories, thus you will avoid weight gain.

In this sense, an adequate balance of all the foods on this list will allow adequate nutrition to be achieved, so that the pregnant woman and her baby can obtain the necessary nutritional requirements.

1. Lean meats

They come from birds, fish, veal, rabbit, among others. They have 10% total fat compared to others.

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Lean meats are recommended to consume during pregnancy and lactation, as they allow the absorption of a large number of essential vitamins during pregnancy and lactation. 

Lean meat provides zinc, a fundamental mineral in the evolution of the fetus, iron to avoid anemia, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, fiber, and proteins, all of these allow the baby to develop healthily.

To highlight: Pregnant women should exercise caution when eating fish and shellfish, especially if they are raw or their preparation is unknown (sushi). Swordfish can contain mercury, a metal that is harmful during pregnancy.  

2. Eggs

During pregnancy, an essential food that women must consume is choline, a compound present in eggs. Choline together with folic acid plays a determining role in the development of the neural system of the embryo.

In this sense, the Cuban Encyclopedia published an article where it refers to the benefits of eggs and their important nutrients for anyone regardless of age.

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He rarely mentions special conditions that interfere with their consumption, so the consumption of eggs is important during pregnancy.

Note: Low choline intake during pregnancy can cause degenerative problems in the neural tube of the fetus. It is also important to avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs during pregnancy, as you can get salmonella.

3. Salmon

It is a fish with a high content of fatty acids and is highly recommended for a pregnant woman’s diet.

This fish is rich in vitamins A, B, and D, contains calcium, zinc, and iron, essential nutrients for the evolution of pregnancy.

These compounds are directly involved in the formation and strengthening of bones and muscles, improve brain activity, the production of hemoglobin, and transport oxygen through the placenta.

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To highlight: Salmon contains Omega 3, which is a compound that the human body is not capable of producing on its own, and is responsible for the formation and development of the baby’s brain tissue. 

4. Spinach

Spinach is green leafy rich in fiber and micronutrients, vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as iron. They prevent fluid retention, constipation, high blood sugar levels and promote eye health, with all these benefits they represent an excellent option for the pregnant woman’s diet.

You should know: The Cuban Encyclopedia, highlights the properties of spinach for pregnant women, mentioning that “Its high folate content makes them advisable in the diets of pregnant women “, also arguing that this vegetable prevents the appearance of malformations in the first weeks of gestational evolution.

5. Lentils

The lentils are legumes rich in folates. They take care of immune health and are an excellent protein source of plant origin due to their high content of folic acid, iron, potassium, and magnesium, therefore they are a necessary food during pregnancy.

In this regard, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), describes legumes as rich in folates noting that they ” are essential for the function of the nervous system and especially important during pregnancy to prevent fetal anomalies. ”

You should know: Among the most common malformations of the newborn, spina bifida and anencephaly stand out. 

6. Milk

Milk is a necessary food in the gestation process, due to its high content of calcium, vitamin D, B12, riboflavin (B2), potassium, and phosphorus. 

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Milk contains calcium, therefore it directly intervenes in the formation of the bone structure of the fetus and ensures that the pregnant woman does not suffer decalcification at the end of the period.

It is important to highlight that the adequate consumption of dairy products, soft cheeses, yogurt, among other derivatives, will allow the future mother to store reserves necessary for the lactation period.

Note: In the case of difficulty digesting lactose, the main sugar present in dairy products, there are currently a variety of products that contain fermented products, which you can easily consume.

7. Carrot

During pregnancy, the aim is for the mother to absorb the greatest amount of nutrients. In this sense, we cannot ignore the benefits of the carrot, which is a vegetable that stands out for regulating blood sugar, lowers cholesterol levels, improves eyesight and skin, among other benefits.

The carrot offers great contributions for pregnant women since it contains beta-carotene which favors eye health; It also has antioxidant vitamin E that intervenes in the appearance of cardiovascular diseases, it also contains iodine that acts at the endocrine level, promoting fetal development.

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8. Banana

Eating fruits and vegetables during pregnancy will cover a large part of the requirements that the body needs.

In this sense, the banana provides vitamins B12, B6, C, manganese, potassium, magnesium, fiber, among other nutrients.

On the other hand, the banana offers the pregnant woman a sensation of pleasure, regulates constipation, and reduces the risks of anemia.

Potassium prevents common cramps during pregnancy, prevents malformations, among other benefits.

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To highlight: The banana contains catechins, natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, also allow the release of dopamine, a substance responsible for generating a sensation of pleasure, since it avoids stress in the mother.

9. Nuts

Nuts offer multiple benefits for the pregnant woman since they are a source of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant; They have vitamins belonging to the B group (thiamine, niacin, and folic acid), as well as minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc, among others.

The intake of nuts during pregnancy reduces the risk of hypertension and gestational diabetes, it can also benefit the cognitive function and brain development of the embryo.

You should know: It is necessary to take into account that there are people with problems digesting the proteins present in this type of food, so you must take precautions when consuming them.

10. Oats

Oatmeal is a cereal that offers great nutritional contributions for pregnant women. In this sense, the carbohydrates in oats produce a feeling of satiety that will prevent overeating, maintain blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Oatmeal, in addition to protecting the intestinal mucosa, prevents constipation and fights anemia thanks to calcium, zinc, and phosphorus, which are supplements that you must ingest to achieve optimal growth of the baby.

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11. Avocado

The avocado is a fruit that stands out because it contains benign fats that can be used to the maximum during the first weeks of pregnancy. 

These fats help maintain adequate hormonal levels in the mother and benefit the development of the baby’s organs, in addition, folic acid helps the development of the neural tube of the fetus.

12. Chickpeas

Chickpea is a legume, which provides great amounts of benefits for pregnant women. These grains contain calcium, iron, and micronutrients important for the development of the fetus in the first weeks of pregnancy, and like other foods included in this list, they can prevent abnormalities at the neural tube level.

To highlight: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), points out that “Legumes have a higher protein content than cereals”, also detailing the great nutritional contribution present in foods such as cereals, fruits, and vegetables.

Key Findings

Pregnancy is a process where the mother needs to eat a diet of foods that guarantee the favorable development of the embryo. 

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This list of foods includes fruits, enriched cereals, legumes, vegetables, greens, chicken, fish, among others. 

During pregnancy, there are risks of serious health problems, so it is necessary to avoid being overweight and eat healthy foods.  

Eating healthy foods during pregnancy will allow the absorption of properties for the baby and later guarantee greater milk production during lactation.

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