healthy-foods-for-pregnant-women

There is no better feeling than the ‘moment’ of life inside you. With this joy comes the huge responsibility of two lives one is you and other is yet to be born. When you are surrounded by excitement, anxiety and daydreaming, you need to be careful that everything you do or eat will impact the baby inside you. While you are looking for maternity clothes and baby cradles, we are here to advise you with nutritional foods for pregnant women. Yes, the food you take is the source of nourishment for the baby and healthy food intake is the most important thing. Here we have listed 21 best nutritional foods for pregnant women which cover what to eat, what to limit, and what to avoid. All the suggested food items are listed with accurate nutrition value. In India, most women suffer from anemia in pregnancy, which basically occurs by the deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals like B6, B12, folate, riboflavin, and more. Therefore whenever you are ready to prepare a meal for you, know what you are eating. Enrich your food with the goodness of veggies, protein, dairy products, and more.  

What to Eat During Pregnancy?

1. Bell Pepper

Bell pepper is rich source of vitamin C and potassium. Red, green and yellow bell pepper is readily available in market. It is very helpful for you to control high blood pressure. There crunchy texture will also reduce crave for chips and wafers. You can eat it in salad or slight sauté to add in any dish you like.

Nutrition Value (Green bell pepper)

Total Energy20 Calories
 Amount (per 100g)
Total Fat0.2 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium3 mg
Potassium175 mg
Total Carbohydrate4.6 g
Sugar2.4 g
Protein0.9 g
VitaminsVitamin A (7%), Vitamin C (134%), Vitamin B-6 (10%)
MineralsCalcium                (1%), Iron (1%), Magnesium (2%)

2. Green Leafy Vegetables

The second in the list of healthy foods for pregnant women are green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, etc. have all the important nutrients that pregnant women should have. Fiber, Vitamin C, K, A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium are key nutrients found in GLV’S. Green leafy vegetables are also packed with antioxidants and plant-based compound that strengthens the immune system and digestion. Since most of the GLV’s have a high content of fiber; thus, they act as a perfect remedy for constipation. It also reduces the low birth weight providing the ideal weight to the fetus.

Nutrition Value (Spinach)

Total Energy5 Calories
 Amount (per 30g)
Total Fat0 g         
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium25 mg
Potassium167 mg
Total Carbohydrate1 g
Sugar0 g
Protein1 g
VitaminsVitamin A (60%), Vitamin C (15%)
MineralsCalcium (2%), Iron (4%), Magnesium (2%)

3. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a good source of Beta-Carotene, which is a plant compound that is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for growth and foetal development. Pregnant women should increase the intake of Vitamin A in their diet by up to 40 %. However, they should not consume high amounts of animal-based sources of Vitamin A, which might lead to toxicity if eaten in the excess. Thus, Beta-Carotene is useful to add pregnant women’s diets. Also, they are a good source of fiber which offers satiety level and reduces blood sugar spikes.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy114 Calories
 Amount per cup (133 g)
Total Fat0.1 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium73.2 mg
Potassium448 mg
Total Carbohydrate26.8 g
Sugar5.6 g
Protein2.1 g
Fiber4 g
Water103g
VitaminsVitamin A (377%), Vitamin C (5%), Vitamin K (3%)
MineralsCalcium (4%), Iron (5%), Magnesium (8%)

4. Berries

Berries have a sufficient amount of water, vitamin C, healthy carbs, antioxidants, and fiber. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron and is important for better immune function and skin health. Moreover, berries are snacks as they have the right amount of fiber and water. They offer most of the nutrients with relatively low calories. You can pick any berry of your choice like cranberry, blueberry or strawberry.

Nutrition Value (Ripe strawberries)

Total Energy32 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat0.3 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium1 mg
Potassium153 mg
Total Carbohydrate7.7 g
Sugar4.9 g
Protein0.7 g
Fiber2 g
Water90.9g
VitaminsVitamin A (0%), Vitamin C (98%), Vitamin E (1%), Vitamin K (3%), Folate (6%)
MineralsCalcium                (2%), Iron (2%), Magnesium (3%)

5. Carrots

The color of carrot tells that they are packed with beta-carotene which is good source of Vitamin A for our body. This is one of the powerful pregnancy foods. You can simple munch on it or shred and eat as salad. If your are craving for sweets, you can also make gajar halwa ( carrot sweet dish).

Nutrition Value

Total Energy41 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat0.2 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium69 mg
Potassium12 mg
Total Carbohydrate9.6 g
Sugar4.7 g
Protein0.9 g
Fiber2.8 g
Water88.3 g
VitaminsVitamin A (334%), Vitamin C (10%), Vitamin E (3%), Vitamin K (16%), Vitamin B6 (7%)
MineralsCalcium                (3%), Iron (2%), Magnesium (3%)

6. Avocados

Avocados contain Monod saturated fatty acids, fiber Vitamin B, potassium, Vitamin K, and healthy fats, which makes them one of the best foods for pregnant women. Good fat helps in building the skin, tissues, and brain of the fetus and would also prevent the tube defect. Avocados are also a rich source of potassium, which helps to relieve leg cramps. This is one of the superfoods to Improve immune system in pregnancy.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy160 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat14.7 g   
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium7 mg
Potassium485 mg
Total Carbohydrate8.5 g
Sugar0.7 g
Protein2 g
Fiber6.7 g
Water73.2g
VitaminsVitamin A (3%), Vitamin C (17%), Vitamin E (10%), Vitamin B6 (13%), Folate (20%)
MineralsCalcium (1%), Iron (3%), Magnesium (7%), Zinc (4%)

7. Pomegranate

Rich in potassium and vitamin C, this fruits is one of the most recommended foods for pregnant women. It plays an important role to improve haemoglobin count in your blood. Therefore, try to eat pomegranate daily in little quantity so that your baby grows well inside you. 

Nutrition Value

Total Energy83 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat1.2 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium3 mg
Potassium236 mg
Total Carbohydrate18.7 g
Sugar13.7 g
Protein1.7 g
Fiber4 g
Water77.9g
VitaminsVitamin A (0%), Vitamin C (17%), Vitamin k (21%), Folate (10%)
MineralsCalcium (1%), Iron (2%), Magnesium (3%), Phosphorus (4%)

8. Banana

Bananas are packed with iron that helps to boost hemoglobin. Also, it is a quick remedy for nausea and vomiting, which are common during pregnancy. On top of it, this fruit is also a great source of folic acid that helps in the development of the baby’s nervous system. Other benefits which make banana one of the healthy foods for pregnant women are – it prevents constipation, are a rich source of antioxidants, increases the appetite and boost digestion.

Nutrition Value (Ripe Banana)

Total Energy89 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat0.3 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium1 mg
Potassium358 mg
Total Carbohydrate22.8 g
Sugar12.2 g
Protein1.1 g
Fiber2.6 g
Water74.9g
VitaminsVitamin A (1%), Vitamin C (15%), Vitamin E (1%), Vitamin B6 (18%), Folate (5%)
MineralsCalcium                (1%), Iron (1%), Magnesium (7%)

9. Pulses

A pregnant woman must include legumes in her diet. Legumes are great plant-based sources of fiber, iron, protein, folate, and calcium. All these nutrients are more needed during pregnancy. A folate is a form of Vitamin B essential during pregnancy as it reduces the risk of birth diseases and defects. One should have enough folate, especially during the first trimester. Insufficient folate intake can lead to a weak immune system.

Nutrition Value (Black gram)

Total Energy164 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat2.6 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium243 mg
Potassium291 mg
Total Carbohydrate27.4 g
Sugar4.8 g
Protein8.9 g
Fiber7.6 g
Water60.2 g
VitaminsVitamin A (1%), Vitamin C (2%), Vitamin K (5%), Thiamin (8%), Folate (43%)
MineralsCalcium                (5%), Iron (16%), Magnesium (12%), Phosphorus (17%)

10. Eggs

Eggs are one of the healthy foods for pregnant women because it contains all the essential nutrients. A medium-sized egg has 77 calories, along with high-quality protein, fat minerals, and vitamins. In addition to this, eggs are an excellent source of chlorine. Chlorine is important for the development of the brain and other body parts. On the other hand, a low intake of the choline during pregnancy can increase the risk of neural tube defect and might reduce the functioning of the brain in a fetus. One egg has 113 mg of choline that is almost sufficient for pregnant women.

Nutrition Value(White egg)

Total Energy143 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat9.9 g      
Cholesterol423 mg
Sodium140 mg
Potassium134 mg
Total Carbohydrate0.8 g
Sugar0.8 g
Protein12.6 g
Fiber0 g
Water75.8 g
VitaminsVitamin A (10%), Vitamin D (9%), Vitamin B12 (22%), Folate (12%), Riboflavin (28%)
MineralsCalcium                (5%), Iron (10%), Magnesium (3%), Phosphorus (19%), Selenium (45%)

11. Cheese

The pregnant women are asked to increase her protein and calcium intake. Most of the dairy products serve this purpose. However, cheese is surprisingly healthy food that most women would not know. You can add to your favourite dishes and add goodness of vitamin B, zinc, Vitamin A and more.

Nutrition Value (Mozzarella Cheese)

Total Energy300 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat22.4 g   
Cholesterol79 mg
Sodium627 mg
Potassium67 mg
Total Carbohydrate2.2 g
Sugar1 g
Protein22.2 g
Fiber0 g
Water50 g
VitaminsVitamin A (14%), Vitamin B12 (38%), Folate (12%), Riboflavin (17%)
MineralsCalcium                (51%), Iron (2%), Magnesium (5%), Phosphorus (35%), Selenium (24%)

12. Salmon

Salmon is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids that increase blood levels of DHA and EPA. Moreover, salmon is also a natural source of Vitamin D. It is required for many processes in the body, which includes immune function and bone health. Omega-3 fatty acids also help in building the brain and eyes of the fetus. However, pregnant women should have it twice a week since it has mercury and some other contaminants present in the fatty fish.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy116 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat3.5 g      
Cholesterol52 mg
Sodium67 mg
Potassium323 mg
Total Carbohydrate0 g
Sugar0 g
Protein19.9 g
Fiber0 g
Water50 g
VitaminsVitamin A (2%), Vitamin B12 (50%), Thiamin (11%), Niacin (35%), Riboflavin (17%)
MineralsCalcium                (1%), Iron (4%), Magnesium (6%), Phosphorus (23%), Selenium (64%)

13. Fish Liver Oil

Fish liver oil is made of the oily liver of fish, which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid DHA and EPA that is important for eye and brain development. Furthermore, fish liver oil is also a high source of Vitamin D. Low intake of vitamin D could lead to increased high blood pressure, swelling in feet, and hand. However, one should not consume more than one serving per day, as it could result in blood thinning.

Nutrition Value (cod liver oil)

Total Energy1967 Calories
 Amount as per 1 cup (128 g)
Total Fat218 g     
Cholesterol1243 mg
 Total Omega-3 fatty acids43024 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids2038 mg
Total Carbohydrate0 g
Sugar0 g
Protein0 g
Fiber0 g
Water0 g
VitaminsVitamin A (4361%), Vitamin D (5451%)
MineralsCalcium                (0%), Iron (0%), Magnesium (0%),

14. Fresh Chicken

Rich in Protein, Riboflavin and many more mineral and vitamin, fresh chicken is good pregnancy food. It will give you nutrient without making you compromise on taste. Chicken is one of the nutritional foods for pregnant women.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy93.6 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat3 g         
Cholesterol62.4 mg
Sodium67.1 mg
Potassium179 mg
Total Carbohydrate0 g
Sugar0 g
Protein15.7 g
Fiber0 g
Water59.4 g
VitaminsVitamin A (1%), Vitamin B6 (13%), Thiamin (4%), Niacin (24%), Riboflavin (9%)
MineralsCalcium                (1%), Iron (4%), Magnesium (4%), Phosphorus (13%), Selenium (15%)

15. Lean Meat

Owing to its benefits and nutrients support, lean meat is one of the healthy foods for pregnant women. Lean meat such as pork, beef, and chicken are excellent sources of high-quality protein.  Moreover, beef and pork are also a good source of choline, iron and B Vitamins that are needed in the significant amount during the pregnancy Iron is one of the crucial minerals that is part of hemoglobin and circulates oxygen to all the body parts. Pregnant women need an additional quantity of iron since the blood volume starts increasing, especially during the third trimester. Low levels of iron can also lead to anaemia amongst pregnant women.

Nutrition Value (Goat meat)

Total Energy234 Calories
 Amount  (per 100 g)
Total Fat11.1 g   
Cholesterol109 mg
Sodium135 mg
Potassium409 mg
Total Carbohydrate0.1 g
Sugar0 g
Protein33.4 g
Fiber0 g
Water54 g
VitaminsVitamin E (4%), Vitamin B6 (19%), Vitamin B12 (74%), Thiamin (4%), Niacin (33%), Riboflavin (18%)
MineralsCalcium                (1%), Iron (26%), Magnesium (84%), Phosphorus (27%), Selenium (54%)

16. Quinoa

Whole grain is also one of the healthy foods for pregnant women because it helps them to meet their increases in calorie intake. Whole grains have vitamins, fiber, and plant compounds that are essential during pregnancy. Whole grains like quinoa and oats have a fair amount of protein, Vitamin B, fiber, and magnesium, which should be primarily part of pregnant women’s diet. It is good breakfast for diabetics as well.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy120 Calories
 Amount per cup (133 g)
Total Fat1.9 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium7 mg
Potassium172 mg
Total Carbohydrate12.3 g
Sugar0 g
Protein4.4 g
Fiber2.8 g
Water71.6 g
VitaminsVitamin E (3%), Vitamin B6 (6%), Folate (10%)
MineralsCalcium (2%), Iron (8%), Magnesium (16%), Manganese (32%), copper (10%), Zinc (7%)

17. Oats

Oats are a great source of energy. A small serving of oats carries sufficient carbohydrates and calories that boost the energy. They are also a good source of other nutrients like vitamins, folic acid, and iron that are beneficial for the fetus.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy68 Calories
 Amount per cup (133 g)
Total Fat1.4 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium49 mg
Potassium61 mg
Total Carbohydrate12.3 g
Sugar0.5 g
Protein2.4 g
Fiber1.7 g
Water84 g
VitaminsVitamin A (12%), Vitamin B6 (14%), Folate (11%) Thiamin (17%), Niacin (15%)
MineralsCalcium                (8%), Iron (33%), Magnesium (6%), Manganese (28%), copper (3%), Zinc (4%)

18. Beans

Beans are one of the must-eat food for pregnant women because they are an excellent source of iron, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and fatty acids that should be present in pregnant women’s diet.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy225 Calories
 Amount (per 100 g)
Total Fat0.9 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium421 mg
Potassium713 mg
Total Carbohydrate40.4 g
Sugar0.6 g
Protein15.3 g
Fiber11.3 g
Water118 g
VitaminsVitamin C (4%), Vitamin B6 (11%), Folate (58%) Thiamin (19%), Niacin (5%)
MineralsCalcium                (5%), Iron (29%), Magnesium (20%), Manganese (42%), copper (21%), Zinc (13%)

19. Yogurt

A pregnant woman should consume an extra amount of protein and calcium to feed her growing fetus. Dairy products have two types of high- quality protein, which is called casein and whey. Also, dairy is an excellent source of calcium. It also provides a high amount of vitamins B, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. Plain yogurt is one of the most nutritional food for pregnant women.

Nutrition Value

Total Energy149 Calories
 Amount per cup (245 g)
Total Fat8 g         
Cholesterol31.9 mg
Sodium113 mg
Potassium380 mg
Total Carbohydrate11.4 g
Protein8.5 g
Fiber0 g
Water215 g
VitaminsVitamin A (5%), Vitamin B6 (11%), Vitamin B12 (15%), Folate (4%) Thiamin (5%)
MineralsCalcium (30%), Iron (1%), Magnesium (7%), Phosphorus (23%), copper (21%), Zinc (13%), Selenium (8%)

20. Nuts

Nuts are the healthiest snack you can much on. It helps to improve vitamin and mineral intake which is essential for the fetus. You can also mix nuts with super seeds like flax or chia seeds. The crunchy snack is filling and healthy too.

Nutrition Value (Almond)

Total Energy546 Calories
 Amount (per 100 g)
Total Fat47 g       
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium1 mg
Potassium670 mg
Total Carbohydrate20.6 g
Protein20.2 g
Fiber11.6 g
Water4.5 g
VitaminsVitamin E (125%), Vitamin B6 (7%), Folate (12%) Thiamin (13%), Niacin (16%), Riboflavin (57%)
MineralsCalcium                (25%), Iron (20%), Magnesium (64%), Phosphorus (46%), copper (47%), Zinc (20%), Manganese (109%)

21. Dried fruits

Dry fruits are packed with calories, vitamins, fiber, and minerals. One serving of the dried fruit provides a needed amount of all the important nutrients, including iron, potassium, and folate. Dry fruits like prunes are a rich source of fiber, and Vitamin K. Prunes are a natural laxative and helps to treat constipation as well. Other dry fruits like date are a good source of potassium, fiber, and iron. Pregnant women must add dates in her diet, especially during the third trimester, as it would lower down the need to induce labor pain. However, dry fruits have sugar as well. So avoid candy form of dry fruits.

Nutrition Value (Raisin)

Total Energy299 Calories
 Amount (per 100 g)
Total Fat0.5 g      
Cholesterol0 mg
Sodium11 mg
Potassium749 mg
Total Carbohydrate79.2 g
Protein3.1 g
Fiber3.7 g
Water15.4 g
VitaminsVitamin C (4%), Vitamin B6 (9%), Vitamin B12 (15%), Thiamin (7%), Riboflavin (7%)
MineralsCalcium                (5%), Iron (10%), Magnesium (8%), Phosphorus (10%), copper (16%), Manganese (15%)

Food to Limit During Pregnancy

Every pregnant woman has to be very cautious of the food they eat and what she should limit. Even though when we know that something is bad for the baby we should simply avoid it but there are some food which is less harmful then what people make it sound. 

  • Sea or deep water fish
  • Coffee in any form

Food to Avoid During Pregnancy

There is some food which is very harmful for the life inside you. The below listed can cause great damage to the fetus and at most it could be the reason of miscarriage. To save you from the negative effect of food intake, we have listed some food items you should completely avoid. We should be careful that whatever we eat is fresh. You can also look for grocery hacks to make your groceries last longer and fresher.

  • Alcohol
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Raw or Undercooked meat
  • High mercury level fish
  • Canned food with high preservatives
  • Stale food

Conclusion

Pregnancy is one of the beautiful phases of women’s life where she deserves to be happy and taken care of. The pregnancy diet is one of the crucial aspects as it affects the development of the baby inside. There are certain foods like oats, banana, green leafy vegetables, eggs, and others that must –eat foods for pregnant women. In this phase you have to take the best care of yourself, many prefer to take naturopathy to keep the mind in peace you can consider doing the same. Also, we understand that your growing wait would be a concern for you but don’t follow weight-loss diets now. When you hold your baby in hand then you can look for home remedies to lose weight. For now, it’s okay to flaunt your baby bump and embrace your motherhood.

FAQs

1. What foods should pregnant avoid?

You should avoid papaya, alcohol, fish with high mercury content and other food items listed above.

2. What foods are safe during pregnancy?

Pregnancy diet should include green leafy vegetables, good amount of proteins and vital vitamins and minerals. Read the above blog to know what food items to avoid and what to limit.

3. Which fruit is good for pregnancy?

You can eat banana, pomegranate, apple and other fruits.

4. Is Apple good for pregnancy?

Yes, Apple is rich source of iron; you should eat it during pregnancy.

5. Is banana good for a pregnant woman?

Yes banana is recommended by nutritionists for the pregnant women.

6. Which food can cause miscarriage?

Food items like papaya, chicken liver, pineapple can cause miscarriage.

7. What can I do to make my baby beautiful during pregnancy?

All babies are beautiful but to make the baby healthy, you can increase fruit and nuts intake.

8. In which month of pregnancy baby brain develops?

Brain of a baby starts developing in 3 weeks of pregnancy.

9. What food is good for baby brain development during pregnancy?

You can increase the intake of almonds and walnuts to help the brain of your baby develop during pregnancy.

10. What are the signs of a healthy pregnancy?

Right blood pressure, right sugar level, right placenta position, you gaining the right weight ia all signs of healthy pregnancy.

11. How can I make my baby intelligent during pregnancy?

Every baby is wonderfully made. But you can help baby’s brain development by taking more almonds and walnuts in your diet.

12. Is milk good for pregnancy?

Yes milk is good for pregnancy as it is rich source of calcium. You can read about other dairy product in the blog which is good pregnancy diet.

13. Can I eat pineapple during pregnancy?

You should completely avoid the intake of pineapple as it can cause miscarriage.

14. Is Grapes safe during pregnancy?

Yes, grapes are safe for pregnancy as it has good source of Vitamin B12. You can also take dry fruits like raisins.

15. Can you eat prawns when pregnant?

Yes you can comfortably eat prawns only if it is well cooked and cleaned.

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