Healthy Foods For Mom And Baby

If you are pregnant, you want to take every step you can toward delivering a healthy, happy baby. That means keeping yourself healthy and eating the right foods. You will find several foods on the grocery aisles that are excellent for the expecting mother; many that you have probably never thought to try before now. You have probably never tried these foods because you did not know they were so good for you and your baby.

You will not hear most obstetricians recommending sesame seed to their patients, nor will you find a good old spelt snack recipe in your average pregnancy book. A number of inexpensive foods are available all year long, and they are easy to prepare so there is no extra time on your feet in the kitchen.

Frozen blueberries

Most of the nutrition content of blueberries is retained when they are frozen. Be sure to eat wild blueberries to get double the amount of antioxidants that you would get from blueberries that are grown conventionally. Try blending a few blueberries with some plain yogurt and top with chopped almonds for a great treat.

Kidney beans

Kidney beans are great to eat all of the time, but especially if you are pregnant. They are packed full of antioxidants, fiber iron and protein. When a woman becomes pregnant, her blood volume expands, causing a need for additional iron so the body can efficiently produce more hemoglobin. Additionally, research indicates that iron is essential to the cognitive development of your baby. Mix them in with your soup or even in your salad.

Plain yogurt

One serving of plain yogurt can provide a quarter of your daily requirements for calcium, protein and many other minerals and vitamins. Buy the brands that are labeled as "live cultures" because they contain the healthy bacteria that expectant mothers need for smooth digestion. Stay away from the fruit flavored yogurts because they are packed with sugar. Add fresh fruit or honey at home to your plain yogurt for a sweet treat.

Sardines

Sardines are rich in healthy Omega-3s, which are essential for the development of your baby's eyes and brain. Sardines are low in mercury, so they are safer than the large ocean fish. Buy the sardines that are packed in their original oil or in olive oil. Try them on a cracker with a little Dijon mustard or add them to your salad for great flavor.

Sesame seeds

Many people do not realize that sesame seeds are loaded with calcium that you baby needs for proper bone development. Sprinkle a few in your salad; add them to plain yogurt or over stir-fry. You can also use a sesame seed paste known as tahini in the foods that you prepare.

Spelt

Similar to wheat, but tougher on the outside, spelt is full of nutrients. Spelt also digests easier than wheat. Constipation is a common problem for most pregnant women. Spelt is high in fiber and will have a positive effect. Cook and mix with steamed vegetables, or make some bread out of spelt flour.

Swiss chard

This is a leafy green vegetable that is full of beta-carotene, which your baby needs for proper tissue and cell development. In addition, it is also a great source of Vitamin C, which is essential for your baby's teeth and bones as well as connective tissue. Even better, it is full of iron. Chop it up finely and sauté it in olive oil and sprinkle on a few toasted sesame seeds. You can also try adding it to your vegetable minestrone soup.

Wheat bran

Research indicates that wheat bran is helpful with the management of gestational diabetes, as well as additional fiber to ease constipation. Try some bran muffins to curb your cravings.

Barley beans

Barely beans are a great source of folic acid, which helps prevent neural tube defects such as spinal bifida, cleft lip and many other congenital malformations.

Muesli

Muesli is a good way to add more iron to your diet to help the body produce enough blood to properly supply the placenta.

Make room for these foods in your regular diet and both you and your baby will benefit greatly.

For more on pregnancy nutrition

Eating fish during pregnancy may help mood
10 foods pregnant women should avoid
A mommy-to-be menu you need: Satisfy your cravings

Tags: fish foods healthy


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