Best Foods and Supplements for a Healthy Pregnancy
As we all know, a healthy diet during pregnancy will determine how healthy your baby will be. Understanding the major nutrients you need and from where they can be source. Along with taking the right amount will no doubt promote the growth of your baby. While there’s no magic formula for a healthy diet during pregnancy, the basics still remain taking plenty fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats. Nevertheless, there are those nutrients that deserve special recognition. Here, we shall discuss the best foods and supplements for a healthy pregnancy.
Folate and folic acid
Folate is an important B complex vitamin that helps to prevent the risks of neural tube defects. This causes serious abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. The synthetic form of folate is folic acid and is found in fortified foods and supplements. Folic acid supplements have been shown to help reduce the risks of premature births. A pregnant mother will need about 400mcg of folic acid or folate before and throughout pregnancy.
Natural sources of folic acid or folate include cereal, leafy green vegetables, dried beans and peas and citrus fruits. Daily prenatal vitamins should be taken along with these healthy foods. Starting from about three months before conception. Women hoping to become pregnant should take a daily supplement containing folic acid.
Calcium for bone strengthening
Both you and your baby will need this for bone and teeth strengthening. Calcium also helps the circulatory, nervous and muscular systems run smoothly. While pregnant mothers would need about 1000mg of calcium daily, pregnant teenagers may need as high as 1300mg. Dairy products are great sources of calcium as well as are non-dairy sources like kale and broccoli. Many fortified cereals contain calcium too, as well as fruit juices.
Vitamin D – Promotes bone strength
Vitamin D is also needed for bone development. These nutrients help to develop the baby’s bones and teeth. With 600 international units of Vitamin D required daily. Vitamin D sources include fatty fishes such as salmon, fortified milk, eggs as well as orange juice. The article just below tells you how to get your RDA of Vitamin D.
Other important nutrients from supplements include iron, choline, probiotic, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are needed for optimal health of mother and child before, during and after conception. In general, you should look out for foods such as fresh leafy vegetables and fresh fruits. Also organic free-range eggs as the egg yolk contains choline which is important for fetal development.
Wild-caught salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids DHA & EPA which are greatly important in neurological and physiological development of the fetus. Salmon is also rich in iodine, choline as well as a host of other essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. You should also consume organic meats, Greek yogurt or kefir, beans, lentils, and grains. These are highly nutritious and will provide an expectant mother with the right amount of nutrients to bolster both the mother as well as the baby’s health.
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