Eating healthy is paramount to living a healthy life; but the most important time to adopt healthy eating habits is when a woman is with child. Not only is she eating for her own well being, but for the well being of her unborn child. I think we can all agree that the responsibility of growing life should not be taken lightly. Today’s guest post highlights the foods to eat while pregnant and why. So whether you are cooking a baby right now, or plan on it in the future- this post is for you!
Foods to Eat While Pregnant
Most pregnant women want to do all they can to make sure they are providing optimal nutrition for both themselves and their baby. A recent study conducted in the United States tested the umbilical cords of hundreds of newborn infants and the results were shocking; within the cellular composition of these tissues doctors and researchers were able to find anywhere from 90 to 100 different forms of toxins and pollutants. While environmental factors do have some effect on the results of this study, the largest contributing factor was the diet of the mother during pregnancy. Now more than ever it is important for pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant to have ideal nutritional intake for the growth and the development of their unborn baby.
When making the choice to change your diet to reflect a healthier, more natural spectrum, remember that the closer to nature the better. Many mothers are excellent consumers of prenatal vitamins and nutrition and I believe that these sources of nutrition are very helpful, but don’t forget the meaning in the word, supplement. These sources of nutrition should not be the final authority on your baby’s health.
The first step you should take is to remember quality, not quantity. Most expectant mothers can overdo it in the intake department, letting their pregnancy cravings get the best of them. Let’s face it, we’ve all had that friend that says, “I’m eating for two”, and proceeds to pig out on everything imaginable. The average additional caloric intake for an expectant mother is only 300 to 400 more calories a day. A safe rule of thumb if you are ever questioning a particular food is to ask, “is it high in protein and calcium and low in fat and sodium?” While this may not be achievable for every item out there, it’s a great place to start.
Below I have listed some amazing; raw foods that will not only aid to your own healthy lifestyle, but that will simultaneously assist your baby in achieving optimal growth and optimal nutrition.
- Beans, Beans the Magical Fruit
Beans are one of the best sources of nutrition for an expectant mother. However you choose to dress them up, beans provide you and your baby high amounts of folate, calcium, protein and zinc. Try to get them from your bulk foods sections and avoid canned varieties as they have tons of added preservatives and sodium.
Recipe Tip: Turn those tasty garbanzo beans into a delicious hummus. You’ll have to soak them a few days in advanced but as soon as you taste this raw spin on a classic Mediterranean treat, you won’t think twice about the prep time.
(Recipe source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/raw-hummus/)
- A Berry Good Time
Berries, while not just incredibly delicious are packed with tons of nutrients for mommy and baby. “Phytonutrients which are naturally occurring in most berries, act as a shield for the cells of your growing baby’s body, protecting them from all sorts of damage. Berries are also a great source of fiber and beneficial carbohydrates.
Recipe Tip: Throw an assorted selection of berries and nuts together to make yourself a delicious berry crumble that will both satisfy your sweet tooth and aid in your nutrition.
(Recipe source: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2689)
- Broccoli for the Baby
This amazing super food is a great arsenal to add to your pregnancy diet for its many benefits, but particularly for the carotenoids. Carotenoids are a naturally occurring substance in most leafy greens that help protect the eye from harmful UV rays and can be a great early armor for your child in the prevention of macular degeneration later in life.
Recipe Tip: Broccoli can be tough to eat alone so pair it with a great salad and other yummy raw ingredients . I suggest this Thai version, its easy, requires little prep time and tastes great!
In addition to what is listed here, there are hundreds of other great foods that will benefit an expectant mother. Research and see what information you can stumble across on your own, pave the groundwork slowly and you will be left with a lasting foundation for both you and your baby-to-be.
Trisha Jefford has worked a variety of jobs across the food service industry from waiting tables to being a personal chef. She is a wife and mother of two wonderful girls who put up with all of her whacky taste testing. Trisha currently blogs and writes for EZ Cater a site specializing in finding you the perfect corporate caterer