By Mariel Uyquiengco
When a pregnant woman eats, she does so not only for herself but for the growing little one in her tummy too. Pregnancy is the time when women are (or should be) careful of what they put in their bodies. A list of the best food for pregnant women, then, is in order.
Packed with the necessary nutrients, the following power foods to include in your pregnancy diet will deliver what you and your baby need. Though nausea is common in the first stage of pregnancy and dampens the appetite, you will eventually find your eating groove. So get ready!
Broccoli can be enjoyed in so many ways that including it in your pregnancy diet is easy. Steam it, and eat it on its own with or without a dip, stir-fry it for a full dish, or toss it into pasta for a complete meal.
Why is it good for you? Broccoli contains a lot of vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron when eaten together with iron-rich foods like brown rice, red meat, and prunes. Calcium and folate are plenty in broccoli too.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene that the body converts to Vitamin A, which in turn plays a big part in the baby’s physical development.
Carrots make for a good snack-on-the-go – slice, freeze, and make your favorite dip to go along with it. But you can also grate them finely and include them in anything you can think of. Top your soup and salad, bake breads, muffins, and cakes too!
Soybeans, also called edamame and offered at Japanese restaurants, are a good substitute for beans. They are filled with nutrients you and your baby need – a good dose of protein, calcium, and folic acid.
How to eat them? Put a bowlful in the microwave with a bit of water for two minutes, cool down, and pop them out of their pods. You can also steam them the old-fashioned way on the stove. Enjoy them as a snack, appetizer, or garnish of your main meal.
Mangoes are not just sweet, juicy, and delicious, they are also full of vitamins A and C. They are also naturally abundant in tropical countries, so you can get your fill.
They are so versatile that you can have them for breakfast as a smoothie, for lunch as part of your salad, and for dinner as your dessert! Mangoes are the way to go, especially for those averse to vegetables.
Oatmeal is always part of any pregnancy diet list. It is rich in B vitamins, fiber, and iron.
It makes for a good snack and breakfast with the usual way of cooking it. Just add fruits like bananas, kiwis, and strawberries. Or you can make savory oatmeal meals with vegetables and spices for more nutrients for baby.
Pregnant women need plenty of calcium because it is needed for baby’s bone development. However, not everyone likes milk, which is the common source of calcium. Yogurt contains the same amount of calcium as milk, with the added benefits of other nutrients such as protein and folic acid.
Make yourself a smoothie or eat it plain, yogurt makes a good breakfast. Throw in some cucumber and make yourself a Greek dressing. Or how about a honey- mustard-yogurt dressing for your salad?
Eating healthy food is never more important than when one is pregnant. Expecting moms need to find the best food for pregnant women to maximize their baby’s growth and development inside the tummy.
And eating for the two of you doesn’t even have to be complicated. Just search the Internet for the power foods listed above and whip up some appetizing meals for you and baby.
Mariel Uyquiengco hopes to inspire parents to be their children’s first and best teacher. She does this through her blog and online children’s book shop www.thelearningbasket.com and by giving parenting seminars about early childhood development, preschool homeschool, and raising children to be readers.