26 Apr 6 Best Pregnancy Diet Foods
During pregnancy, energy needs increase by 300 to 500 calories per day starting in the second trimester. But “eating for two” doesn’t mean doubling the amount of food you consume or just increasing calorie intake. It’s important to remember that nutrient needs increase too in order to grow a baby. This means eating a well-balanced pregnancy diet that includes lots of nutrient dense foods in order to get the most out of every bite. Avoiding highly processed junk foods full of sugar or artificial sweeteners, refined grains and unhealthy oils is always a good idea, but even more so during pregnancy. These kinds of empty calories can wreak havoc on your health, cause excessive weight gain, and increase your risk for gestational diabetes and other complications.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the healthiest foods to include in a nourishing pregnancy diet, and how Steviva products can help you “eat for two.”
High quality proteins are the building blocks of a healthy, well nourished pregnancy. You can get protein from lean meats, such as beef, pork and chicken, eggs, and salmon, as well as organ meats like liver. Red meat is also important because it’s rich in iron, which cab prevent iron deficiency anemia. This kind of anemia is common due to increased blood production during pregnancy. If you are vegetarian and prefer plant based proteins and sources of iron, you can eat dark leafy greens, dried apricots, nuts and seeds, and combine grains and legumes for a complete protein.
Fats & Omega-3
Your body cannot make essential fatty acids, so it’s important to eat plenty of good fats in order to build healthy brain cells. Studies suggest that consuming healthy fats during pregnancy lowers the risk of childhood obesity, and supports normal cognitive development during childhood. Fat is also important for the absorption of many fat soluble nutrients. Essential fatty acids are found in salmon, avocados, eggs, organic pastured butter, and fish oil supplements.
Complex carbs are energy rich foods that are also packed with fiber, minerals, vitamins and protein. It’s important to avoid simple carbs from refined grains like white bread, white rice, chips and candy. Reach instead for dishes made with dry beans and lentils, sweet potatoes, and whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat and oats. Bake delicious treats, like muffins, cookies and quickbreads, using Steviva’s natural sugar substitutes. Enjoy a bowl of hot cereal in the morning with a drizzle of Nectevia!
Fiber & Folate
Fiber rich foods help maintain a healthy GI tract during pregnancy, and folate is vital for preventing neural tube defects in the developing baby. Fortunately, most plant foods are rich in both fiber and folate, but dark leafy greens are the real powerhouses. You can also find fiber and folate in citrus, broccoli, asparagus, fresh berries, and legumes. These plant foods are also full of crucial phytonutrients like antioxidants and lots of vitamins and minerals. A big green salad a day is a great way to get lots of fiber and folate, but be ware: commercial dressings are often packed with sugar. Try making your own with a healthy oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, and a tiny scoop of SteviaSweet Pure Stevia.
Building healthy bones and teeth during pregnancy means you need extra calcium. This mineral also supports the development of a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles. Calcium can be found in many foods such as dairy products, canned pink salmon and sardines, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like kale, mustard greens and cabbage. Plain yogurt is both calcium rich and full of protein, but it can be a bit tangy. Try adding some fresh berries and a bit of SteviaSweet Pure Stevia or MonkSweet+Plus.
Don’t forget to make your fluids count, too!
To meet the demand for added blood volume and amniotic fluid, it’s vital to drink lots of water. You can also enjoy sugar free beverages such as fresh pressed green juice, herbal tea, nut milk, and real fruit smoothies — but be sure to ditch the sodas (even “diet” sodas) and sugary soft drinks! If you like to add more flavor to your hot or cold beverages, try a bit of our zero calorie, all natural Steviva Blend Fine Powder.
A well-balanced pregnancy diet with foods from this list will maximize the nutrients of the extra calories you need, and help you have a healthy, well-nourished pregnancy and baby. We hope you enjoy this special time!