Pregnancy Superfoods 101: Find Best Foods For Healthy Baby

Know the best pregnancy superfoods for each trimester of your pregnancy

Everyone needs a well-balanced diet to stay healthy and energetic. And when it comes to pregnant women, they need extra nutrition to meet the requirement of their bodies because, at that time, they are not only feeding themselves but also their babies inside their womb.

A woman needs extra 300 calories in her diet when she is pregnant. These extra calories can be obtained from vegetables, fruits, etc. 

Having a baby is one of the happiest moments of every woman. From thinking to bring the baby to home up to giving a good nourishments is always a dream of every woman. So from the baby’s nourishments when it is in the womb up to its birth, a woman needs to be healthy, and for this, she needs to have a good amount of healthy foods. 

For the baby’s growth and development, every pregnant woman needs a development consisting of highly nutritional foods that are called Indian pregnancy superfoods. These are many vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, milk, cereals, and whole grains, and these foods are necessary to gain nutrients like fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. 

During pregnancy, the immune system of the mother’s body is weaker. So the mother needs to feed herself, not every time but when she feels hungry. So gynaecologists suggest taking highly nutritional foods as these are very important for the growth of the baby. These nutrients help to maintain a healthy lifestyle of both mother and baby.

Healthy foods do not mean to cut off the favourite foods but decrease or increase the number of foods. Intake of more water is a vital part of pregnancy. The mother’s body should be hydrated every time. The water of most of the cities contains a high quantity of fluoride, which is very helpful for the growth of the baby’s teeth and enamel.

So with the intake of foods, she must drink lots of water and fruit juices. If the mother is suffering from any kind of disease, then she must take care of her diet.

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Why need superfoods during Pregnancy?

Pregnancy superfoods not only give proper nutrition but also help to resist the body of the mother and the child from various diseases like anaemia. They also reduce the risk of unpleasant pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and morning sickness. 

If the mother does not take care of her health or does not take pregnancy superfoods, then she will not only put her health but also put the heath of the baby at risk.

If the mother is underweight before her pregnancy, then there is a high risk of her being malnourished during pregnancy, and it will be hard for her to catch the nutrition for her and her baby.

If she does not feed herself properly, then she may experience a miscarriage or experienced pregnancy complications like preeclampsia.

Lack of iron in her diet can lead to an increase in the chances of being anaemia patient. Not only the mother but also the unborn child will face many difficulties after birth, like low weight or born with mental retardation. He may suffer respiratory, cardiovascular, intestinal, or neurological disorders or kidney disease. Sometimes it increases the chances of risk of cancer or diabetes.

In most cases, the newborn baby from a malnourished mother more likely to die in the first month.

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Different pregnancy superfoods for vegetarians & non-vegetarians

During pregnancy, there are many steps or periods where many different growth and changes occur in both mother and child. So the food and nutrition requirements will be different in each period. 

However, in this busy lifestyle, many new mothers who are busy in their daily works or jobs cannot manage to check which food is good for them in each of their stages of pregnancy.

Without a proper chart, it is almost impossible to take care of heath simultaneously with their occupations. So for those new mothers, I have created a list of pregnancy superfoods as per their stages of pregnancy and food habits. 

If you are residing in India, then you will know that there are varieties of food sources for everyone. It is not impossible to find out the best foods for pregnant women in India.

Varieties of pregnancy superfoods are available for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian pregnant women. 

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There are many vegetarian pregnancy superfoods available like:

1. Fruits and vegetables – These are full of vitamins and fibres. In the diet of a pregnant woman, these are highly recommended. One banana every morning gives a high amount of vitamin C and B12. Citrus fruits like orange give vitamin C, which helps to absorb iron. Green leafy vegetables contain high folic acid. 

2. Dairy foods – Dairy foods are highly recommended during pregnancy as these contain calcium, which is very helpful for the development and strength of the bones of both the mother and the baby. 

3. Cereals and legumes – These are the only sources of protein for vegetarian pregnant women. Everyday intake of protein is a must. 

4. Water – Water is essential for every human being, whether they are pregnant or not. During pregnancy, the mother should make herself hydrated every time. Drinking enough water can prevent urine infections.

During pregnancy, exercises or workouts play a vital role in making a pregnant woman fit. So for this, she can feel dehydrated, and that is why she needs to drink lots of water.

Pregnancy superfoods for non-vegetarians are – 

1. Eggs – Egg white is rich in protein, and it can consume every day for 9 months. A boiled egg would be perfect for a pregnant woman. 

2. Chicken – Chicken has the lowest level of fat and a high level of protein. It helps in metabolism and in building up of energy. 

3. Fish – Fishes like mackerel, which contains a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids, is good for a pregnant woman. 

Here is the list of pregnancy superfoods for every period of pregnancy.

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1. Pregnancy superfoods for the first trimester

The first trimester begins with the conception and ends in 12 weeks. During this stage, changes in the body can be seen in both mother and the baby.

Some feel glow with a healthy lifestyle while others feel low. Sore breasts are the early sign of pregnancy. The baby changes to a fetus from a group of cells and then starts to build all the important organs gradually. This stage is the most critical stage as the baby starts building organs.

The mother’s body works hard to hold the baby, and it results in the tiredness of the mother. The mother also feels nausea, morning sickness, breast pain, and all the crabs. So more nutrients are required in this stage.

The list of pregnancy superfoods first trimester is as follows –  

1. Milk and dairy products – These contain calcium. 

2. Meat – These contain choline and vitamin B12. 

3. Green leafy vegetables – These contain calcium, iron, and folic acid. 

4. Beans – These contain iron and folic acid. 

5. Seafood – These contain iron and vitamin B12. 

6. Flax seeds – These contain omega-3 fatty acids. 

7. Bananas – These are the best source for potassium. 

8. Ginger tea – It helps in reducing nausea.

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2. Pregnancy superfoods for the second trimester

This is the mid-stage of pregnancy that begins with 4 months or 13 weeks and ends in 7 months or 28 weeks. This stage is said to be the best stage as in this stage, the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, morning sickness, and exhaustion almost faded up.

In this stage, the baby starts to develop facial features like small hairs, turns, and uplifts in the uterus, which can be easily felt by outside or the enlargement of the belly can be seen. The mother can feel dizziness due to low pressure and abdominal stretch marks and sometimes abdominal cramps.

In this stage, the mother has a good appetite. So this stage also requires special nutrients, especially calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.

If the mother does not take calcium properly, then the baby will take the calcium that is already present in the mother’s body, and as a result of this mother lacks calcium in her which leads to some diseases later. So intake of calcium is highly recommended in this stage.

So here is the list of pregnancy superfoods second trimester

1. Green leafy vegetables – These contain calcium, folic acid, and iron.

2. Nuts and cereals – These contain iron. 

3. Citrus fruits – These are the only source of vitamin C.  

4. Fatty fish and fish liver oil – Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel and fish liver oils are good sources of vitamin D. 

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3. Pregnancy superfoods for the third trimester

This is the final stage of pregnancy that begins with 8 month or 29 weeks and ends with the childbirth. In this trimester, the baby weighs 2-3 pounds and grows up to 14 inches.

In this stage, the transformation of bones, teeth, and organs occur. Each week of this stage helps in the preparation of childbirth. In general, labour pain occurs on any one date of the 9 months, but in some cases, childbirth occurs in either 8 months or 10 months.

This time period is very vital as childbirth can happen any time, and that causes labour pain and contraction of the uterus, and so in this stage, lots of nutrients are required to gain energy.

So here is a list of pregnancy superfoods third trimester

1. Milk and dairy products – These contain calcium, which will be helpful for breastfeeding after pregnancy. 

2. Lentils – These contain folic acid. 

3. Citrus fruits – These contain vitamin C.  

4. Dry fruits – These contain iron. 

5. Bread – It prevents constipation. 

6. Avocado – Avocado is rich in vitamin C and E and fibres. 

7. Water – During the 9 months of pregnancy, water is essential to a hydrated pregnant woman. 

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4. Pregnancy superfoods for post-pregnancy

After the childbirth, the baby feeds only mother’s milk for up to 6 months. So for breastfeeding mother needs extra 100-200 calories in her diet.

Breast milk contains the ideal nutrition of fat, protein, vitamin, and minerals for baby. Breast milk also contains antibiotics which prevent the baby from virus and bacteria.

When the mother eats any kind of junk or spicy food, then the baby feels unwilling to breast milk. So the mother should avoid spicy foods.

The mother should eat steamed vegetables like carrot, beans, etc. Bread, whole grains, cereals, cheese, and yoghurt will be helpful for mothers to produce milk.

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FAQs On Pregnancy Superfoods

Q1. Which fruits should you avoid during pregnancy? 

Below is a list of fruits that you should avoid during pregnancy:

  • Tamarind
  • Papayas
  • Bananas
  • Watermelon
  • Dates
  • Frozen Berries
  • Canned Tomatoes

Q2. Which vegetables should you avoid during pregnancy?

  • Mung beans
  • Alfalfa
  • Clover
  • Radish
  • Raw vegetable
  • Sprouts
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Q3. What foods should I avoid during pregnancy? 

You should avoid the consumption of

  • Alcoholic beverages because they are associated with congenital malformations
  • Sweeteners as saccharine, aspartame, sucralose
  • Caffeine (can take up to two cups of coffee or a caffeinated beverage a day) or switch to decaffeinated
  • Consumption of empty calories found in highly processed foods and sweets
  • Fatty foods

 Q4. What are General recommendations for a safe diet during pregnancy?

In addition to avoiding these foods that are considered prohibited and not recommended during pregnancy, we must always take certain precautions to eat a safe diet during pregnancy. To do this, I’d like to share some tips with you.

  • Properly clean kitchen utensils after use.
  • Wash fruits, vegetables, and vegetables well to remove traces of dirt and pesticides, as well as possible bacteria or parasites that cause diseases.
  • Cooking food at a temperature of more than 75ºC to kill all types of microorganisms that transmit diseases. Never serve semi-cooked, “juicy” or raw meats.
  • Avoid contact with raw food with cooked food.

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The Final Words On Pregnancy Superfoods

Pregnancy is a happy and unbearable time period. If you follow your pregnancy charts for nutrition properly, then you can give birth to a healthy and fit child. Getting exhausted by the unpleasant symptoms is not any solution because these are just for a few months, and after that, you can feel the happiness of being a mother.

Additional Resources:

Smit Kumar

Health & Wellness Coach: Smit Kumar believes in the philosophy of successful nutrition hunting mindset for the healthy body, mind and spirit. https://thenutritionhunt.com

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