Nutritious Food for Pregnant Women

Nutritious Food for Pregnant Women
Nutritious food for pregnant women greatly affects the health of the mother and the growth of the fetus. Therefore, pregnant women need to know the choices of nutritious foods that can be consumed so that the fetus they contain remains healthy.

Consumption of nutritious food for pregnant women is done so that the nutritional needs during pregnancy are properly fulfilled. However, pregnant women need to pay attention to what they consume. This is because there are nutritious foods that are not allowed to be consumed during pregnancy, such as raw eggs and meat, as well as dairy products that have not gone through the pasteurization process.

Nutritious Food Options for Pregnant Women

Nutritional intake during pregnancy, both type and amount, really needs attention. Moreover, the need for various types of nutritional intake will increase along with gestational age.

In the first trimester of pregnancy, for example, the number of calories consumed generally does not need to be added. But when entering the second and third trimesters, the calorie intake needed can increase to 340-450 calories per day.

To meet this need, pregnant women need to consume nutritious foods such as:

1. Broccoli

The first highly nutritious food that can be an option is broccoli. This green vegetable has many nutrients needed during pregnancy, such as calcium, folic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids which are good for eye health.

Broccoli also contains vitamin C which is useful for helping the body absorb iron, thereby helping to eliminate constipation and prevent babies from being born with low weight.

2. Spinach

Spinach is good for consumption during pregnancy, especially for young pregnant women, because it contains folic acid. Folic acid is an important nutrient needed in early pregnancy because it can help prevent birth defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida. Not only that, but folic acid also plays a role in preventing the risk of preterm labor and preeclampsia.

3. Bananas

Bananas contain vitamin B6 which is good for pregnant women to consume in the first trimester because this vitamin can reduce nausea. In addition, bananas are also rich in potassium which is useful for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance during pregnancy.

4. Avocado

When the gestational age enters the second trimester, pregnant women are encouraged to consume avocados. Avocados are rich sources of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and vitamin B6, and are high in good fatty acids.

Good fatty acids in avocados are useful in helping the development of the brain, nervous system, tissues, and skin of the fetus. Meanwhile, the high potassium content in avocados can reduce complaints of leg cramps experienced by pregnant women.

5. Oranges

The next nutritious food for pregnant women that is recommended to be consumed is citrus fruits. This fruit is rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. Almost 90 percent of the content in citrus fruits is water so it can help prevent dehydration during pregnancy.

Meanwhile, the high folate content in oranges can also help the development of the brain and spinal cord in the fetus, thus preventing the fetus from being born with defects.

6. Mango

Another fruit that is recommended to be consumed during pregnancy is mango. Mango contains high potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Potassium in mangoes can help maintain blood pressure and retain fluids in the body.

Meanwhile, vitamin A functions as an antioxidant, helping to support the development of the baby's immune system, vision, and nervous system. Mango also contains high fiber so it can prevent constipation or constipation in pregnant women.

7. Sweet potato

Sweet potato is one of the highly nutritious foods for pregnant women which is rich in vitamin A. Meeting the needs of vitamin A during pregnancy is very important for the growth of cells and tissues of the fetus.

Apart from sweet potatoes, vitamin A can also be obtained from pumpkin, spinach, kale, mango, pumpkin, non-fat milk, and supplements. For those who take supplements, it is better to consult an obstetrician so that the dose consumed is not excessive. Because if consumed in excess, vitamin A can cause fetal defects.

8. Nuts

Peanuts, peas, and soybeans are types of legumes that can be used as sources of folic acid, fiber, protein, iron, and calcium needed during pregnancy. These nutrients are very important for the health of the mother and fetus, especially in the first trimester.

9. Lean meat

Beef, chicken, and fish are food groups that are rich in protein. In addition, there is also iron content as an important mineral that is useful in the formation of red blood cells. Red blood cells play an important role in delivering oxygen to all cells in the body.

Therefore, pregnant women need more iron, because blood volume also increases during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. Iron deficiency in early and mid-pregnancy can cause anemia. If this happens, pregnant women are at risk of giving birth to babies prematurely or giving birth to babies with low weight.

10. Salmon

Salmon is a source of animal vitamins that must be included in a highly nutritious diet for pregnant women. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which are important for the development of the fetal brain and eyes.

Salmon also contains vitamin D which is good for the mother and fetus. But keep in mind, pregnant women are advised to consume cooked salmon first. Consumption of salmon in a raw state, such as in sushi and sashimi, should be avoided because it can harm the growth of the fetus.

11. Dairy products

During pregnancy, the consumption of foods and drinks that contain protein and calcium is required to support the growth and development of the fetus. Milk and processed products such as yogurt and cheese are good for consumption because they contain protein and calcium which are quite high.

12. Eggs

Eggs are one of the foods that are recommended for consumption during pregnancy because they contain almost all the nutrients the body needs. Eggs contain calories, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

In addition, eggs also contain choline, which is an important nutrient for brain health and fetal development. However, pregnant women should not eat undercooked eggs because of the risk of carrying germs that can be harmful to the health of the mother and fetus.

13. Dried fruit

Dried fruit is high in fiber, calories, and various vitamins and minerals. One dry fruit usually contains the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit, although without the water content and in a smaller form.

Many dried fruits can be beneficial health, such as raisins, dates, pineapples, jujubes, and figs. One that is easy to get and good for pregnant women is dates. Dates contain fiber, potassium, and iron. Regular consumption of dates in the third trimester helps in the dilation of the cervix and lowers the risk of induction at the time of labor.

However, pregnant women are not recommended to consume more than one serving of dried fruit at each meal. The reason is that dried fruit contains high sugar.

14. Drink enough water

Water is one thing that should be consumed a lot during pregnancy. The reason is, the blood volume of pregnant women will increase by 45 percent compared to before. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to consume no less than 2.3 liters of water per day.

This is important to do so that the balance of body fluids is maintained to avoid dehydration. Drinking enough water can also help prevent pregnant women from getting constipation and urinary tract infections. Pregnant women can also get fluid intake from various fruits and vegetables, such as turnips.

Make sure that nutritious food for pregnant women is presented in the daily food menu that is consumed so that the health of the mother and fetus is well supported. In addition, don't forget to regularly consult your obstetrician so that the health of the mother and fetus is continuously monitored until delivery arrives.

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