Guest post: Emma Kelley
Maintaining a nutrient intake during pregnancy is critical for the health of both mothers and babies. But what plant-based foods for pregnant women should be eaten to get an abundance of nutrients? Here are the top seven…
Hemp seeds are a rich source of protein, healthy fats and fiber, which makes them not only good for everyone but also great for moms and babies. The protein in hemp is far more digestible than those in meats, eggs or milk. Hemp also provides a wider spectrum of natural proteins than soy. Amongst 20 known amino acids in hemp, there are 10 essential ones.
The fat in hemp mostly contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 with a perfectly balanced ratio. They’re all essential fatty acids which play an important role in developing baby’s brain and vision as well as preventing the risk of preterm birth and postpartum depression.
For a delicious vegan enjoyment, you can mix hemp seeds with smoothies, cereal, salad or yogurt. You can also add them to vegan soup or pasta. The fiber in hemp will keep everything moving smoothly in your digestive system.
There is a broad range of beans, like string, black, red, white kidney, navy, and cranberry beans. No matter what types you eat, you’re enjoying a nutritious food offering protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and many calories. Also, many beans are very delicious and can be cooked with different foods, including vegetables, soup, and pasta.
Try to get a variety of beans throughout your pregnancy because each one has its own particular health benefits. Changing your menu also gives you more flavors to enjoy. On a daily basis, if you put two types of beans in your diet, you’re doing things the right way.
In addition to protein, vitamins, and minerals, whole grains are full of complex carbohydrates which not only provide energy for daily actives but also help moms combat nausea and fight constipation. Also, folic acid – a type of vitamin B – found in whole grains may decrease the risk of premature newborns and serious birth defects, including spina bifida, anencephaly, and low birth weight.
You can find whole grains in seeded grasses (rice, barley, quinoa, corn, millet) or pre-made products (bread, pasta, cereal). If you’re a big fan of bread, make sure you choose the one having the word “whole” in front of every grain listed. Also, avoid enriched wheat flour because it’s bare of all the natural vitamins and minerals.
Coconut oil is a nature’s gift to pregnant women since it provides tons of benefits directly related to the health of moms and babies. Particularly, it contains lauric acid – an essential fatty acid in human breast milk – that has the ability to prevent the development of bacteria and fungi like candida. It’s rare to find this fatty acid in other plants.
Other healthy saturated fats in coconut oil can keep the immune system working properly to protect your and your baby’s health from illness, fulfill your energy requirements, and accumulate fat stores to prepare for breastfeeding.
Vegetables are an extraordinary food for people of all ages since they’re packed with various vitamins (A, C, K, etc.) and essential nutrients. Pregnant women can benefit by the folic acid for improving their baby’s skeletal and nervous system as well as decreasing serious newborn’s diseases.
Vegetables vary in color, and each color contains a particular nutritional value. For example, green vegetables (spinach, seaweed, arugula, broccoli, kale) provide tons of calcium and iron, while red vegetable (beets, tomatoes, cranberries, radish) are among the highest in vitamin C. Therefore, try to eat as many color groups as you can weekly so that you can help your body in different ways by getting a cross-spectrum of nutrients.
For pregnant ladies who enjoy on-the-go snacks, nothing is better than nuts. They’re simply a portable way to go. Nuts like almonds are a rich source of vitamin E. Other choices, like cashews, peanut, or walnuts, are also extremely healthy for the health of both moms and babies. You can enjoy raw or dry-roasted nuts, or add them to cereal. You can also incorporate them into other foods at meal times.
If you need folic acid, go for avocados. If you want to soften the cervix to induce labor, go for pineapple. If you want to reduce morning sickness, there are limes or lemons for you. Other great fruits for pregnant women and newborns include grapes, bananas, apples, orange, strawberries, lychee, etc.
The food is all around us. The problem is what to eat and how to eat to be healthy.
Emma is the founder of ShrewdMommy, where she and associates blog about pregnancy advice, parenting insights, tips for mommy. Those experiences will somehow help you in your search for questions about pregnancy and baby tips.