Strong cravings – sometimes strange ones – go hand in hand with pregnancy, making you feel as though you want to devour everything in sight, or as though you will go crazy if you don’t get your hands on a specific type of food.
This is completely normal. So if you are craving gherkins dipped in peanut butter, there really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t indulge yourself. However, it is important for all moms-to-be to remain aware of the healthiest foods to eat over the next nine months. Let’s take a look at how best to nourish that little life growing inside your belly.
The Top Five Foods to Eat during Pregnancy
Fruits and veggies are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary to sustain your baby’s growth and ensure his / her steady development. Try to snack on fruits like berries, bananas, apples, naartjies etc. throughout the day and, at lunch and dinnertime, be sure to fill your plate with a colourful medley of veggies such as spinach, carrots and patty pan squash.
There is an old wives’ tale which insists on the fact that eating walnuts during pregnancy results in a more intelligent child. While this has not been proven, there are certainly a number of health benefits that relate to the consumption of walnuts while expecting. They are full of Omega-3s and DHA which assist your baby with the development of its nervous system and vision. Walnuts also contain essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin B and magnesium. Not a fan of nuts? Avocadoes provide similar benefits and make for a handy substitute.
It is imperative that you get enough protein during your special nine month journey. While eating copious amounts of red meat is not recommended, you can get a healthy dose of protein from lean, white meat such as fish or chicken. Remember to stay away from any meat that is cooked rare, as it can contain harmful bacteria. Cook all meat as much as possible just to be safe.
Not only are eggs tasty, but they are also another wonderful source of protein. They are full of essential amino acids and choline, which assists in your baby’s brain development. Like meat, ensure that your eggs are cooked well before consumption as raw or undercooked eggs pose a risk to both mom and baby.
All yoghurt is healthy for pregnant women, but Greek yoghurt is the best option that is available. Containing plenty of calcium and protein (almost double the amount of any other type of yoghurt), it is a must on your grocery list both during your pregnancy and after the little one is born.
Along with following a healthy diet, it is important that every mom-to-be gets plenty of rest, too. So wash your pillowcases, sheets and duvets in soothing Comfort fabric softener and cuddle up for a night of well-deserved shut-eye. Your growing little one will thank you for it.