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10 Most Nutritious Foods for Pregnancy

Posted on February 27 2020

Nourish yourself and your baby with these super healthy foods.

While pregnant, take care of yourself and your baby by opting for a well-balanced diet that gives your baby the essential nutrients to grow and develop well. This also reduces your likelihood of pregnancy and birth complications. Here are 10 essential foods for you and your baby, with options for vegetarians and vegans.

 

On Nutrition & Lifestyle

During your pregnancy, be sure to eat 300 - 450 more calories in the second and third trimester respectively. Since your growing baby derives all of his/her nutrition from what you eat, doctors recommend eating a wide variety of nutritious foods. Of course, it’s best to abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol during this time for a healthy baby. Also, do consult your doctor or nutritionist for a personalised diet plan suitable for your own pregnancy.

 

1. Dairy Products

Mums who are lactose intolerant can drink smaller amounts of milk throughout the day.

 

For expecting mums, try to get at least 1,000mg of calcium per day. This is essential for keeping your bones and teeth healthy as well as helping your growing baby develop his/hers. As your baby develops, he/she will take the calcium from your body. Comparatively, almond has 185.6mg, fortified soy 340mg and whole milk 236mg of calcium per 200ml.

Thus, mums who are lactose intolerant can try these dairy-free alternatives or drink smaller amounts over the course of a day. Other ways to eat more dairy include Greek yoghurt, cheese or even ice cream. However, do avoid unpasteurised milk, including goat’s milk, in all dairy products including yoghurt. Soft cheeses like brie or camembert should also be avoided.

 

 

2. Eggs

Eat fully cooked eggs to help your baby’s brain development.

 

A great source of protein, eggs contain a wide variety of vital amino acids and choline, necessary for your baby’s brain development. Make sure they’re fully cooked, i.e., over medium to well, omelettes, boiled and poached. You can safely eat up to three eggs per day. Avoid homemade Caesar salad dressings, Hollandaise sauces, mayonnaise and custards. Otherwise, for vegetarian alternatives, add chia seeds and flax seeds to your diet.

 

 

3. Legumes

Legumes like chickpeas provide you with carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients, and help lower your blood cholesterol levels.

 

Not just for vegetarians, legumes include split peas, cannellini, kidney beans, baked beans, and soybeans, chickpeas, or lentils. These help lower blood cholesterol levels and keep your bowels healthy. They’re also chock full of protein, B-group vitamins, folate, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Add them to your vegetable soups, stir-fry dishes, or as a base for vegetarian burgers.

 

 

4. Nuts

Add three handfuls of nuts to your diet each week.

 

Add some unsaturated fats to your diet, such as those found in nuts. One study shows that eating 90g of nuts in a week in your first trimester could improve your growing baby’s neurodevelopment. Other benefits are that nuts contain minerals like phosphorus, selenium, zinc, copper as well as healthy fat.

In particular, almonds can help reduce babies’ allergies, and lower the risk of preeclampsia, while easing constipation. Eat just a handful of soaked almonds daily. Meanwhile, macadamia nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, proteins and folate, while pistachios are rich in protein, fibre and antioxidants. These low GI nuts are great for pregnant women with diabetes or gestational diabetes. Finally, walnuts boosts your heart health and metabolism, while improving your baby’s brain functions like memory and learning ability.

 

5. Oily Fish

Salmon and other oily fish help to strengthen your baby. Eat two portions a week.

 

Eat some oily fish, especially in the second half of pregnancy, which helps to strengthen your baby. These include salmon, mackerel, trout and herring. Just have two portions a week (140g each) - smoked options are safe too. Avoid eating shark, swordfish or marlin, and if eating tuna, limit to no more than two tuna steaks or four medium size cans of tuna a week. Additionally, choose cooked shellfish rather than raw to eliminate contracting harmful bacteria and viruses that might cause food poisoning.

Vegetarian alternatives to oily fish are flax seeds and chia seeds, which will give the same benefits of Omega-3s as the fish.

 

 

6. Colourful Fruits

Rich in essential vitamins and fibre, make sure your diet is full of these yummy fruits.

 

Eat a rainbow of fruits during your pregnancy, as they’re rich in loads of vitamins, fibre and folate. You should eat two cups of fruit, or four small bananas, two cups of 100 per cent fruit or vegetable juice per day. Moreover, some fruits like pineapples, banana, papaya and avocado are rich in enzymes. Thus, they aid in digestion and break down the nutrients in your body, relieving heartburn, gas or constipation.

 

 

7. Vegetables

Try to eat up to three cups of vegetables every day.

 

As for vegetables, try dark leafy greens like mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach or kale, filled with antioxidants, calcium, fiber, folate and vitamin A. Try to get about 2 and 1/2 or three cups of vegetables, which is roughly about 375 to 450g or two cups of raw leafy greens. Aside from these leafy green options, try yellow and orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. These are rich in beta-carotene that converts into vitamin A, which helps in healthy fetal development. However, taking too much might cause some birth defects, so try to keep your intake below 770mcg.

 

 

8. Lean Meat

Lean meat like beef and pork provide your baby with protein for his muscles to develop properly.

 

Aside from being a great source of protein, lean beef and pork also have iron and B vitamins. Doctors recommend getting 75 - 100g of protein so your baby’s muscles develop properly and for her overall growth. For example, the amount of protein from 100g of lean meat and fish range from about 20 - 27g. Additionally, meat supplies a good dose of vitamins B6 and B12. This helps baby’s tissue, brain growth, while helping your morning sickness, maintaining healthy nerves and red blood cells.

For vegetarians, ensure you get enough servings (at least three per day) of protein a day. This is equivalent to 1/2 cup cooked dried beans or peas, tofu, 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds. Another way to get this protein is via one egg or two egg whites, as well as two tablespoons of peanut butter.

 

 

9. Oatmeal

Rich in iron, start your day with oatmeal, fresh fruits and milk.

 

Oats contain a ton of important nutrients for pregnancy, such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium and iron. Of your 27mg daily requirement of iron, you can get 6mg from 100g of oats. Iron is important for your baby’s growth and reduces the risk of preterm delivery and low birth red, and necessary for red blood cell formation. Eat iron-rich foods like meat, beans and leafy vegetables. Take a glass of orange juice or Vitamin C rich foods to aid absorption.

Besides providing mums with essential carbohydrates and calories, it’s rich in fibre to regulate digestion and improve bowel movement. Another essential mineral oats have is folic acid, that helps to develop the baby’s nervous system and brain, and prevents disorders. Other whole grain options include amaranth, brown rice, and quinoa.

 

 

10. Water

Reduce fluid retention by drinking more water.

 

Finally, it’s important to drink enough water. As a rough guideline, drink about 2.4 litres of water per day. This helps to reduce swelling in your feet and ankles, as well as prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and bladder infections. Especially in the last trimester, dehydration can cause contractions to trigger preterm labour. Check if you’re getting enough fluid if your urine is pale yellow or colorless. Alternate drinks include milk, juice, coffee and tea, although juice and sweet drinks have a lot of extra calories. Of course, pregnant women can’t take too much caffeine, so limit yourself to under 200mg of caffeine daily.

 

 

A Word on Sustainability

Get your food from sustainable sources where the animals were humanely treated.

Where possible, we suggest you get your meat, seafood, eggs and milk from a sustainable, free range or organic source to ensure that the animals were humanely treated. Also, it prevents you from unknowingly ingesting any hormones or antibiotics that were given to the animals to keep them healthy. Here are a few great places where you can get your groceries - most deliver to your doorstep.

 

Groceries

The Fish Wives
Foodsterr
Little Farms
Open Taste
Organic Delivery
Purely Fresh
Redmart
Ryan’s Grocery
Sasha’s Fine Foods
Straits Market

 

Organic Boxes

Avo & Co
SuperNature

 

Meat and Seafood

The Alaska Guys
Farmer’s Market
The Meat Club

 

Fruits and Vegetables

Best Organic Food
Green Circle
SG Organic

 

Milk

Arla
Dairy Folks - they have ice cream too!
Jersey Whole Milk

 

 

Delivery Meal Ideas

Get super healthy and nourishing meals delivered to you.

 

Too tired to cook or meal prep, but want healthy meals delivered to your office or doorstep? Try these options: YOLO Food, Grain, AMGD, NutrifyMeals, FitThree, Nutrition Kitchen, and Yummy Bros.

Relevant Reads: A lot of these foods also boost your family’s immunity against sicknesses and Coronavirus. Find out what essentials you need during your pregnancy and what you should register for.

Nourish yourself and your baby with these super healthy foods.

While pregnant, take care of yourself and your baby by opting for a well-balanced diet that gives your baby the essential nutrients to grow and develop well. This also reduces your likelihood of pregnancy and birth complications. Here are 10 essential foods for you and your baby, with options for vegetarians and vegans.

 

On Nutrition & Lifestyle

During your pregnancy, be sure to eat 300 - 450 more calories in the second and third trimester respectively. Since your growing baby derives all of his/her nutrition from what you eat, doctors recommend eating a wide variety of nutritious foods. Of course, it’s best to abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol during this time for a healthy baby. Also, do consult your doctor or nutritionist for a personalised diet plan suitable for your own pregnancy.

 

1. Dairy Products

Mums who are lactose intolerant can drink smaller amounts of milk throughout the day.

 

For expecting mums, try to get at least 1,000mg of calcium per day. This is essential for keeping your bones and teeth healthy as well as helping your growing baby develop his/hers. As your baby develops, he/she will take the calcium from your body. Comparatively, almond has 185.6mg, fortified soy 340mg and whole milk 236mg of calcium per 200ml.

Thus, mums who are lactose intolerant can try these dairy-free alternatives or drink smaller amounts over the course of a day. Other ways to eat more dairy include Greek yoghurt, cheese or even ice cream. However, do avoid unpasteurised milk, including goat’s milk, in all dairy products including yoghurt. Soft cheeses like brie or camembert should also be avoided.

 

 

2. Eggs

Eat fully cooked eggs to help your baby’s brain development.

 

A great source of protein, eggs contain a wide variety of vital amino acids and choline, necessary for your baby’s brain development. Make sure they’re fully cooked, i.e., over medium to well, omelettes, boiled and poached. You can safely eat up to three eggs per day. Avoid homemade Caesar salad dressings, Hollandaise sauces, mayonnaise and custards. Otherwise, for vegetarian alternatives, add chia seeds and flax seeds to your diet.

 

 

3. Legumes

Legumes like chickpeas provide you with carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients, and help lower your blood cholesterol levels.

 

Not just for vegetarians, legumes include split peas, cannellini, kidney, baked, and soybeans, chickpeas, or lentils. These help lower blood cholesterol levels and keep your bowels healthy. They’re also chock full of protein, B-group vitamins, folate, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. Add them to your vegetable soups, stir-fry dishes, or as a base for vegetarian burgers.

 

 

4. Nuts

Add three handfuls of nuts to your diet each week.

 

Add some unsaturated fats to your diet, such as those found in nuts. One study shows that eating 90g of nuts in a week in your first trimester could improve your growing baby’s neurodevelopment. Other benefits are that nuts contain minerals like phosphorus, selenium, zinc, copper as well as healthy fat.

In particular, almonds can help reduce babies’ allergies, and lower the risk of preeclampsia, while easing constipation. Eat just a handful of soaked almonds daily. Meanwhile, macadamia nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, proteins and folate, while pistachios are rich in protein, fibre and antioxidants. These low GI nuts are great for pregnant women with diabetes or gestational diabetes. Finally, walnuts boosts your heart health and metabolism, while improving your baby’s brain functions like memory and learning ability.

 

5. Oily Fish

Salmon and other oily fish help to strengthen your baby. Eat two portions a week.

 

Eat some oily fish, especially in the second half of pregnancy, which helps to strengthen your baby. These include salmon, mackerel, trout and herring. Just have two portions a week (140g each) - smoked options are safe too. Avoid eating shark, swordfish or marlin, and if eating tuna, limit to no more than two tuna steaks or four medium size cans of tuna a week. Additionally, choose cooked shellfish rather than raw to eliminate contracting harmful bacteria and viruses that might cause food poisoning.

Vegetarian alternatives to oily fish are flax seeds and chia seeds, which will give the same benefits of Omega-3s as the fish.

 

 

6. Colourful Fruits

Rich in essential vitamins and fibre, make sure your diet is full of these yummy fruits.

 

Eat a rainbow of fruits during your pregnancy, as they’re rich in loads of vitamins, fibre and folate. You should eat two cups of fruit, or four small bananas, two cups of 100 per cent fruit or vegetable juice per day. Moreover, some fruits like pineapples, banana, papaya and avocado are rich in enzymes. Thus, they aid in digestion and break down the nutrients in your body, relieving heartburn, gas or constipation.

 

 

7. Vegetables

Try to eat up to three cups of vegetables every day.

 

As for vegetables, try dark leafy greens like mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach or kale, filled with antioxidants, calcium, fiber, folate and vitamin A. Try to get about 2 and 1/2 or three cups of vegetables, which is roughly about 375 to 450g or two cups of raw leafy greens. Aside from these leafy green options, try yellow and orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. These are rich in beta-carotene that converts into vitamin A, which helps in healthy fetal development. However, taking too much might cause some birth defects, so try to keep your intake below 770mcg.

 

 

8. Lean Meat

Lean meat like beef and pork provide your baby with protein for his muscles to develop properly. Photo by Pixabay

 

Aside from being a great source of protein, lean beef and pork also have iron and B vitamins. Doctors recommend getting 75 - 100g of protein so your baby’s muscles develop properly and for her overall growth. For example, the amount of protein from 100g of lean meat and fish range from about 20 - 27g. Additionally, meat supplies a good dose of vitamins B6 and B12. This helps baby’s tissue, brain growth, while helping your morning sickness, maintaining healthy nerves and red blood cells.

For vegetarians, ensure you get enough servings (at least three per day) of protein a day. This is equivalent to 1/2 cup cooked dried beans or peas, tofu, 1/4 cup of nuts or seeds. Another way to get this protein is via one egg or two egg whites, as well as two tablespoons of peanut butter.

 

 

9. Oatmeal

Rich in iron, start your day with oatmeal, fresh fruits and milk.

 

Oats contain a ton of important nutrients for pregnancy, such as magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium and iron. Of your 27mg daily requirement of iron, you can get 6mg from 100g of oats. Iron is important for your baby’s growth and reduces the risk of preterm delivery and low birth red, and necessary for red blood cell formation. Eat iron-rich foods like meat, beans and leafy vegetables. Take a glass of orange juice or Vitamin C rich foods to aid absorption.

Besides providing mums with essential carbohydrates and calories, it’s rich in fibre to regulate digestion and improve bowel movement. Another essential mineral oats have is folic acid, that helps to develop the baby’s nervous system and brain, and prevents disorders. Other whole grain options include amaranth, brown rice, and quinoa.

 

 

10. Water

Reduce fluid retention by drinking more water.

 

Finally, it’s important to drink enough water. As a rough guideline, drink about 2.4 litres of water per day. This helps to reduce swelling in your feet and ankles, as well as prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and bladder infections. Especially in the last trimester, dehydration can cause contractions to trigger preterm labour. Check if you’re getting enough fluid if your urine is pale yellow or colorless. Alternate drinks include milk, juice, coffee and tea, although juice and sweet drinks have a lot of extra calories. Of course, pregnant women can’t take too much caffeine, so limit yourself to under 200mg of caffeine daily.

 

 

A Word on Sustainability

Get your food from sustainable sources where the animals were humanely treated.

Where possible, we suggest you get your meat, seafood, eggs and milk from a sustainable, free range or organic source to ensure that the animals were humanely treated. Also, it prevents you from unknowingly ingesting any hormones or antibiotics that were given to the animals to keep them healthy. Here are a few great places where you can get your groceries - most deliver to your doorstep.

 

Groceries

The Fish Wives
Foodsterr
Little Farms
Open Taste
Organic Delivery
Purely Fresh
Redmart
Ryan’s Grocery
Sasha’s Fine Foods
Straits Market

 

Organic Boxes

Avo & Co
SuperNature

 

Meat and Seafood

The Alaska Guys
Farmer’s Market
The Meat Club

 

Fruits and Vegetables

Best Organic Food
Green Circle
SG Organic

 

Milk

Arla
Dairy Folks - they have ice cream too!
Jersey Whole Milk

 

 

Delivery Meal Ideas

Get super healthy and nourishing meals delivered to you.

 

Too tired to cook or meal prep, but want healthy meals delivered to your office or doorstep? Try these options: YOLO Food, Grain, AMGD, NutrifyMeals, FitThree, Nutrition Kitchen, and Yummy Bros.

Relevant Reads: A lot of these foods also boost your family’s immunity against sicknesses and Coronavirus. Find out what essentials you need during your pregnancy and what you should register for.