The best foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy

By December 16, 2013Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, everyone has an opinion about what you should and shouldn’t be eating, and how much you need to be eating Quick to YouTube. It can get really confusing – especially if you’re a first time mom-to-be.
In your first trimester you only need to be adding around 300-500 calories to your daily diet. Once you enter your second and third trimester however, your growing baby’s nutritional requirements increase – and ideally you need to be taking in an additional 2500 calories per day. It may sound like a lot, but it’s absolutely vital that you’re getting the nutrition you need, not only for healthy foetal development, but also a healthy YOU.

Not sure how you should be making up the extra calories? Here are the top 8 healthy foods you should be aiming to eat regularly during your pregnancy. As much as possible, aim for whole, unprocessed and organic foods.

  1. GM –Free Soy: Packed full of protein, soy is a versatile, low-fat food source and is commonly eaten in the form of soy beans, soy mince, tofu and soy milk.
  2. Beans: Beans are considered a ‘super’ food as they provide a concentrated source of fibre, protein, folic acid, zinc, iron and calcium.
  3. Oily fish: Tuna, salmon and sardines are a top source of the omega fatty acids and essential proteins needed for healthy foetal development.
  4. Sweet potatoes: Cheap and nutritious, they contain Vitamin C and folic acid and are high in fibre too.
  5. Whole grains: Such as popcorn (without the salt and butter!), barley, oats and seed breads provide necessary rare vitamins, minerals and fibre.
  6. Dark leafy green vegetables: Spinach and cabbage are versatile vegetables and provide your baby with Vitamins A, C and K – which are necessary for healthy eye development.
  7. Lean meats: Such as beef, chicken and turkey are packed with protein and choline, which is vital for your baby’s brain cell development.
  8. Walnuts: As a rare source of Omega 3, walnuts contain the essential fatty acids needed for healthy brain development.
Read  The first trimester: Week 1-12

To get around feeling uncomfortably full and any acid reflux, try eating 5 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones – and don’t forget the water!

Joanne Hart for