Healthy Foods for Pregnant Women
The diet in early pregnancy should include about seventy-five grams of protein per day. This means about three servings of protein-rich foods, such as three to four ounce servings of fish, meat, poultry, tofu, nuts, or cheese, two cups of yogurt, half a cup of quinoa, two cups of oatmeal, four eggs, one cup of beans, three tablespoons of peanut butter, or a large glass of milk or soymilk. Many of these protein sources also supply iron.
Calcium is another important nutrient. Fortunately, the protein-rich dairy foods are also all great sources of calcium, as well as soy, green leafy vegetables, almonds, and figs. In the first trimester diet, four servings of calcium should be consumed every day.
Folic acid is an essential nutrient during early pregnancy. It plays a crucial role in DNA development, cell growth, and tissue formation, and is specifically linked with the prevention of neural tube defects. Plenty of folic acid-rich foods should be eaten during the first trimester, and before conception if possible. Green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, beans, avocados, peanuts, and wheat germ are all good sources of folic acid and should be a regular part of the first trimester diet.
For healthy brain development plenty of omega fatty acids are also needed, which are found in fish, especially salmon and tuna, walnuts, beans, flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, and green leafy vegetables. These foods are more important later in the pregnancy, but it is still helpful to include them in the first trimester diet. Be sure as well to eat three servings of vitamin C rich foods (citrus, strawberries, kiwi, green vegetables), three servings of carotene-rich foods (yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, as well as the green leafy vegetables), six servings of whole grains, and plenty of vitamin D fortified milk or soymilk for a high-quality first trimester diet.