One of the main concerns during pregnancy is eating the right foods in order to ensure that your baby’s growth is seamless and uninterrupted. While a lot of articles out there insist on including foods like eggs and lean meat in your pregnancy diet, you would need to opt for equally healthy alternatives if you happen to be a strict vegetarian. Not to worry though, for here are 10 amazing vegetables that would give your baby all the nutrients he/she needs inside the womb. These power foods would help pump essential nutrients to your baby and contribute significantly to his/her overall well being. So without further ado, here are those 10 must eat vegetables during pregnancy.
A must have vegetable during pregnancy is broccoli which is loaded with essential minerals like folate and calcium. Adding broccoli to your pregnancy diet would offer your body the supreme nutritional value it needs to stimulate the proper development of your baby’s brain. So stock up on as much broccoli as you can during pregnancy.
Another power food you need to eat during pregnancy is cabbage. Cabbage contains high amounts of vitamins A, E and K. It also contains gracious amounts of minerals like potassium, magnesium and zinc. These vitamins and minerals would contribute significantly to your baby’s overall health.
Ask anyone about sweet potatoes and you would get a lecture on their manifold benefits, especially for pregnant women. Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of potassium and dietary fibers which would help in the proper development of your baby’s vital organs. So make sure you add some sweet potatoes to your pregnancy diet every day.
Dried Beans and Lentils
A pregnant woman would need at least 10 grams of extra protein on a daily basis (for a standard total of 60 grams or so). The best way to get these additional 10 grams of protein into your system is to eat plenty of lentils and beans. A single cup of beans or lentils contain at least 15 grams of protein, thus providing your body with the protein it needs during pregnancy. Beans and lentils are also rich sources of fiber that helps prevent constipation and other stomach related disorders during pregnancy. Another benefit of adding lentils to your diet? They contain high amounts of folate essential for the development of the baby’s brain. So consider adding a cup of cooked beans and lentils to your meals every day.
While the argument about avocado being a fruit or vegetable continues, we are more concerned about how it can help pregnant women. So let’s concentrate on that for now. Avocados are great additions to a pregnancy diet due to the fact that they contain very high levels of potassium and folate essential for the baby’s brain. Avocados also contain significant amounts of Vitamins A, B, C and B6 which aid in the proper development of the organs and muscles. So opt to add avocados in the dishes you cook every day, preferably salads.
Although we consider beetroot to be a rather healthy food irrespective of whether you are pregnant or not, the health benefits this vegetable offers multiply manifold for pregnant women. Beetroots contain high amounts of Vitamins A and C. They also contain high levels of minerals like iron and folic acid which aid in the overall development of the baby’s body and mind. So make sure you add beetroot to your meals every day.
Another important addition to your diet during pregnancy is the quintessential green pea. Green peas are loaded with plenty of vitamin K, a nutrient that is very important for the proper development of the bones, muscles and central nervous system. Eating green peas during pregnancy would therefore ensure that your baby’s bone health and muscle health are not compromised in any way.
A lot of citrus fruits are often recommended during pregnancy as they contain high amounts of Vitamin C. However, vegetables are not that far behind in the nutrition quotient either. Not many people know that vegetables like bell peppers contain very high amounts of Vitamin C that would help repair as well as stimulate the growth of the muscles and tissues in the baby’s body. The surprising thing here is that bell peppers contain more Vitamin C than even oranges (a single red bell pepper contains up to 209 mg of Vitamin C, at least 3 times more than the Vitamin C you can find in oranges). Another thing about bell peppers is that they also help the baby’s body absorb iron better. So make sure you use a lot of bell peppers in the dishes that you cook, preferably in stir fried veggies.
Lycopene is a substance that is attributed to having potent anti-cancer properties. And tomatoes contain very high levels of this wonder component. Eating a lot of tomatoes during pregnancy would help boost your baby’s immunity and continue to strengthen the immune system for the first few months after your baby is born. So consider adding a lot of tomatoes to your pregnancy diet on a daily basis. A word of caution though. Remove the seeds before using tomatoes in your dishes as the intake of too many seeds has been linked to prostate problems in many studies.
Green Leafy Vegetables
We should have probably listened to our mothers when they asked to eat those green leafy vegetables for better immunity. Well, it is never too late to start eating them, especially if you are pregnant. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek and lettuce, etc. contain very high amounts of zinc, one of the most nutrients needed for the proper development of the vital organs in your baby’s body. In addition to zinc, green leafy vegetables contain very high levels of other essential minerals like fiber and manganese in addition to a whole lot of other vitamins which would contribute greatly to the overall development of your baby’s physical and mental health, both during pregnancy and for the first few weeks after birth. So start munching on those leafy greens today.