Most berries, including blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries, contain beneficial phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants that rid the body of cell-damaging free radicals. You get vitamin C, fibre and folate.
Many women develop aversions to meat while pregnant. Eggs are an excellent alternative protein source, since they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends no more than one egg per day for a healthy person, as long as total daily cholesterol does not exceed 300 mg. It needs to be well-cooked, and provides iron, protein and vitamin B12, which is essential for the healthy growth of cells in your body.
Offers quick energy to fight off pregnancy fatigue and is rich in potassium. It is also excellent in reducing water retention.
Contains plenty of calcium, magnesium, folate and disease fighting antioxidants. The florets however, contain a higher concentration of nutrients and phytochemicals than the rest of the plant, though the stems and leaves are also nutritious. Steam rather than boil to help preserve the nutrients.
This includes chickpeas, lentils, black beans, soybeans and peanuts. They are a great alternative to fatty sources of protein and are a good source of nutrients for vegetarians during pregnancy. Legumes contain protein, fibre, iron, folate, calcium and zinc.
A good source of calcium which is vital for bone development in babies. Choose low-fat products to keep saturated fat levels low. It provides calcium, protein, fat, and vitamins B and D. Do bear in mind that your body will absorb twice as much calcium from foods while you’re pregnant. Each 8-ounce glass provides about 30 per cent of the recommended dietary allowance of 1000mg.
It might make sense to switch to whole grains, including oatmeal, whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice, as they contain more fibre and trace nutrients than processed grains. Enriched whole grains are fortified with folic acid and other B vitamins, iron and zinc; some grain products may contain added calcium and vitamin D. Check your labels before buying.
If you are a vegetarian, tofu is excellent source of protein, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamins A and K. Tofu has about 10g of protein per half cup.
9. Sunflower seeds.
It’s a nutritious snack as it provides an instant source of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as magnesium, vitamins A, B, D, E and K, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc.
10 per cent of your daily iron requirement is met with just a handful. Dried apricots also contain folic acid, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
It comes packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid and potassium.
It’s a fantastic alternative if you do not like to drink milk as plain yoghurt contains more calcium than milk. It provides calcium, protein, B vitamins and zinc. You might be happy to note that the low-fat versions contain as much calcium as their full-fat counterparts.
13. Sweet potato.
A good source of energy, and packed with calcium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, vital for skin and eye development.
14. Lean meat.
Your daily iron needs double when you are pregnant, so it’s important to include plenty of iron rich foods Meat delivers a form of iron that’s easily absorbed by your body.
It is essential to keep yourself well-hydrated. Drinking eight glasses of water a day helps to maintain energy levels and help prevent constipation and cystitis.