According to an article on healthline.com, eating healthy during pregnancy is associated with good brain development and healthy birth weight, and can reduce the risk of many birth defects. A balanced diet will also reduce the risks of anemia, as well as other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness. With pregnancy comes the usual phrase “eating for two” while this is true for the quantity it is ditto for quality too. Pregnancy represents a period of hormonal changes for most women, from feelings of irritability during morning sickness to feelings of being irritable coupled with food cravings and aversions. More than often not these food cravings may be that of junks, but the meals listed below represent a fine line between satisfying your cravings and added health benefits.
- Pepper soup: Top of the list is pepper soup cutting across from fish, goat meat, and assorted meat. Hot and spicy, it would certainly make nausea and other irritating symptoms disappear and keep your taste buds craving for more. When garnished with medicinal plants like scent leaf and or Bitter leaf, the health benefit of a delicious plate of pepper soup is much more maximized. Spring onions can also be added. Pepper soup is best consumed during the second and third trimester.
- Vegetable soup: Vegetable soups like efo riro(spinach stew), waterleaf, bitter leaf, never come up short as a star menu in a pregnancy diet. Owing to their relatively high amount of many important nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, folate, Vitamin A among many others. You can garnish with stockfish to make it more palatable. They can be taken alone or in combination with relatively nutritious swallow foods like wheatmeal, plantain amala, semovita, semolina, and oatmeal fufu. They are also a storehouse of disease-preventing antioxidants. Slow digestion is a common symptom in pregnancy, therefore easy-to-digest vegetables would make a good component of a pregnancy diet.
- Beans: Honey beans and kidney-shaped black-eyed beans come under this superfood. Beans is a unique component of pregnancy diet because it can not only be eaten in its common palm oil fried form but a wide variety of other modifications such as ewa agoyin, moi moi, akara, ekuru (white beans moi moi) and gbegiri soup. Beans contain a whole host of nutrients but notable amongst them include potassium, iron, folate which are beneficial in babies ‘ growth and development. As a rich source of protein its also beneficial for the mother.
- Smoothie: A delicious blend of banana, yogurt, strawberry, organic greens, and milk is enough for a pregnancy smoothie. Other fruits can be added to create and added taste. A well-prepared pregnancy smoothie will not satisfy your cravings but also afford you with the nutrition you and your baby need as they contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals
- Salad: Easy to make and a hub of nutrients, salad is good food that should be eaten when pregnant. Made up of lettuce, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, and any other ingredient you so choose to add. Did you know eggs contain all vitamins except Vitamin C? boiled eggs should be an ingredient in your salad. A blend of fruits can also be used to make a fruit salad. It is important to wash your lettuce and other ingredients to ensure the safety of your salad.
- Nuts: Groundnut, almonds, peanut, walnut, cashew nuts are very nutritious nuts for pregnant women. Nuts are rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Consumption of nuts during pregnancy is associated with better child development
- Fortified breakfast cereals: Cereals contain high fiber and folic acid which are important for a baby’s development, When you’re pregnant the body craves nutrient-rich foods and cereal provides high fiber, folic acid, which is the ideal carbohydrate, essential vitamins, and minerals the body needs
- Meat: Meat contains a high source of iron which helps the body make more blood for you and your baby. Getting enough iron will help your body against iron deficiency anemia common during pregnancy
- Fruits: Mangoes, oranges, berries, avocado, guava, banana, graves, and apples are the best fruits to be eaten during pregnancy. The advice for pregnant women is to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day and to vary these as much as possible.
- Yogurts: Like milk, yogurts contain a high amount of calcium, phosphorous, and proteins. Yogurt is extremely rich in calcium and is a great way to build bones. Yogurt is also abundant in folic acid and proteins
Mothers who eat an unhealthy diet during pregnancy may be putting their children at great risk of developing indelible and irremediable health issues including obesity, hypercholesterolemia and hyperglycemia.