5 Foods That Provide The Nutrition You Need For A Healthy Pregnancy from fitpregnancy.com
1. Figs There’s a whopping 5 grams of fiber in just 1 cup of dried figs. Plus, figs are a great nondairy source of calcium; one serving contains about a quarter of your daily needs (1,000 milligrams). And while your teeth may not appreciate the high sugar content, they will benefit from the potassium, phosphorus and magnesium in figs. These tooth-supporting nutrients aren’t just great for your own mouth; they are essential to the 32 teeth forming below the gums in your growing baby’s mouth. Figs are also a good source of iron. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, especially during pregnancy, thanks to the increase in your blood volume and growing demands by the baby for iron to produce millions of red blood cells. Stewed figs contain about 3 milligrams of iron (about 10 percent of your daily recommended intake) in 1 cup. The same number of figs will also provide your body with 23 micrograms of vitamin K, which is needed for proper blood clotting and bone formation.
2. Chives Seen as a garnish, chives tend to be overlooked. But, these small, mild-tasting green onions are a source of folate (the synthetic form is folic acid), iron, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium. Folic acid may be the most important nutrient of the first trimester. Without it, your baby has an increased risk for structural defects that could be fatal. There are 6.4 micrograms of folate per 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives. For proper iron absorption, your body needs vitamin C. Chives give you both—about 3.5 milligrams of vitamin C and 0.1 milligrams of iron per 2 tablespoons. Plus, your sprinkle of chives has about 12 milligrams of magnesium; this mineral can help alleviate constipation, a common symptom during pregnancy. In fact, magnesium is involved in more than 300 cellular reactions, making it very important to your health and your growing baby’s.
3. Pinto Beans Pinto beans are one of the healthiest foods on Earth. There is 1 milligram of copper (about 100 percent of your recommended daily amount), 5 milligrams of iron (about 19 percent of your RDA) and more than 400 milligrams of phosphorus (that’s more than half of your daily needs) in 1/2 cup. Copper aids in forming red blood cells; iron is important for making hemoglobin, the substance in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to your baby; and, phosphorus works with calcium to ensure that your baby’s bones and teeth are growing properly. Pinto beans are also packed with fiber; one serving contains 15 grams. (As a pregnant woman, you need about 28 grams of fiber each day.) One of the best strategies for helping to avoid the nausea and vomiting commonly experienced during the first trimester is to keep your belly feeling satisfied and full. Foods with a high fiber content can be an ally in your battle against morning sickness.
4. Leeks Leeks are the vegetable equivalent of a super multivitamin-mineral tablet. They are a nondairy source of calcium (55 milligrams per cup), which is essential for the development of your baby’s bones. Plus, calcium may help combat some common symptoms of pregnancy, including irritability, insomnia and back and leg pains. One serving of leeks also contains close to 60 micrograms of folate as well as 0.2 milligrams of vitamin B6 (about 10 percent of your RDA), which is necessary for your body to metabolize energy from the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in your diet. There’s also evidence that vitamin B6 can help alleviate morning sickness. There’s more: In one serving of leeks, there are 40 micrograms of vitamin K, 2 micrograms of iron and 0.4 micrograms of manganese. Vitamin K is needed for proper blood-clot formation and healthy bone growth; and manganese helps support normal skeletal development in the baby.
5. Artichokes Feeling sluggish? Reach for an artichoke. This vegetable is a great nonmeat source of iron, which is an energizing nutrient. A medium boiled artichoke has about 1 milligram of iron (about 12 percent of your recommended daily intake). There’s another energizing nutrient in artichokes: folate. (A medium-size artichoke has 100 micrograms.) Besides helping to prevent birth defects, folate helps your body metabolize proteins, the building blocks for the hormones and enzymes that help your body keep going. During your pregnancy, you may suffer from constipation, which can be alleviated with some extra fiber in your diet. Artichokes are wonderful sources of fiber, with 10 grams each. And they’re often recommended to soothe indigestion, another common pregnancy complaint.