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6 Easy Ways to Eat Healthy When You’re Pregnant


Once it sinks in that you’re pregnant, it hits you: your body is creating a little life! Healthy eating is one of the easiest ways you can control your baby’s health – by giving your baby the right nutrients he or she needs to grow properly.

Without enough iron, your baby is at risk of being born prematurely or with a low birth weight. Eating foods containing zinc ensures your baby’s muscles and organs grow. If you don’t eat enough calcium, your body will take calcium out of your bones to give to your baby’s bones, which means you’re at risk for osteoporosis.

For more info about important nutrients to eat when you’re pregnant (and which foods have them), click here to request our supplement. Below we give you 6 easy ways to eat healthy when you’re pregnant.

1. Eat frequently and wisely

Don’t starve yourself in an effort to control your weight gain. Your metabolism works better with small meals every 2-3 hours; this can also help with those pregnancy nuisances, nausea, and heartburn. Your frequent meals should be nutrient dense; focus on whole grains, fruits and veggies, and protein. Don’t eat the same thing every day; choosing a variety of foods will ensure you’re getting all the important nutrients we mentioned at the beginning.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Dehydration in pregnancy puts both you and your baby at risk. Keeping yourself hydrated is necessary to flush out toxins and to form the placenta and amniotic sac. Your doctor takes this so seriously that they may monitor the color of your urine!

Your doctor will tell you how much water to drink. When you get tired of plain water, try adding lemon slices, orange, cucumber, or blackberries and mint; or drink flavored seltzer (without sugar or artificial sweeteners) or decaffeinated tea (check with your doctor to make sure your tea contains no herbs that could be harmful during pregnancy).

3. Focus on fruits and veggies

Why? Fruits and veggies are high in fiber, which can help relieve constipation (if you drink lots of water too!) Fruits and veggies provide a fabulous cocktail of vitamins and minerals that multivitamin supplements don’t duplicate. They help fill you up, so you’ll be less likely to overeat on nutrient-poor foods like chips. Some people find fruits and veggies help suppress their cravings for sweets (try crunching on raw broccoli, dried fruit, or frozen berries when cravings strike!)

4. Good proteins

Eat a healthy protein with every meal or snack to help fill you up. We like full-fat dairy (like cheese or Siggi’s yogurt, which also contain calcium and vitamin D to strengthen your bones); nuts; bean-based snacks like hummus, Biena chickpea snacks, dried edamame, or Snapeas; hard-boiled eggs; beans and lentils; and lean meats like chicken, fish, turkey, or beef.

Avoid processed meats containing nitrates, and high-fat beef should be eaten in moderation. You can find ideas for healthy protein-containing meals and snacks in our supplement (request a copy here).

5. Minimize processed food

No one should over-indulge in processed foods, especially pregnant women. Processed foods are low in nutrients but contain artificial colors and preservatives like salt (salt can worsen high blood pressure and fluid retention in some pregnant women). Filling up on these foods also means you have less room to eat the high-protein, vitamin-rich foods your body needs.

6. Avoid white starches

White starches (white rice, white pasta, white bread) provide little nutrition other than calories. Eating extra calories leads to excess weight gain, which could contribute to poor blood sugar control (gestational diabetes) and make it harder to lose the baby weight after you deliver.

Instead, choose whole grain pasta, whole wheat bread, and brown rice – these give you more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The switch to whole grains is one of the healthiest changes you can make during pregnancy.

It’s not easy to be responsible for a growing baby. At the end of the day, you’ll feel better – mentally and physically – knowing that you’re doing what you can to choose a healthy diet.

Want more information on how to eat healthy when you’re pregnant? Check out our Fact vs. Fiction post for some popular pregnancy myths debunked.

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