A healthy diet is important for everyone, regardless of what stage of life they are in, but for women who are pregnant, there is even more cause for healthy eating. Besides feeling ravenous with hunger as you strive to feed not only yourself, but also the new life growing inside you, eating healthy is crucial to the growth and development of the baby.
God has given us abundant food sources, but with so many choices at the supermarket, it can be difficult to know just what we should be eating. While pregnancy cravings may lead to an overindulgence in certain treats, sweets and favorite foods, you should be mindful that your diet meets the changing needs of your body as well as the baby’s.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. —Genesis 1:29-30, KJV
Protein Rich Foods
Protein is important for everyone to include in their diet, but this is especially true for pregnant women. Protein can be viewed as building blocks for your baby’s cells and tissue. Eggs are a very good source of protein and pretty versatile when it comes to cooking them. Chicken, lean meats, peanut butter and beans are also good sources of protein.
While fish can be high in mercury, the levels found in salmon tend to be relatively low. Salmon is also an excellent source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and rich in protein. While salmon is recommended, you should not consume any sort of fish more than once weekly while pregnant as an added precaution against mercury consumption.
Beans are a definite super food. High in protein, calcium, iron, folate and zinc, this vitamin rich food source is a pregnancy must. As an added bonus, the fiber found in beans helps guard against unwanted and potentially serious pregnancy symptoms such as constipation and hemorrhoids.
Whole grains are as versatile as they are delicious. You can find whole grain varieties of your favorite foods such as breads, pastas and even baked goods. Popcorn and quinoa are excellent whole grain options. Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients and also help keep you feeling full.
Iron helps carry oxygen to your growing baby and aids in the production of his blood supply. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are great sources of iron as well as calcium which helps your baby to grow strong and healthy. Extra calcium is especially important for pregnant women because the baby will deplete your calcium supply leaving the strength and health of your bones at risk if you do not consume enough calcium in your diet.
While we should all strive to take care of our bodies and treat our bodies with love and respect, there is certainly no doubt that mothers-to-be should strive even more so to provide their beloved children with the nourishment they need to thrive.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church. —Ephesians 5:29, KJV