Is selecting nutritious for pregnant women all that hard? You wouldn’t think so, until you saw some of what passes as food for pregnant women sometimes! The truth is that most people don’t eat nutritiously at any time in their lives, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many pregnant women just don’t know how to maximize their nutritional input either. Here are 5 tips to help you pick the right foods.
Start with your Protein
Protein is the basic building block of cells and there are a lot of cells being formed right now. Your baby grows faster right now than at any other time in its life, so it needs lots of protein. That doesn’t mean chowing down on hamburgers for three meals a day, though.
Your protein should come from grass-fed meat, not commercially grown animals, wild caught fish, not farmed, organic poultry and humanely raised pork. These sources not only have a better nutritional profile, they lack the chemicals and antibiotics common to commercially raised critters.
Protein should be a part of every meal for a variety of reasons.
Whole Grains Come Next
As a society we eat way too many carbohydrates and they are coming from less than optimal sources. Rather than getting your carbs from bread and sugary foods, get them from whole grains and fruits. Whole grains provide plenty of energy, fiber and nutrients in each bite. They take more time to digest than their refined siblings and they offer protection against heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes and much more.
From your baby’s perspective, whole grains keep mom’s blood sugar level stable which means less chance of gestational diabetes, a disease that is as hard on the baby as on the mother.
Organic Produce is Important
Many people want to know why organic. One reason is that organic foods have fewer harmful chemicals. Many of the chemicals used in conventional farming are so dangerous that pregnant women who live in farming communities are encouraged to leave their homes for the day if the crops in the neighborhood are being sprayed. If that doesn’t make you think about what you choose at the store, I don’t know what will.
Produce is your best source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Calcium, iron, manganese, selenium, all of the non-fat soluble vitamins and other good ingredients show up in produce and no where else, so make sure to get your daily supply.
Fats are Essential
The right fats help grow a healthy nervous system and brain. Babies who are born too thin have a hard time maintaining their body temperature. Without fats your baby can’t thrive, and neither can you. Olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter, omega 3 fatty acids, animal fats and fats from plants such as avocados and raw nuts all contribute to satiety and healthy development.
How Much of Each?
There is no way that anyone who has never met you can tell you how much of each type of food you should be eating, much less how to adapt a healthy diet to your pregnancy. For this you need to spend some time with a nutritionist or your doctor.
You can also find metabolic tests online that will help you figure out what types of food are best for you in particular, but the break down of each food type is as individual as you are.
If you have already visited with a nutritionist before you were pregnant and were eating properly, the changes are likely to be minimal. If this is the first time you are pursuing nutritious, whole food eating, then congratulations! Some assistance to get your going on the right path will be very helpful.
Food for pregnant women should be nutritious, tasty and well balanced. Once you get used to eating this way, you won’t want to go back.
Everything is better with chile y lìmon!
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Tostilocos and Mango Con Chamoy prepared by Bionicos Daisy’s in Los Angeles, CA.
Champurrado provided by El Monarco in Hollywood, CA.
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