Taking care of yourself and ensuring you eat a well balanced nutritional diet, is vital when you a pregnant and of course, in the pregnancy planning stage too! Many people are aware, folate or folic acid, is very important to take before conception occurs as well as in those early weeks, but did you know it plays a key role during the whole pregnancy? Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 and can be found in a variety of food. Folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin and it can be found in supplements or fortified cereals.
So what foods should be on your pregnancy shopping list?
Do a Popeye! This smart sailor knew what he was doing by eating spinach as it the number one source for natural folate. Kale is super good too- cook it briefly and add a squirt of lemon.
Broccoli, not only contains folate, but it is also high in vitamin C. Try adding some raw to your salads.
The bells of St Clements! Oranges and are particularly high in folate, strawberries and raspberries too. You might need to go easy on the lemons, if you already suffer from acidity like heartburn, they can exacerbate it.
Go bananas! Feeling in need of an energy boost, choose a banana instead of reaching for the biscuit tin! Sugar found in processed foods end up leaving you feeling more tired than before, as after the initial boost to your energy, you will have a blood sugar low. Bananas contain potassium, which naturally boosts energy levels.
Meat feast! Not everyone, likes or eats meat, but if you do, then meat is a great way to ensure you keep your iron levels up. If you are a vegetarian eat dried apricots, pulses and eggs to ensure you get enough iron. If you are or were a pregnant vegetarian, have you any tips you could share with us?
Say cheese! Although some soft cheeses are to be avoided in pregnancy, you can still find a variety of other cheeses that are safe to eat in pregnancy. Cheese contains calcium. Always check with your midwife or GP first if you are not sure.
Eggs are egg-cellent! Eggs are a fab way to get enough protein. A hard boiled egg makes a good pregnancy snack too! Use your loaf! Swop white bread for the wholemeal variety as it is a good source of fibre, iron and zinc.
Oats are totes filling! Try eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, it will fill you up for longer.
Go nuts! Obviously eating nuts must be avoided if you suffer from any nut allergies. However, if they are something you can eat, they are a good source of natural fats, which is important for your baby’s developing brain. Beware of eating too many though as they are high in calories.
Smooth operators! Try making your own smoothies, especially good if you suffer from pregnancy sickness as you can add ginger to them, which helps combat nausea.