The list of food restrictions that pregnant women must contend with is endless: say goodbye to deli meat, seafood and even caffeine for a while. Your baby's development and growth can see an impact from what you consume, so an abundance of caution never hurts.
Eating the right vegetables during pregnancy can provide essential vitamins and minerals that help your baby in the womb and after birth. However, some vegetables might be risky during pregnancy.
Learn more about the best vegetables during pregnancy, as well as which vegetables are good to avoid.
The best vegetables during pregnancy offer plenty of fiber and other nutrients. Eating the right foods, in the correct amounts, at the right time, makes all the difference. A healthy diet will make it easier to avoid nutritional deficiencies and gestational diabetes.
Benefits of the right diet include:
Some of the vital nutrients include:
Some of the best vegetables to eat during pregnancy include:
✔ Summer and winter squash — excellent sources of protein, fiber, folate and Vitamins A, C and K
✔ Asparagus — contains Vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as fiber and folate
✔ Tomatoes — a source of Vitamin C and K, and biotin
✔ Beets — a natural source of fiber that is also good for immune system support
✔ Yams or sweet potatoes — great sources of Vitamins A, B, and C
✔ Bell peppers — an excellent fiber source
✔ Parsley — a natural source of Vitamin E, protein and riboflavin
✔ Broccoli — a good source for fiber, as well as folate and Vitamins C and K
✔ Leafy greens like chard, spinach, mustard or collard greens, lettuce or kale — an excellent source of fiber, folate and carotenoids
✔ Escarole or endive
✔ Green peas — high in fiber and Vitamins C and K
When you see your doctor, find out about other vegetables that may be beneficial for you and the coming baby.
There are also a few types of vegetables that pregnant women should avoid. All of these items carry the risk of exposure to bacteria that can harm your baby:
✘ Raw sprouts, including mung bean, clover and alfalfa
✘ Any unwashed produce
✘ Raw radishes
✘ Prepackaged salad mixes
✘ Salad bar items
Sprouts and radishes are safe to consume if cooked. Also, swap out canned vegetables for fresh produce, as fresh vegetables and fruits are more nutritionally complete.
Feeling a little more hungry than usual is reasonable because you are eating for two. Smaller, more frequent meals are often recommended. You might be more likely to have digestive problems, and smaller meals reduce the likelihood of these issues.
Most women do well with 2.3 to 5 cups of either raw or cooked vegetables daily. Consuming vegetables is desirable instead of using supplements alone. Getting the amount of sleep that you need, as well as exercising, will also help.
There are some exciting ways that you might want to consider for preparing vegetables. Grilling or roasting vegetables with spices like oregano, coriander, thyme or basil can make them more flavorful.
Consider cutting up or shredding properly cleaned vegetables, and eating them with a dip. If you're trying to get more of a vegetable that you're not fond of consuming, a dip might be what you need to consume the offending veggie more willingly.
Try mixing up different vegetables and eating them in a sauce. You'll be able to focus more on the sauce and less on which vegetables you don't care for.
It's vitally important to wash vegetables before use. Remaining soil after harvesting or pesticide residue can be harmful to both you and the child. Even if the vegetables you eat are organic, washing before consumption is a good habit.
Always make sure you are in touch with your pregnancy care doctor about your diet, especially if there is anything you are unsure about. Erring on the side of caution is always a safe strategy.