Make sure these nutritious foods are part of your daily diet.
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It's no exaggeration to say you are the most important person in your child's world, especially during your pregnancy. Your womb is where all his development takes place, and he depends wholly on you for all his needs. You literally provide his lifeblood, and with it all the nutrients that will nurture his growth, which is why what you eat is critical.
While a balanced diet is important at all times, some nutrients are especially important for moms-to-be. These four nutrients include:
Docosahexaenoic acid has been shown to be essential for your baby's brain and eye development as early as in the prenatal stage. It has been scientifically demonstrated that the DHA level of pregnant moms and breast milk will increase if a high level of DHA is absorbed through food or nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.
Vitamin B9, also known as folate (or folic acid in its processed form), prevents neural-tube defects, which lead to malformations of the brain and spinal cord.
Increase your calcium reserves to prevent bone demineralization. This mineral also helps your baby build strong bones and teeth and develop healthy nerves and muscles.
Your body needs extra iron to make blood for you and your baby during pregnancy. Iron helps circulate oxygen to your baby while inside the womb. A lack of iron increases the risk of premature delivery or a baby with low birth weight.
These four nutrients are available through natural sources and as supplements. The great news: Some foods are high in most of these pregnancy-supporting nutrients. By stocking up on these essentials every time you hit the supermarket, you guarantee a steady stream of brain- and body-building nutrients for you and your baby. Here are four foods helpful to pregnant women:
Salmon is high in calcium and DHA. Canned salmon includes softened bones which can be blended with the meat to make a calcium-rich spread. Fresh salmon can be grilled, baked, or fried with a range of seasonings. Smoked salmon is excellent in canapes, sandwiches, pasta, and also on its own.
This green leafy vegetable (and others such as kale and bok choy) is a great source of folate, iron, and calcium. This veggie is easy to include in meals as part of salads or stir-fries. You can shred and add spinach to omelets or put it in the food processor to make healthy dips.
Most kinds of beans, peas, and lentils are high in folate, iron, and calcium. Beans are easy to buy and store in their dry or canned forms. They make great additions to soup and chili and can be blended to create hummus.
One super-easy source of abundant nutrients is fortified milk specifically designed for moms-to-be. This should have additional vitamins and minerals and available in tasty options. Look for a milk supplement that is best tasting and nutritious at the same time.
A good source that includes all these nutrients and is specially made for pregnant and lactating moms is Enfamama A+. This prenatal milk is fortified with folic acid, iron, and calcium, and helps provide the daily expert recommended requirement for DHA*. Consult your doctor about the best diet for your pregnancy and ask for the milk with the highest levels of DHA** for full support.
With proper knowledge and nourishment, moms-to-be will be fully ready when their little bundles of joy arrive. As you await that big day, make sure you're ready with the help of the Enfamama A+ App. Download to your mobile and gadget device so you won't miss any details of your pregnancy and the health of your little one. Read articles, track your weight, take note of the number of little kicks, and print out government forms that you will ever need for your maternity benefits. The Enfamama A+ App will be with you every step of the way. Learn more about it here.
The Enfamama A+ App is available for both iOS and Android.
*FAO 2010 Fats and Fatty Acids in human nutrition. Report of an expert consultation. FAO Food and Nutritional Paper no.91 FAO: Rome
** Versus other prenatal and lactation supplement brands
This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Enfagrow A+ Four.