Best and Worst Foods For Pregnant Women: In order for pregnant women and their unborn children to get through the nine months in good health, not only are certain nutrients important, but in general, you should ensure a healthy and balanced diet
8 Best Foods For Pregnant Women
1. High-Fat Fish
The motto for fish is the fatter, the healthier. But not because your baby needs a lot of calories, but because of the super cheap composition of the fat in fish: It consists predominantly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and is above all rich in valuable omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids support the heart and circulation in expectant mothers and – very important! – promote the development of the brain in the unborn child.
Extra tip: Whether salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel, or sardines: These types of fish are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids and should be on the table at least once a week.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are mainly found in high-fat fish, should ideally be on your menu once a week.
2. Sea Fish
But lean fish is also a really good catch for pregnant women. Although it contains hardly any fat, so few of the healthy fatty acids. But sea fish provides large quantities of another substance that plays an extremely important role for mothers and the unborn child: no other food can meet the iodine requirement so easily and so deliciously. The trace element has a major influence on the development of the baby’s brain and intelligence in the womb.
According to a study, an adequate iodine supply is particularly important in the first three months of pregnancy: children of such mothers had a better SprachIQ, a significantly better reading comprehension, and a better reading accuracy in tests.
Extra tip: Doctors recommend women who want to become pregnant or who are already pregnant consume 250 μg of iodine per day. This amount can be found in just 110 g of cod, around 150 g of haddock, or 130 g of tuna. Seasoning with iodine salt is also important; In consultation with a doctor, it may also make sense to take iodine tablets.
Lean fish is very important for expectant mothers and for the unborn child in order to have a sufficient supply of iodine.
3. Vegetable Oils
Whether for cooking, frying, baking, or for salads: use vegetable oils from olives, rapeseed, nuts, or seeds every day! Because these fats also contain plenty of super-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which support and promote the brain and nervous system of expectant mothers and the unborn child.
Another important plus point: studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of allergies for the unborn child after birth.
Extra tip: Butter or margarine on bread is okay even during pregnancy. But vegetable oils are also much healthier here. Sure, it doesn’t really go with jam or honey – but it’s all the better with a hearty topping! So do it more often like the Spaniards, for example, who first drizzle their bread with a little cold-pressed olive oil and then top it with cheese, ham or tuna.
Use vegetable oils such as olive and rapeseed oil every day and eat nuts and seeds, as these also contain the omega-3 fatty acids that are important to you.
4. Milk and Dairy Products
In order for your baby to have healthy bones and good teeth, later on, a sufficient supply of calcium is extremely important during pregnancy. Doctors and the German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommend at least 1,000 mg daily; for very young pregnant women under 19 years of age, it should be 1,200 mg.
Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are among the optimal sources of calcium. But cheese is particularly rich in it. Hard and hard cheeses in particular contain high amounts of calcium. With 50 g of parmesan, mountain cheese, or Emmentaler, you can cover half of your daily requirement, for example.
Extra tip: You don’t like milk that much? No problem: just eat a little more cheese and yogurt instead. Also in the low-fat version, the fat content does not change the calcium content! Important: If you are vegan, it is essential that you seek advice from your doctor on how you can ensure that your baby is supplied with calcium!
Dairy products are an important source of calcium for your baby to grow healthily.
Incidentally, green leafy vegetables also contain considerable amounts of calcium. But that is by no means the only reason why pregnant women should eat as often as possible, especially with kale, Swiss chard, rocket, and spinach: the high content of folic acid in them is even more important.
This vitamin from the B group, also known as folate, has a decisive influence on whether your unborn baby can develop healthily. Many studies show that if the folic acid level in the expectant mother’s body is too low, the risk of severe deformities in her baby increases.
Typical possible malformations with a folic acid deficiency are above all spina bifida (a serious defect of the nervous system), a so-called water head, congenital heart defects, and defects in the heart septum.
The period from the 22nd to the 28th day of pregnancy is particularly critical for malformations due to a lack of folic acid. Doctors therefore urgently recommend that you ensure that you have sufficient folic acid intake if possible when a pregnancy is planned – preferably at least four weeks before the start!
So if you want to have children, it is essential that you eat foods that are high in folate as often as possible. In addition to green leafy vegetables, these are particularly fresh herbs, cress, asparagus, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, and savoy cabbage.
Extra tip: The DGE recommends a daily intake of 550 µg folate for pregnant women. Theoretically, it is possible to achieve this amount simply by carefully selecting the food. By the way, brewer’s yeast is the single leader when it comes to folate: At 3,200 µg per 100 g, it is definitely worth sprinkling it regularly with muesli, vegetables, or soups!
In practice, however, you shouldn’t risk anything and also take a folate acid preparation recommended by a doctor. And don’t worry: too much can only help, not harm. Side effects are only known from approx. 11 mg daily – this corresponds to more than 25 times the daily dose!
Green leafy vegetables are especially important during pregnancy because of their calcium content and high folic acid content. A folic acid deficiency can have negative effects on your unborn baby.
6. Nuts, kernels, and Seeds
Nibbling can be really healthy for pregnant women. Peanuts, for example, also provide plenty of folate at 169 µg per 100 g. Other nuts can hardly keep up with an average of around 50 µg. But they have plenty of other important nutrients to offer: All nuts, as well as kernels and seeds, contain a large portion of magnesium.
This mineral is of great importance for expectant mothers and the unborn child: Magnesium ensures the smooth functioning of nerves and muscles; Together with calcium, magnesium is responsible for building the baby’s skeleton, for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium also has an antispasmodic effect, preventing both painful leg cramps and premature labor.
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The daily target recommended by the DGE for pregnant women is 310 mg magnesium and can be met relatively easily with the right foods. (In addition to nuts, seeds, and kernels, legumes and whole grains also contain plenty of magnesium.)
Nuts, kernels, and seeds contain important magnesium, which is of great importance for your unborn child, as it ensures strong bones and teeth.
Extra tip: Cores & Co. contain this much magnesium.
VARIETY MAGNESIUM PER 100 G
Sunflower seeds 420 mg
Pumpkin seeds 402 mg
Sesame seeds 350 mg
Poppy seeds 335 mg
Cashews 270 mg
Pine nuts 235 mg
Almonds 170 mg
Brazil nuts + pistachios 160 mg
Hazelnuts 150 mg
Walnuts 135 mg
7. Whole GrainCereals
So-called complex carbohydrates are particularly important so that the unborn child gets enough “fuel” to grow and thrive. Experts and doctors recommend whole grain cereals or products made from them as the best source for this. But whether bread, pasta, or wholemeal flakes – they not only provide energy, but also other substances that do a lot of good to expectant mothers and babies.
Above all, these are mainly vitamins from the B group, which play a major role in building the brain, nervous system, and blood cells. Another plus point: Whole grain products offer plenty of fiber and thus ensure good digestion.
Extra tip: If you have not eaten a lot of whole grains and you find it difficult to switch to it: start slowly! For example, first, mix normal pasta with whole-grain pasta and gradually increase the proportion. Very important: Drink as much calorie-free liquid as possible, this makes whole grain products more digestible and prevents constipation.
Eat complex carbohydrates, preferably products made from whole grains (high in fiber), so that your baby can thrive.
On the one hand, beans, lentils, and chickpeas have very similar advantages to whole grains: They also contain plenty of complex carbohydrates, which give the unborn baby (and of course you) strength and energy, as well as a lot of fiber.
But that’s not all: Legumes also provide large amounts of the important minerals calcium and magnesium as well as a lot of folic acids! This makes them an ideal food for mother and child – especially since the small powerhouses also provide enough iron.
Extra tip: If you get gas easily from legumes, these tricks will help:
- It is better to prepare lentils etc. yourself than take them out of the can.
- Soak the legumes in plenty of water overnight, then drain them in a sieve and rinse well.
- Put on with freshwater, slowly bring to a boil and cook over low heat.
- If necessary, change the water halfway through the cooking time.
Seasoning with fennel, anise, ginger, cumin, savory, dill, oregano, or thyme makes legumes more digestible.
- In the end, very sensitive ones simply puree – this “cracks” the cell walls and makes legumes easier to digest.
(*) Be careful if you are taking medication for cramps and epilepsy, antibiotics or antimetabolic drugs: they can lower folic acid levels or inhibit the absorption of folate. This also applies to the “pill” and alcohol.
Legumes also have a high fiber content as well as calcium, magnesium, and folic acid and provide your child with important nutrients.
→Diet For a Pregnant Woman During Pregnancy: Proper Diet For Pregnant Woman
The 8 Worst Foods For Pregnant Women
Whether a small glass of champagne or wine every few weeks harms pregnant women or the unborn child or not, this is what newer studies are currently dealing with. The preliminary result suggests that alcohol in very small amounts on rare occasions does not seem to have any noteworthy consequences, but this is by no means certain.
Basically, alcohol in any form has been shown to be an incalculable risk factor for physical and mental disabilities in children in the womb.
Mothers-to-be should therefore stick to the rule of completely giving up alcohol as soon as they know of their pregnancy. The taboo also applies if you are planning a pregnancy or your desired child!
Extra tip: It is easier to do without if you do not make any exceptions. So it’s best to consistently avoid sauces, desserts, and other dishes that are prepared with alcohol.
Alcohol should be off-limits to you if you want your child to be born healthy.
2. Raw Fish
Whether tuna carpaccio, ceviche, sashimi, or sushi – even with the very best quality, it can never be completely ruled out that pathogens such as listeria are hidden in raw or semi-raw fish.
The consequences of this could be very unpleasant for pregnant women – but extremely dangerous for the unborn child: they are threatened with deformities, premature birth and, in the worst case, even death.
Extra tip: If you crave sushi during pregnancy, prepare it yourself and limit yourself to purely vegetarian or vegan variants. If you want it to taste like the sea, you can also prepare your sushi with cooked scampi. You can find great recipes here at EatSmarter.
Avoid raw and semi-raw fish, because if it is contaminated with pathogens, it can have serious consequences for your unborn child.
3. Smoked Fish
Unfortunately, salmon and other fish also belong on the “red list” if they have been smoked. It is not that often that smoked salmon and the like contain dangerous listeria or other pathogens – but this cannot be ruled out.
There have already been multiple recall campaigns by supermarkets or manufacturers for this reason.
Extra tip: Do not use smoked fish at all until you are born – and do not rely on your nose or eyes: you can neither smell nor see the infestation with listeria or the pathogens of dangerous toxoplasmosis!
It is better not to eat smoked fish. If this harmful pathogen is in it, it can be dangerous for your child.
4. Raw Milk
With all the love for nature: If you are a fan of untreated raw milk fresh from the cow, you should definitely change as soon as you are pregnant. Because only pasteurized (i.e. made germ-free by heating) milk is guaranteed to be healthy and harmless.
Raw milk, on the other hand, like raw fish and smoked fish, can contain pathogens that can be dangerous to your child. It can be recognized by the label “made from/with raw milk”. As a precaution, always ask about cheese from the cheese counter. Prefer hard cheese made from pasteurized milk and always cut off the rind well.
It is better to avoid soft cheese and cheese with red smear rind altogether, they can also contain dangerous germs. Buy cream cheese, mozzarella, feta, sheep cheese, and quark only packaged.
Extra tip: Avoid using raw milk products such as yogurt or cheese during pregnancy.
You should avoid raw milk because of possible pathogens. Pasteurized milk, on the other hand, is safe for you.
5. Tatar, Ground Meat and Carpaccio
What was said about fish and raw milk is even more true of raw meat: it can be particularly easily infected by pathogens and therefore cause serious damage to the unborn child.
Caution or waiver is also called for with raw and cold-smoked ham as well as sausages such as salami, tea, and sausage! During pregnancy, only eat sausages that are heated during production, such as boiled and meat sausages, and no salami or raw ham.
Extra tip: ignore all dishes with raw meat during pregnancy. Very important: Always cook steaks, schnitzel, and other pieces of pork, beef, lamb, or poultry completely so that any germs that may be present are reliably killed.
Raw meat is taboo during pregnancy. In any case, only eat meat that has been fully cooked and under no circumstances raw meat.
Whether raw or cooked through – pregnant women should also avoid liver, kidneys and other offal. Because it is true that these supply large amounts of vitamin B. But these benefits in no way make up for the damage caused by extremely high levels of heavy metals and other pollutants.
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Extra tip: Wait until your baby arrives before eating liver sausage, tongue sausage and liver pate. These and some other types of sausage contain a lot of offal.
Stay away from the liver, kidneys, and other offal. These are often contaminated with heavy metals and other pollutants.
7. Spices and Herbs
Most herbs and spices are also good for expectant mothers and the unborn child. There are a few exceptions to this rule:
Rosemary and nutmeg can promote bleeding and endanger pregnancy.
The active ingredient thujone in sage can cause cramps and lead to premature labor.
In cloves, the essential oil eugenol can also cause cramps.
Extra tip: You should also be careful with parsley: it has a strong diuretic effect and is particularly harmful to existing kidney problems. It is best to discuss with your doctor whether or not you should avoid it during pregnancy.
Not all herbs are good for you during pregnancy. Rosemary, nutmeg, sage, cloves, and parsley can all cause side effects.
8. Raw Eggs
Eggs are particularly susceptible to salmonella. Since these dangerous bacteria can only be harmed by heating, you should avoid anything that is prepared with raw eggs during pregnancy. These include dessert classics such as tiramisu and chocolate mousse, but also homemade mayonnaise or aioli.
Extra tip: To be on the safe side, only buy organic eggs and always store them in the refrigerator. Always use eggs as fresh as possible and cook or fry your breakfast egg long enough for the egg white and yolk to set. Mums-to-be can enjoy their breakfast or fried eggs well cooked.
You should not eat raw eggs because of possible salmonella. Also, be careful with popular desserts, they often contain raw eggs.
A healthy and balanced diet is very important for you and your unborn baby during pregnancy. It’s not about the quantity, but the quantity of food.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as dairy products, should be on your menu every day. When it comes to bread and pasta, the whole grain variety is particularly good because of the nutrients. Also, make sure you have sufficient iodine and folic acid intake.
If you are in the mood for meat, you can eat it, otherwise, it is not a must. If you don’t want to put unwanted extra pounds on the scales, then you better stay away from sweets or pay attention to the amount. On average, it is quite normal for a pregnant woman to gain between 10 and 16 kilograms.
Both being very overweight and malnutrition can represent certain risk factors during pregnancy and should be avoided.
The following foods are good for you: high-fat fish, sea fish, vegetable oils, milk and dairy products, vegetables, nuts, kernels and seeds, whole grains, legumes.
The following foods are bad for you: alcohol, raw fish, smoked fish, raw milk, tartare, ground meat and carpaccio, offal, spices and herbs, raw eggs.
We also recommend a balanced and healthy diet, in consultation with your doctor, also in combination with exercise.