Pregnancy is a special time. Not only will the foods you eat impact the growth of your baby, they’ll also influence your experience and health during the next 10 months. No matter how you fill your plate, having fruits and vegetables provide color for half of your meals is a no-fail method to meeting the USDA’s recommendation of 4 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day during pregnancy, while ensuring your comfort level and health are maintained.
6 Ways Fruits & Veggies Can Help Make Your Pregnancy More Comfortable
- Want to prevent the risk of neural tube defects for baby and help her/him grow efficiently? Eat plenty of folate-rich fruits and vegetables such as oranges, avocados, edamame and spinach.
- Want to minimize discomfort caused by changes in your digestion? Include plenty of fiber-rich power houses such as beans, legumes, pears and raspberries in your meals.
- Stay hydrated to meet your increased blood volume and baby’s ever-changing amniotic fluid. Crunch on foods with high water content such as romaine lettuce, celery, watermelon and apples.
- Help minimize fluid accumulation in your feet and legs by including plenty of potassium-rich goodies to counteract excess sodium. Potassium is found in foods like canned puréed tomatoes, baked potatoes, bananas and papaya.
- As your iron needs increase in the second half of pregnancy, pair up iron-rich foods such as broccoli and white beans with vitamin C stars red peppers and strawberries.
- Don’t forget to keep your immune system strong and baby’s development on par with foods packing plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin A like mangos, carrots and butternut squash.
Happy munching through your exciting journey toward motherhood!
Carrie Taylor, RD, LDN
Lead Registered Dietitian for the Living Well Eating Smart Program
Big Y Foods, Springfield, MA