Fruits and Vegetables to Eat During Pregnancy

Eating for two does not mean eating double the amounts of food, but it does mean you need to make sure that you get plenty of the right nutrients to help your baby develop properly. This includes; vitamin C for baby to form healthy teeth and bones, beta carotene for baby’s cells and tissues to form properly, immune system and vision, folic acid to help develop the baby’s spinal cord and nervous system and lastly you need plenty of potassium to regulate blood pressure.

During pregnancy, you will notice your bowels moving slower. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and can help keep you from becoming constipated. One added benefit to that is the prevention of pregnancy induced hemorrhoids.

How Much Fruits and Vegetables Should You Eat During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, practice the “5 a day” rule. You need to be eating at least 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit every day. Here are some ideas:

  • 1 cup fresh, canned or frozen fruit
  • 1 cup fresh or steamed vegetables
  • 2 cups fresh green leafy or combine 1 cup green leafy with ½ cup vegetables
  • 1 large or 2 small bananas
  • 1 medium to large orange, apple, pear or grapefruit
  • ½ dried fruit such as; plums, figs, raisins, dates or apricots
  • 1 cup fruit juice, fruit and vegetable juice combination or vegetable juice

In order to give your baby the healthiest start you need to make sure you eat plenty of variety and colors. Eat lots of dark leafy greens, dark yellows, purple, red and orange fruits and vegetables. Legumes need to be included two or three times weekly.

When choosing fruits and vegetables, always pick fresh over canned or frozen but these are okay too. Just try to avoid fruits packed in corn syrup and canned vegetables with salt. If you are accustomed to only eating bananas, oranges and apples try to eat some different types of fruits. There are many other delicious tasting and healthy choices out there.

Recommended Fruits and Vegetables to Eat During Pregnancy

1. Avocado

image001 Avocados are very healthy and delicious during pregnancy. This type of fruit is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C and folic acid. They are also rich in potassium. They can help reduce morning sickness, help baby’s brain and tissue development and ensure healthy nervous system development. Eat avocado spread on bread, tossed into salad or by themselves. Just remember they contain high amounts of fat, so if you’re gaining too much weight watch your portions.

2. Broccoli

image002 Broccoli is one of the more popular vegetables. It comes from the cruciferous family. Broccoli contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid and some calcium. You can eat broccoli fresh and uncooked with some light dip, toss into salads, as a side-dish steamed lightly and on pizza or stir fried. If you take your lunch to work, fresh raw broccoli packs and travels well. Just make sure to rinse thoroughly if eating raw. When choosing broccoli at the market, the darker the green the more nutrient packed it is.

3. Carrots

image003 Carrots are one of the highest sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6 and beta-carotene. These nutrients aid the healthy development of bones, eyes and teeth. They are also a good source of fiber to prevent constipation. You can toss grated carrots into salad, eat them raw, steam them as a side-dish and use them in soups and stews. Carrots also pack well for lunches and snacks to go anywhere you go.

4. Mangoes

image004 These are a fruit straight out of the tropics to your table. They contain just as many nutrients as a good salad and taste delicious. Mangoes are rich in potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A. You peel the mango and eat raw mango chunks, blend them into your favorite smoothie, simmer them into a sauce to top pancakes or even mix it into your fresh salsa. These are good for baby’s immune system, eyes and nervous system. The potassium can help keep your blood pressure in check.

5. Red Pepper

image005 When choosing red pepper, the darker the color red the better. This ensures you are giving your baby the highest amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin A and vitamin C. Red peppers are known for their sweet flavor and go great in salads, salsas, stir fry dishes, pasta or on a sandwich. You can even broil or grill them and drizzle them with lemon juice and olive oil. Red Pepper also travels well and you can cut strips of them to carry with you in your lunch or snack bag.

6. Spinach

image006 Choose the darkest green spinach you can find. This green leafy vegetable is very high in iron and folic acid. The iron will help to build up baby’s iron stores and red blood cells, while the folic acid helps the neural tube and nervous system develop. You can eat raw as a salad or sauté in olive oil and a dash of balsamic vinegar. The best way to enjoy a spinach salad and absorb the iron is to toss with mandarin oranges. The vitamin C in the oranges will help with the absorption of the iron.

7. Berries

image007 Berries are one place you can find a variety of colors to choose from. They contain high amounts of potassium, folate, and vitamin C. They are also rich in fiber to help ease constipation. You can toss up a berry salad with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Simmer some berries with a touch of sugar into a sauce for your pancakes. Throw a handful of blueberries into your pancake or muffin mix. You can eat them raw by the handfuls or stir them into cooked oatmeal or granola to add flavor.

Watch a video for more fruit recommendations during pregnancy:

More Recommendations for Fruit and Vegetables During Pregnancy

  • Try one new thing at a time. Every time you shop, pick out one new type of fruit or vegetable to try for the week.
  • Dip raw veggies in plain low fat yogurt. This can be a healthy way to get some calcium and curb a little of your fat intake during pregnancy.
  • Prep all your fruits and veggies and keep them handy. When you finish shopping, cut up fruits and veggies and place them in containers in the fridge where they are easy to reach and remember.
  • Try cooking your veggies on the grill when you barbeque. This helps to bring out the flavor of the veggies and is a healthy way of cooking them.
  • Steam or cook lightly. The less you cook veggies the more they retain their nutrients. Plus, you can toss the leftovers into a salad the next day.
  • Make smoothies. If you have a hard time getting in enough fruits and even veggies, you can put them into a blender with some yogurt and juice and blend away.

watch a video for more healthy foods:

 
 
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