Keep en­ergy lev­els up with fi­bre and vi­ta­mins

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PARENTING - > FROM PAGE 10

Like iron, preg­nant women need to con­sume more potas­sium, be­cause of their ex­pand­ing blood vol­ume. And as you al­ready know, orange juice is an ex­cel­lent source of vitamin C, which, in ad­di­tion to fight­ing colds, helps your body bet­ter ab­sorb iron and keeps both your and baby’s teeth and bones healthy.

You can also get your vitamin C from broc­coli, toma­toes, straw­ber­ries, red pep­pers and a va­ri­ety of cit­rus fruits, in­clud­ing another pre­na­tal power food – man­goes, which are packed with more than 20 dif­fer­ent vi­ta­mins and min­er­als.

Yo­gurt

Sur­prise! Plain yo­gurt ac­tu­ally con­tains more cal­cium than milk. Plus, it’s got es­sen­tial bone-build­ing nu­tri­ents, in­clud­ing pro­tein, B vi­ta­mins and zinc.

Cal­cium is es­sen­tial for keep­ing your bones and teeth healthy and help­ing baby to de­velop hers, and skimp­ing on this key nu­tri­ent could put you both at risk. Ex­pec­tant mums should get at least three serv­ings of cal­cium a day to re­duce the risk of low birth weight and preterm de­liv­ery. If your cal­cium count comes up short, your body will take the cal­cium your baby needs from your bones, putting you at greater risk for os­teo­poro­sis later on.

Oat­meal

Those oats are filled with fi­bre, pro­tein and vitamin B6. Start your morn­ing off right with a nice big bowl of oat­meal. Whole grains are great for keep­ing your en­ergy lev­els up, es­pe­cially if morn­ing sick­ness has you feel­ing a bit drained.

Plus, all that fi­bre will help with con­sti­pa­tion. But the ben­e­fits don’t just stop with mum. This con­ve­nient break­fast dish (yep, the in­stant kind is great too!) also con­tains pro­tein and vitamin B6, both of which are im­por­tant for baby’s de­vel­op­ment.

Leafy greens

You had to know th­ese guys were go­ing to make the list. Chock-full of an­tiox­i­dants and nu­tri­ents, dark-green veg­gies – in­clud­ing spinach, as­para­gus, broc­coli and kale – should be on ev­ery­one’s plates.

Th­ese su­per foods are im­por­tant for mum­sto-be and their de­vel­op­ing ba­bies. That’s be­cause, in ad­di­tion to all those an­tiox­i­dants, leafy greens sup­ply cal­cium, potas­sium, fi­bre and fo­late, plus another im­por­tant nu­tri­ent we haven’t told you about yet: vitamin A.

Be­cause of its role in help­ing baby’s eye­sight de­velop and aid­ing in bone and skin growth, it’s im­por­tant for mums to nosh on vitamin A-filled foods too. No mid­night crav­ings for as­para­gus or spinach? Or­anges are also a great source.

Salmon

This oily fish is an ex­cel­lent source of omega-3 fatty acids and pro­tein. For­get about pre-or­der­ing Baby Einstein DVDs – just in­cor­po­rate salmon into your diet over the next nine months.

The omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) in fish help baby’s brain to de­velop and higher lev­els of DHA in new­born ba­bies have been as­so­ci­ated with higher IQs, ad­vanced mo­tor skills and fewer neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems.

Omega-3s are good for the de­vel­op­ment of baby’s eyes, too, and salmon is also a great source of lean pro­tein for mamas-to-be.

Wor­ried about seafood? Salmon’s low in mer­cury and con­sid­ered safe for ex­pec­tant mums, but limit your in­take to two serv­ings of six ounces (170g) or less each week to be safe. Just not feel­ing fish right now? Snack on wal­nuts and al­monds. – TheBump.com/ McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

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