Pregnancy brings with itself a change in lifestyle and habits. The mothers need to shift focus on taking care of their own physical and mental state. And that’s why the one practice all would-be moms tend to change is their diet. Maternal nutrition is crucial. A balanced diet influences the fetal development and the health of a child years after he is born. A protein-rich diet is, therefore, essential to support the standard growth rate in children.
Protein plays a pivotal role in new tissue formation, building strong immunity, and working as hormones and enzymes. Taking the recommended amount of protein enables the baby’s cells to work efficiently and have the right birth weight. It can reduce the risk of becoming overweight and diabetic in the future. As this nutrient is the key to a healthy mother and baby, you might wonder what foods are best known for their high protein contents. Here is the list of a few such foods that provide enough of this essential nutrient throughout your pregnancy.
This species of legumes are naturally Protein-Rich Diet Foods . Moreover, they contain folate, iron, calcium, zinc, and all amino acids essential to the human body. High in fibers and low in fats, soy is the best alternative for people who follow veganism. Consuming soy in pregnancy in moderation is likely safe. A report shows that soy may benefit women with gestational diabetes by controlling their insulin levels and cholesterol. However, consult your gynecologist before adding soy to your diet for the ideal dosage.
Remember, not all soy supplies are as healthy as they claim. Take extra caution during pregnancy and purchase products from reputed sources. United States Soybean Export Council is one such organization that provides expertise and assistance to ease trade and help buyers get quality products from sellers.
Eggs are safest to consume during pregnancy until you avoid eating them raw. Apart from 6 gm of protein, eggs contain choline that helps in fetal growth and brain development. Inadequate intake of these nutrients can adversely affect the pregnancy and bring changes in brain functioning in children.
Eggs are also a rich source of DHA that improves brain growth, sight, and birth weight. They are mood-enhancers, so when you feel low during pregnancy, an omelet, boiled, or scrambled egg can satiate you and lift your spirits instantly.
Dairy is that one food you can rely upon for your calcium requirement during pregnancy. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are the most popular options for maintaining the levels of calcium. Apart from calcium, dairy products are also rich in protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins, and magnesium, useful for fetal development.
Among all options, cheese has the maximum protein content of 22.9gm per 100gm. You can opt for cottage cheese and Greek yogurt for low or nonfat options. Both of these contain more than 10gms of protein for similar quantities. Like all other edibles, avoid using the raw or unpasteurized form of dairy to keep bacterial infection at bay.
Many people are surprised to know about the nutritional benefits of consuming lentils during pregnancy. Lentils are legumes full of protein, vitamin B, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, folate, and phosphorus. This powerhouse of nutrients is cholesterol-free and gives 15gms of protein per cup.
Lentils are often used as an alternative to meats. Therefore, they are excellent to match the protein requirements of vegetarians. As all pregnant women want at least 10gms of extra protein during pregnancy, lentils are the best options. Moreover, high-fiber content in legumes prevents constipation. Adding a cup of cooked lentils to your meal can also meet a large portion of the folate requirements useful for making blood cells and bone marrow of the fetus.
Nuts always make delicious protein-rich snacks that have a high shelf-life. Eating nuts during early pregnancy can improve the neural and psychological development of the fetus. The children born, have high IQ, better memory, and other improved cognitive functions, whose mothers ate almost 74gms of nuts every day during the first trimester.
Nuts like cashew, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and others contain almost 20gms of protein per 100gms of quantity. Although most nuts are high in fats, they are beneficial for health. But if you consider controlling your calorie intake, eat nuts in moderation. In case you have an allergy relating to any particular nuts, consult your medical professional for guidance.
Proteins are the body’s building block. It helps in the proper growth of vital organs like the brain and heart in the fetus. During pregnancy, high-protein food can provide energy and make you feel full. It can cut down the intake of extra fat and avoid gaining too much weight. As your pregnancy advances, so do your protein requirements. Therefore, taking a protein-rich diet can nourish you and aids your baby’s physical and mental development.