When pregnant, even if you are taking an alphabet worth of vitamins, you are skeptical that you are not taking enough nutrients. It is perfectly normal for a would-be mother to think and care about her child. You always want to give the BEST to your growing child and have a healthy baby.

Here, we bring you some essential pregnancy foods which are packed with plenty of nutrients. Every pregnant woman must eat these foods on a regular basis so that her baby grows well.

1. Fortified breakfast cereal: You must have already heard of the importance of folate during pregnancy. Folate or Vitamin B is essential both before and after conception. Therefore, pregnant women must take fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. According to experts, a pregnant woman must take 400 micrograms daily through vitamin supplements or breakfast cereals. Most breakfast cereals contain 200 micrograms per bowl.

2. Broccoli: This is one food item which is packed with many nutrients. Along with a high amount of calcium and folate, it is also rich in fiber and carries disease fighting antioxidants. Apart from that, it also contains plenty of vitamin C, which helps with iron absorbtion.

3. Yoghurt: Calcium is highly recommended for pregnant women as it is needed for the development of the babyís bones. It is also needed to keep your bones strong and muscles and nerves in good functioning condition. Besides your daily calcium supplements, you must take a cup of yoghurt daily. It has lots of calcium along with protein and folate. Yoghurt also has good bacteria, which help in preventing stomach infections and yeast infections.

4. Lentils: Experts suggest that every pregnant woman should take an extra 10 gm of protein in a day, making a total of 60gm (normal women must take 50gm). The best food for that are beans and lentils. They are high in proteins and high in fiber too. High fiber helps in combating constipation. They are also intestine friendly and thus help with the absorption of different types of foods.

5. Salmon: If you are a non-vegetarian, you must definitely include salmon fish in your diet. This is not only rich in high quality protein but also has Omega-3-fats which boost the babyís development. Apart from that, salmon has very low amount of methyl mercury which could disrupt the normal development of nervous system in your child. You can take it grilled, boiled or in a salad. It is safe to eat up to 12 ounces of this fish per week.

6. Avocados: If you want to try something delicious to fulfill your vitamin requirements, try avocados. This delicious fruit is rich in folate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. You can use ripe avocado as a spread instead of mayo. However, as they are high in fats and calories, do not overdo them if you are gaining weight at high speed.

7. Bananas: You must know that bananas are highly rich in potassium. They can give you instant energy to fight off pregnancy fatigue. You can eat them sliced or whip one into a smoothie with yoghurt, berries and ice.

8. Eggs: Some women develop meat aversions during pregnancy. In such situations, the best food which can fulfill your protein requirements is egg. Eggs are a rich source of proteins as they contain all types of amino acids. An omelet with chopped vegetables is a good option to go with dinner. Besides that, you can eat them boiled in your breakfast. If the cooking aroma bothers you, you must keep a batch of boiled eggs in refrigerator to use at your convenience.

9. Green leafy veggies: Adding green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce leaves, methi in your soups, pastas and sandwiches will not only make them delicious but will also add to their nutritional value. Cooked spinach is highly rich in folate and iron and turnip is rich in calcium. The darker the color means higher the vitamin content.

10. Nuts: Nuts are filled with all essential minerals such as copper, manganese, selenium, zinc, potassium and calcium. Along with that, they also have Vitamin E. All these constituents make nuts a must-to-eat food during pregnancy. The best part is you can have them anywhere and can eat them in different ways such salads, pastas, sweet dishes or baked goods.

Eating for two during pregnancy is a huge responsibility. However, you have to do this to ensure a healthy baby. Another thing that you should religiously follow is to attend your prenatal tests regularly. These tests are essential to know the well-being of your developing child. Whether it is the normal blood tests, ultrasounds or specific genetic prenatal tests such as NACE (Non-invasive Analysis for Chromosomal Abnormalities), you must ensure that you donít miss anything.

Before undergoing these tests, you must also know the good and bad associated with them. For example, it is always good to go for non-invasive NACE test before getting invasive diagnostic tests for detection of any chromosomal abnormality in the baby. NACE is safe and risk-free as it uses motherís blood sample only.

Be healthy, be happy!

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