“You have to eat for two people now!” that is the first advice everyone gives when you are pregnant. From your mother to your experienced friends everyone makes it their point to give you advice and of course delicious food. The crucial point here is not double the food but double the nutrition; it’s about eating the right nutrition throughout your pregnancy. Here are 7 pregnancy food that you must include in your diet for the growth of your baby:

1. Lentils

Lentils and beans have the B Vitamin folic acid or folate which is essential for forming the baby’s brain and nervous system, this is so important that doctors advise for supplements. Apart from that they are rich in protein, Vitamin B6, Iron, Zinc and calcium. Indian food uses lentils like toor dal, chana, moong dal in the various dal preparations and is very easy to include in the diet. The fiber content also makes it easier for women dealing with constipation.

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2. Whole Grains

Whole grains like wheat, rice, barley, oats, and quinoa are nutrient packed and have vitamin B, iron, Vitamin E, selenium and phytonutrients. They provide complex carbohydrates and a lot of fibre which is good for maintaining the nutrition in your diet. These complete foods will provide the base of nutrition your baby needs

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3. Yogurt

Milk is often suggested for pregnant women however it can be a cause of nausea for many women and a few women are also lactose intolerant. In such cases yogurt is the answer and it’s even better as it contains good bacteria, protein and folate alongwith calcium. Yogurt contains as much calcium as milk and is good for the baby’s growing bones.

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4. Nuts

Nuts are the big surprise in the small package! Any type of nuts, walnuts, peanuts, cashewnuts are full of nutrients and minerals like copper, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and Omega 3. The great thing about nuts is they can be used in a variety of foods or even had raw, you can snack on them between meals as a nutritious snack. However, they are high in fats and some caution is required if you are already gaining too much weight.

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5. Colorful vegetables and fruits

The best nutritional advice is to eat a rainbow! What they mean is that you should eat a variety of colored vegetables and fruits as they all have special nutrients. For example, Carrots and yellow and red capsicums have beta carotene which converts to Vitamin A which is good for the development of baby’s eyes, skin, bones and organs.

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6. Eggs

Eggs are super food; they are packed with protein, fats and minerals. The proteins are needed for the growing cells of the baby while the 12 vitamins and minerals and omega 3 ensure brain growth and overall development. They are also low calorie; however it is important that they are cooked properly before eating.

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7. Green leafy vegetables

You mom suggested you to eat your greens as a child and now it’s come a full circle! Green leafy vegetables like Spinach and Methi are important because they are such a good source of Vitamins A and C, calcium and iron. They also have phytochemicals and some vegetables like Spinach have oxalic acid which helps in the absorption of iron and calcium.

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In addition to eating all these foods, it’s important to wash it down with a lot of water. Water is a critical component of a good diet and will prevent dehydration.

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