Are you looking for guidance on whole food diet during pregnancy? Then you are at right place now. Pregnancy is a time when nutrition is extremely important. From the very beginning of the pregnancy, the embryo or fetus needs a wide range of nutrients in order to grow and develop in the best possible way. If you don’t carefully watch your diet, you can miss the proper nutrients for better fetal health.
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What is a whole food diet?
A whole food diet is a diet that maximizes the nutrient intake by eating foods that are rich in nutrients and that come from natural sources. In fact, whole food is typically food that is made up of one ingredient, for example, tomatoes, real chicken breast, and an apple are all examples of whole foods. Conversely, canned tomato sauce, chicken nuggets, and apple pie are not.
In a whole food diet, you avoid processed foods that are naturally nutrient-poor and instead focus on eating plant-based foods, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats, including fish and poultry. When you eat whole foods, you get all the nutrients your body needs and take in fiber, which helps reduce the complication of constipation often found in pregnancy.
Your baby is growing from a single cell into a complex human being. In order to do this, he or she needs all the vitamins, minerals, and enzyme cofactors in order to build more cells that develop into the baby that is soon to be born. Nutrient dense foods from whole foods are the best way to make sure these nutrient needs are met.
Whole Food Breakfasts
There are several choices you can make in order to start the day right on a diet consisting of whole foods. Avoid boxed cereals and things like commercially made muffins and instant oatmeal. Instead, try making yourself a protein-rich egg omelet containing cherry tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and cheese. This will provide you with nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats that the fetus uses to make cell membranes.
When you eat foods containing healthy fats, you help fat-soluble vitamins absorb better in your system so they can be available to your growing fetus. If you want to change things up, try eating yogurt, preferably made with grass-fed cow milk. Mix the yogurt with fresh berries of any kind and almond butter. You can grind whole almonds in order to make unsweetened almond butter that is packed with nutrients.
Whole Food Dinners And Lunches
Try to make good use of healthy protein-containing foods, vegetables (which are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates), and health fats. For example, think about eating grilled fish along with vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower stir-fried in nutrient-rich coconut oil.
For dinner, a small steak (grilled) can be eaten with a lettuce, green onion, tomatoes, avocados, and olive oil. This meal contains healthy proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat for good fetal growth.
When selecting an oil to eat as part of your whole food diet, you should only chose cold-pressed oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil. Foods containing soybean oil and canola oil go through too many chemical processes in order to be made so they don’t strictly meet the definition of healthy whole foods.
Make sure you make good use of seasonings to make your food more flavorful. Some good spices to consider include chili powder, cumin, parsley, basil, and turmeric. These spices (and others) can make the foods taste better and can add to the “whole food experience.”
Fresh whole herbs, like basil, dill, and mint add flavor and tons of nutrients with very little calories.
Snacks And Desserts
It takes a little bit of ingenuity to come up with snacks and desserts that are not processed and filled with empty calories. Things like energy drinks, granola bars, potato chips, and candy do not meet the healthy criteria for being whole foods. They can contribute to weight gain and don’t provide you with much in the way of healthy nutrients.
Instead, try a handful of nuts or dried fruits, a stick of beef jerky or a boiled egg for daytime snacks. Veggies used alongside guacamole dip provide complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Don’t purchase guacamole that has already been made in the store because it often contains unhealthy processed ingredients.
Desserts may not even seem appetizing to you when you are on a whole food diet during your pregnancy. You may select berries, whole fruits, or cut-up melon balls as your dessert without falling off the wagon on your whole food diet. If you need sweets to finish off your meal, consider something like pureed sweet potatoes, doctored up with cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder or honey.