During pregnancy, your little one depends on you to provide the nutrition they need. That’s why it’s time to make sure you’re making the best food choices for baby and for yourself.
It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and veggies. These powerful foods have much of what you and your baby need to stay healthy.
Let’s talk about the very best ones you’ll want to keep on hand.
And don’t forget: Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are often just as nutritious as the fresh kind, so don’t feel like you have to get them all straight from the farmer’s market. What are the seven nutritious fruits you will want to eat during pregnancy
Benefits of eating fruit Benefits of eating pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, it’s important to eat nutritious food and avoid empty calories. In fact, if you eat mostly junk food during your pregnancy, you may be setting up your baby for a lifelong preference for fat and sugar, according to a 2013 study.
Fruits and vegetables are filled with nutrients. When you add a variety of them to your diet, you’ll likely get most of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that you and your baby need.
Eating fruits and vegetables also helps prevent constipation, a common symptom during pregnancy. Get thee to a produce aisle and you won’t regret it.
Oranges help you stay hydrated. They’re also a great source of folate, or folic acid. Folate is a B vitamin that’s very important in helping prevent brain and spinal cord defects, also known as neural tube defects.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), recommends taking 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day before you start trying for a baby, then at least 600 mcg per day while pregnant.
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, too. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. It also helps your body absorb iron.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that these little vitamin bombs are so tasty.
Mangoes are another great source of vitamin C. One cup gives you 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.
Mango is also rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency at birth is associated with decreased immunity and an increased risk of complications, such as diarrhea and respiratory infections.
Although rare, it’s possible to get too much vitamin A, according to a 2019 research review. Mangoes are a great addition to your pregnancy diet, but eat them in moderation, along with a variety of other fruits.
Avocados have more folate than other fruits. They’re also a great source of:
- vitamin C
- vitamin B
Some women say that avocados help relieve nausea, possibly due to the potassium and magnesium in the fruit.
Potassium may also help relieve leg cramps, a common pregnancy symptom. Leg cramps are often caused by low potassium and magnesium.
Choline is important for the development of your child’s brain and nerves. Choline deficiency may cause neural tube defects and lifelong memory impairment.
Here are a plethora of ways to avoid junk food in your meals.
In one 2014 study, pregnant women reported some success using the scent of lemon or lime to help relieve pregnancy-related nausea.
Lemon is also high in vitamin C, it helps stimulate the digestive system to relieve constipation.
Consider adding some to your water or tea or using it in a recipe for Mediterranean Chicken with Lemon.
Bananas are another good source of potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and fiber.
Constipation is very common during pregnancy. It may be caused by:
- uterine pressure on the intestines
- a low-fiber diet
- iron in prenatal vitamins
Adding fiber-rich bananas may help. Research from 2014 shows that vitamin B6 may help relieve nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy as well.
Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and goji berries — are rich in all kinds of goodness, such as:
- vitamin C
They also contain phytonutrients like flavonoids and anthocyanins.
Carbohydrates give you much-needed energy, and they pass easily through your placenta to nourish your baby.
It’s important to eat mostly nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates like berries instead of processed, simple carbohydrates like doughnuts, cakes, and cookies.
Consider whipping up a smoothie with both bananas and berries for a vitamin-packed meal or snack.
Apples are high in fiber and are a good source of vitamin C. Plus, they contain vitamin A, potassium, and pectin. Pectin is a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
For the best bang for your nutrient buck, eat the peel just make sure to rinse it with lots of water first.
Apples are portable and can be added to many recipes, so make sure to stock up when you’re filling your produce bag.
How much fruit should you be eating during pregnancy
Medical professionals usually recommend eating two to four servings of fruit and four to five servings of vegetables each day.
In general, one serving of fruit is:
- a medium piece of whole fruit (about the size of a tennis ball)
- 1 cup of cut fruit
One serving size of vegetables is:
- 1/2 cup of raw or cooked vegetables
- 1/2 cup of vegetable juice
- 1 cup of leafy greens
When it comes to 100% fruit juices, as long as they’re pasteurized, they’re safe to drink. But you may miss out on some of the nutrients in juice form.
Dried fruit can also be used to get nutrients in an on-the-go form. Just be aware that they can be more calorie- and sugar-dense than their fresh counterparts.
Why hydration matters during pregnancy
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluids than you take in. It’s always serious, but it’s especially concerning during pregnancy.
Water helps form the placenta and amniotic sac. It also supports your baby’s growth.
If you’re experiencing morning sickness, your risk of dehydration is higher. To avoid dehydration, drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. Because fruits contain water, they can help you stay hydrated.