Healthy Foods to Eat in the Last Weeks of Pregnancy
After avoiding soft drinks and snacking on vegetables for many months, eating healthy is probably the last thing you want to consider. However, it is one of the most important things you can do for both you and your developing baby. You need approximately 300 more calories than you did pre-pregnancy, reports the American Pregnancy Association. While there are many essential nutrients to consume, several healthy foods help you meet most of your nutritional needs.
Even though your bulging stomach might make it uncomfortable for you to eat much at one time, include approximately nine ounces of whole grains daily, states MayoClinic.com. You and your developing child benefit from the carbohydrates, fiber and iron that you will get from eating whole grains. As birth approaches, whole grains will give you the slow-release of energy you need to sustain you during labor, as Ask Dr. Sears recommends.
Drinking milk or eating yogurt, pudding and cheese some easy ways to make sure you get enough calcium during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. Your developing baby uses Calcium to strengthen and grow bones, according to MayoClinic.com. Aim for at least four servings of dairy products per day to get the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of 1200 milligrams of calcium, the Cleveland Clinic reports. Other good sources include calcium-enriched soymilk, green vegetables such as broccoli or spinach, sardines, tofu, seafood and beans.
Vitamin D Foods
It is important to consume healthy foods rich in Vitamin D during the last weeks of pregnancy. In addition to aiding with Calcium absorption, research suggests inadequate Vitamin D could contribute to pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or problems with fetal development, the World Health Organization reports. Although sun exposure is the most efficient way for your body to absorb Vitamin D, eggs or fish with low levels of mercury, including catfish and shrimp, ensure you are getting enough, the Cleveland Clinic recommends.
Consuming approximately 100 grams of protein daily is essential to both you and your developing baby, the American Pregnancy Association recommends. Protein aids in brain development, which continues to grow and develop during the last few weeks of pregnancy, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. Protein-rich foods also help the uterus and breasts grow. Good protein sources include lean meats such as chicken or beef, nuts, tofu and legumes such as black or kidney beans.
The body absorbs more iron than normal during the end of pregnancy, so consuming iron-rich foods is essential. Iron helps muscles function properly and even helps you handle common symptoms of the third trimester, such as irritability and tiredness, the Cleveland Clinic reports. Salmon or trout are not only low in mercury, but high in essential Omega-3 fatty acids, as MayoClinic.com states. Many nutrient-rich and vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables are also high in iron, such as berries, grapes, oranges, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, sweet potatoes and spinach.