Foods to be taken during pregnancy
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Dairy products have two types of high quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy is the best dietary source of calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, various B-vitamins, magnesium and zinc. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is particularly beneficial for pregnant women. It contains more calcium than any other dairy product. Some varieties also contain probiotic bacteria, which support good digestion.
Sweet potatoes are very rich in beta-carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in the body.
Vitamin A is essential for growth, as well as for the differentiation of most cells and tissues. It is very important for healthy fetal development. Pregnant women are generally advised to increase their vitamin A intake by 10–40%. However, they are also advised to avoid very high amounts of animal-based sources of vitamin A, which may cause toxicity when eaten in excess. Therefore, beta-carotene is a very important source of Vitamin A for pregnant women.
Salmon is very rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids. Most people, including pregnant women, are not getting nearly enough omega-3 from their diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential during pregnancy, especially the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. These are found in high amounts in seafood, and help build the brain and eyes of the fetus.