It can be a very fun and exciting time for any woman to be pregnant. Each woman wants to be healthy and safe with their unborn baby. Consuming the right vitamins and minerals during pregnancy is one of the main ways to make sure you and your child are healthy. So, today you’ll be learning about some healthy African foods for pregnant women.
There are plenty of healthy and tasty African foods for pregnant women available, but many women have little or no knowledge of the healthy African dishes for pregnancy.
Not to worry, this beneficial article will provide you with the necessary knowledge of healthy west African foods for pregnant women plus the key nutrition.
The Main Nutrition For Pregnancy woman
The main nutrient for your baby’s development is what you consume when you are pregnant. Many health care professionals have recommended that a pregnant woman eat a variety of healthy foods, and drinks to provide a baby’s growth and development needs with the right nutrients.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advises that a pregnant woman needs calcium, folic acid/folate, iron, and protein-rich diet. Why is all this necessary? Find out below:
Calcium: Is the primary nutrient responsible for bone and teeth production. To grow and develop properly in the uterus, your baby needs a steady supply of calcium. If you haven’t taken enough calcium, your unborn child will be consuming your own calcium stores in your bones, which could be harmful to your own health. A pregnant woman must consume 1100-1400 mg of calcium daily.
Folic acid, or folate: is a nutrient essential to the baby’s growth. It’s one of the B complex vitamins. The absence or lack of folic acid will cause disorders in the baby’s brain or spinal cord (neural tube defects).
Iron: is another important pregnancy mineral. Iron is important because of the baby’s extra supply of oxygen demands. It is also responsible for facilitating the production of blood to provide oxygen to the infant. ACOG advises that if Iron is taken daily, women should take around 27 mg.
Protein: is important for the growth of the baby, it is even more important for your future baby in the womb. We all need to make sure that our foods are rich in protein so that our baby gets enough.
Protein: is vital to the baby’s development, it is even more important to your future womb baby. We all need to make sure our diet is rich in protein to get enough for our child.
Healthy West African Foods To Eat During Pregnancy
Now, we’re going to look at some delicious west African foods that should be consumed during pregnancy. They are to be taken moderately.
Beans and Plantains
Pregnant women need extra protein daily. One of the best natural sources of protein is beans. Beans and other legumes are one of the delicious west African foods for pregnant women and are readily available in Nigeria.
Pregnant women also need iron and another great source of iron is plantain. If you are thinking what I’m thinking then Beans and plantain should be in your head. You can prepare beans together with plantain to gain maximum health benefits. Roasted plantain or bole, along with fish is also a great alternative.
Every day, pregnant women need extra protein. Beans are one of the best natural protein sources. Beans and other legumes in Nigeria are readily available.
Pregnant women also need iron, and plantain is another major source of iron. If you think what I’m thinking, then you should have beans and plantain to eat. You can cook plantain together with beans for maximum health benefits. Roasted plantain along with shrimp is also a great alternative.
Dairy products are high in calcium, proteins, and vitamins that are good for the growing fetus. They help the baby develop bone, teeth, and nerves. You need to avoid raw milk and unpasteurized dairy products when you eat dairy products. Healthy dairy products in Nigeria include fura da nunu, made from cow milk and millet cereal.
Yogurt for pregnant women, especially Greek yogurt, is another great healthy dairy product for pregnant women. They are highly calcium-rich and some yogurts have probiotic bacteria that enhance digestive health.
Salmon is another west African food for pregnant women. Why is salmon good for pregnancy? This is because it is very rich in Omega-3 fatty acids greatly boosts the development of your baby. They are also rich in high-quality protein.
Throughout gestation, the risk of eating seafood is due to the content of mercury, which is toxic to the infant. Salmon, however, has a very low content of mercury but should be eaten moderately, maybe twice a week. Salmon is also a natural source of vitamin D which helps improve the function of the immune system.
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods for pregnant women. They contain all the essential vitamins and minerals that the fetus requires. Eggs are a great source of protein that provides all the essential amino acids you and your baby require. They also contain choline, which is good for baby’s brain development. Poor choline consumption during pregnancy may increase the risk of neural tube defects or other embryological conditions in the fetus.
A single egg contains about 113mg of choline, which is 25 percent of the recommended daily choline intake. You can consume eggs whether they are cooked, fried or scrambled. Just make sure you avoid eating raw or undercooked eggs.
Eggs are one of the pregnant women’s healthiest foods. These contain all the essential minerals and vitamins required by the fetus. Eggs are a good source of protein the provides you and your child with all the necessary amino acids. They do have choline, which is essential for the growth of the baby’s brain. Low consumption of choline during pregnancy can increase the risk of fetal neural tube defects and other embryologic conditions.
A single egg contains approximately 113mg of choline, 25% of the recommended daily intake of choline.
Whichever methods you choose to consume egg, be it boiled, fried or scrambled. Just make sure that you do not eat raw or undercooked eggs.
Nigerian leafy vegetables
Eating a lot of dark leafy greens should be centered on pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters. Nigeria has so many organic leafy vegetables. It provides all the essential nutrients required by pregnant women.
These include vitamin C, vitamin C, dilate, protein, vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, iron, potassium.
Broccoli, named efo in Yoruba, is a safe vegetable strongly recommended to women who are pregnant. These vegetables can be used to make Nigerian soups. Oha soup, nutritious and rich in magnesium and calcium, is one of these healthy Nigerian soups for pregnant women. They’re also some very good Nigerian herbs for pregnant women.
Meat is a great source of protein for all, but lean meat for pregnant women is a better source of protein. You can make good choices for chicken, beef, and pork. They are rich in iron, as well as other vitamins.
In addition, you should avoid unprocessed or undercooked meat during pregnancy.
It’s safe when you’re pregnant to eat enough fresh fruits. There are so many nutritious Nigerian fruits that provide all the vitamins and nutrients that are needed to keep the mother and baby nourish. Such fruits include garden eggs, apple, mango, avocado, and watermelon.
Make sure that while you are pregnant you eat fruits regularly. You should also avoid fruit juices that are unpasteurized.
Nuts are an excellent source of unsaturated healthy fat that benefits you and your developing fetus. These are moderately high in calories that can keep you fuller longer, as well as very rich protein sources such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, coconuts, and dates. In Nigeria, healthy Nigerian nuts you can consume are like tiger nuts, called ofio in Yoruba, aya in Hausa and Aki Hausa.
The protein that nuts provide makes them essential for pregnant women to eat.
Peanuts are high in folic acid, half a cup of peanuts contains about 106 micrograms of folic acid, about 25 percent of a pregnant woman’s daily intake of delicious acid. Another great way to eat peanuts is peanut butter
9. Banga stew
This Nigerian dish uses oalm fruits (nuts) rather than palm oil, meaning that it is packed with vitamin E, iron, vitamin B3, calcium, and potassium – to name but a few. In fact, this is all you need for a healthy pregnancy.
10. Drink plenty of water or liquids
Women are likely to face problems such as dehydration and constipation during the third trimester of pregnancy. A daily intake of fluids will be able to deal very effectively with this problem. Make sure you drink plenty of water, sweetened fruits, and decaffeinated beverages. Have a dinner soup or a treat. Healthy liquids help to boost digestion and ensure bowel movements smoother.
It is very important that during pregnancy you eat healthy food. This will ensure that during this time you and your baby stay healthy and that you deliver a healthy child safely. Make sure you eat plenty of west African foods that have the nutrients you can take during pregnancy and avoid the foods that damage you and your child.
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Sharon Marie olabanji RN, CHO, Founder and CEO of Pregnancyvitamins, has a background in community health, nursing, and nutrition. As a mom of two, I do a thorough research and I decide to take good care of my self and tackle health problems during pregnancy and after delivery. Pregnancyvitamins.net is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the research team.