Vegetables and Fruits to Eat During Pregnancy

Eating healthy this week: Vegetables and fruits during pregnancy

Why should you consume vegetables and fruits during pregnancy?

Packed with all the necessary nutrients and chock full of fiber, fruits and vegetables form an important part of any healthy diet – it then becomes imperative that they be an integral part of your pregnancy diet as well, when you need to double up on nutrients.

Have a slice of cantaloupe or a bowl of strawberries for a snack, and you'll provide your baby with vitamins and minerals for growth, while keeping yourself healthy too. Pair the fruit with a little protein, like cottage cheese, and you'll get a sustained energy boost to get you through a long afternoon.

Benefits of consuming Fruits and Vegetables during pregnancy

A healthy diet does essentially consist of fruits and vegetables and yet more in a diet for someone who is pregnant.

The benefits of eating them are many – they are low calorie, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and also they are pretty effective when it comes to keeping constipation at bay.

It is recommended that one eat at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables each day, of which 2 portions should be fruits and 3 vegetables. These 5 portions must have a lot of variety; you could have varied coloured fruits and vegetables and you could have them any way you please – raw or cooked, fresh or frozen or canned, etc.

How much vegetables and fruits should you consume during pregnancy?

Aim to eat about 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day. See below tp gove you a good idea about what makes up this amount.

  • 1 cup raw (or cooked) vegetables
  • 2 cups of leafy greens raw (or 1 cup of leafy greens and 1/2 cup of other vegetables)
  • Two small bananas or one large one
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit like prunes
  • One medium or one large fruit, which could include an orange, half and apple or a pear
  • 1 cup of pure fruit juice, vegetable juice, or fruit-vegetable juice

To maximise the nutritional content, include plenty of leafy greens. Make sure to include dark green and deep yellow, orange, purple, and red. Also include plenty of legumes with the fruits and vegetables.

Tips on including vegetables and fruits during pregnancy in your diet

Despite your hurry and your not liking to eat them right now, here are some ways to ensure you get your fill.

  • If you are hungry do not wait for them to be cut, just ensure they are washed and whenever hungry or you feel like a snack, munch away.
  • Try and include more than one vegetable in the food at one sitting.
  • You could have your vegetables roasted or grilled too, the taste is enhanced.
  • You could always cook in bulk and keep cooked fruits and vegetables stocked up.
  • Store them in a place such that they are handy to munch away. Keep them on the counter or in the refrigerator.
  • When you have your breakfast - try and have a juice or incorporate fruits into your diet.
  • In case you do not like having plain fruits and vegetables, mix it up with some yoghurt and have them as a smoothie.