If you’re a surrogate, pregnancy can be confusing because of the amount of conflicting information out there on what the perfect diet is. Is it dangerous to eat fish because of the mercury or is it good because of the fish oil? Are eggs good to eat or do they contain too much cholesterol? Though it’s rather nerve-wracking, there are a lot of ways to ensure that both you and your bun are getting the most nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Here is some great advice from food experts on the top pregnancy foods:
This fish is loaded with high-quality protein and is also an exceptional source of omega-3 fats. These nutrients are not only good for your general health (including, among other things, acting as a mood elevator) but are essential for a baby’s development. If you’re worried about mercury, fear not. Unlike king mackerel, shark, tilefish, and swordfish, salmon has a comparatively low amount of methlymercury (which can damage your baby’s nervous system). However, remember that the FDA advises eating no more than 12 ounces of salmon per week to avoid too much mercury.
You’re probably already aware that it’s vitally important to get a lot of protein during pregnancy, but one thing you may not have realized is the importance of fiber. Pregnancy slows down your gestational tract, which puts you at risk for hemorrhoids and constipation. Beans have the best of both worlds, as they contain the most fiber and protein of all the vegetables. In addition to that, beans are a good source of zinc, folate, calcium and iron. And just look at the variety that you have to choose from: chickpeas, navy beans, pinto beans, lentils … the list goes on.
By far, walnuts are one of the richest sources of plant-based omega-3s—and while plant-based omega-3s don’t provide much of the DHA that will benefit your baby, they are still an excellent source for you, in addition to containing plenty of protein and fiber. Besides that, they are an excellent choice for a pregnant woman on-the-run or sprinkling atop a salad.
One of the goals in pregnancy is to give your baby the nutrients it needs without sacrificing your nutrition, for which Greek yogurt is ideal. Nutritionists love Greek yogurt because it not only is a great source of calcium—which is vital in creating a healthy skeleton for your baby, while maintaining your depleting bones—but also has twice the protein of regular yogurt.
The incredible edible egg packs a wallop of more than 12 vitamins and minerals, filled with a lot of quality protein, and all at about 90 calories per egg. The importance of protein in a pregnancy has already been discussed ad nauseam, but it is important to stress the essential quality of protein. After all, baby’s cells are growing at an exponential rate, and every cell is made of protein.
Eggs are also rich in choline and omega-3 fats, which promote brain and vision development. And as for the accusation that eggs are overly high in cholesterol? Not credible. Eating saturated fats does more damage to your cholesterol level than eating the cholesterol naturally found in eggs. And while eggs are somewhat high in cholesterol, they are also relatively low in fat. But the egg’s incredibleness doesn’t end there, they are also versatile, quick, and cheap.
Popcorn and Other Whole Grains
Are you surprised? Yes, popcorn does indeed count as a whole grain! And as such, popcorn (and other whole grains) are important because they are chalked full of fiber and nutrients like selenium, phytonutrients (a plant compound that protects cells) and vitamin E. But don’t forget about the massive amount of other grain choices out there, such as oatmeal, barley, and quinoa. In fact, whole grain quinoa is easy to make and very high in nutrients, making it nothing less than a superfood.
Why are sweet potatoes so orange? Carotenoids, a pigment found in plants, which are transformed into vitamin A in our bodies. Although too much “preformed” vitamin A can be dangerous (found in foods like milk, liver and eggs), carotenoids are a completely different nutrient. They are converted to vitamin A on an as needed basis, so you can eat to your heart’s content, while consuming other vitamin A-rich foods. Inexpensive and versatile, the sweet potato also contains vitamin C, fiber, and folate.
Colorful Vegetables and Fruit
Each color group provides different vitamins and minerals, and there is a whole spectrum to choose from—the best approach being to eat from every color. This is especially important during the later stages of a pregnancy. The baby actually tastes the food you eat through your amniotic fluid, so exposing the baby to healthy veggies and fruits in the womb will increase the chance that the baby will recognize and eat those foods later on in life.
A surrogate pregnancy can be a wonderful experience, and eating the right foods can help you and the baby in the process. If you are interested in learning more about surrogate pregnancy, becoming a surrogate, or if you are an intended parent looking for the right surrogate, call Surrogate Parenting Services at (949) 363-9525.