There’s a misconception in Nigeria that when a woman is pregnant she should be eating for two: herself and the baby. This may have created a myth that has got pregnant women wolfing down anything their hands can find.
Eat well by all means, but it is important to regulate it so you don’t put on too much weight to avoid health problems. And secondly, the nutritive content of whatever you’re putting in your mouth matters. To you and your baby. What other ways to take in the right amount of calories and nutrients than taking our list of pregnancy snacks?
5 Healthy Pregnancy snacks
Below are healthy snacks that help you control your eating during pregnancy.
Watermelon is cheap and readily available in Nigeria. Experts recommend that a pregnant woman takes fruits three times per day. And watermelon is like a gold mine of nutrients for pregnant women. It is a great source of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, lycopene, and vitamin C. A gold mine right? Some skin problems during pregnancy arise due to how sensitive your skin is. And lycopene, aside from the fact that it prevents cancer and heart disease, minimises your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Other problems that come with pregnancy are swelling of feet, muscle cramps, nausea, heartburn. The vitamins contained in watermelon provides relief to all of those problems. Plus, it prevents dehydration because of its high water content.
Cucumber is another fruit with high water content pregnant women can snack on. Also, it provides health benefits for pregnant women like regulating pregnancy weight gain and blood pressure, and help the skin cope with skin changes during pregnancy.
The required intake for vitamin B6 and potassium are 1.9 milligrams and 2,000 milligrams per day. And no other snacks can provide a significant amount of the RDI like bananas can. Eating banana accounts for 12% of the required potassium. And potassium regulates blood pressure during pregnancy, making sure it remains normal throughout the pregnancy.
Boiled groundnuts are easy to cook and carry around during pregnancy. Groundnuts contain a healthy amount of protein, fat, and fibre. Fibre is important during pregnancy because of its ability to keep everything fluid in the large intestines, preventing constipation, one of the most common pregnancy symptoms. Also, fibre is dense with nutrients that provide you with the required calories, since you need at least 350 and 450 calories in the second and third trimester respectively.
Garden egg is another gold mine in the nutrients and vitamins category. Magnesium, folate, manganese, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin B6, and niacin. It is also known as aubergine or eggplant. The dietary fibre contained in this oval-shaped snack has the ability to help with weight management during pregnancy. It helps reduce calorie intake because it has low-calorie content and makes you feel fuller for longer periods.
Other snacks include pear, boiled corn, carrots, popcorn etc. All of these snacks contain different nutrients and vitamins needed during pregnancy. Another thing they have in common is that they are cheap and readily available in Nigeria.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com