What Should Expecting Moms Eat to Prevent Birth Defects?

Pregnancy - Healthy Diet

A mom’s diet greatly influences her child’s health during gestation, since the right foods can ensure proper growth of the baby and prevent serious birth defects. Folic acid is a staple nutrient for a prenatal diet, since it encourages immune health and new cell development. This article will take a look at some of the foods richest in folic acid that can offer other valuable nutrients for mom and her developing baby.

Dark leafy greens

Foods like spinach, chard, and kale are all high in folic acid along with vitamin A and calcium. Cooked greens are easiest to digest and offer the highest concentration of nutrients per serving, so you might toss your favorite green into pasta, soups, or scrambled eggs.

Beans and lentils

Lean sources of protein are ideal during pregnancy, so you might consider swapping out some servings of meat for vegetarian protein sources like beans, nuts, and lentils. These foods are all natural sources of folic acid and they will help add plenty of fiber and protein to your diet.

Whole grains and cereal

Breads and cereals are enriched with folic acid, which makes them excellent choices to eat during pregnancy. You should select whole grain or multigrain varieties to get the most fiber and other nutrients out of each serving.

Alcohol-free beverages

As you consume healthier foods, you will want to avoid alcohol completely and choose beverages that encourage hydration—particularly plain water. There is no known safe quantity of alcohol during pregnancy, so even just one drink is not advisable.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help you make the best dietary decisions during your pregnancy as you receive prenatal care at our Las Vegas birthing center. You can explore our services for mothers and babies on our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437. 

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