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During pregnancy, the goal is to be eating nutritious foods most of the time, Krieger told Live Science. To maximize prenatal nutrition, she suggests emphasizing the following five food groups: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy products. When counseling pregnant women, Krieger recommends they fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with whole grains and a quarter of it with a source of lean protein, and to also have a dairy product at every meal, according to Livescience.

Fruit and vegetables

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Photo: Newfoundbalance.com

Aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. They may be in the form of juice, dried, canned, frozen, or fresh. Fresh and frozen (if frozen soon after picking) produce usually have higher levels of vitamins and other nutrients.

Experts stress that eating fruit is usually better for you than just drinking the juice, as natural sugar levels in juice are very high. Consider vegetable juices like carrot or wheatgrass for dense nutritions, Medicalnewstoday added.

Lean meat

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The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of every cell in both your body and your baby's. High-protein foods also keep your hunger at bay by stabilizing your blood sugar, which is why you should aim for three servings (that's about 75 grams) of protein per day.

That makes lean meat one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy. In addition to being protein-packed, it’s also high in iron, critical to help your baby develop his red blood cell supply and support yours, too (blood volume increases when you’re pregnant, which is why anemia during pregnancy is so common). Iron also plays a role in baby's brain development, whattoexpect expressed.

Yogurt

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Photo: SeriousEats.com

Your baby needs a steady supply of calcium for his growing bones, and you need it to keep yours strong and help your nerves and muscles function. Three to four servings of dairy foods can help you meet your daily calcium needs, and yogurt is one of your best bets.

Cup for cup, it contains as much calcium as milk — plus it’s packed with protein and folate. The active cultures (i.e., good bacteria) in yogurt can also help prevent stomach upset as well as yeast infections (which are more common in pregnancy).

But not all yogurts fall into a healthy pregnancy diet. Plain varieties are a better choice than flavored ones, since they’re free of added sugars and make it easier to keep your calorie intake in check.

Dairy

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Photo: Yogurtinnutrition.com

Aim for 3 to 4 servings of dairy foods a day, Krieger suggested. Dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good dietary sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D. In addition to a healthy diet, pregnant women also need to take a daily prenatal vitamin to obtain some of the nutrients that are hard to get from foods alone, such as folic acid and iron, according to ACOG.

For women who take chewable prenatal vitamins, Krieger advised checking the product labels, because chewables might not have sufficient iron levels in them. Detailed information on healthy food choices and quantities to include at meals can also be found in the pregnancy section of the USDA's choosemyplate.gov.

Sweet potatoes

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Photo: Delish.com

Sweet potatoes are not only delicious cooked about a thousand ways, they’re also rich in beta carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is essential for baby’s development. Just watch out for excessive amounts of animal-based sources of vitamin A, such as organ meats, which can cause toxicity in high amounts.

Thankfully, sweet potatoes are an ample plant-based source of beta carotene and fiber. Fiber keeps you full longer, reduces blood sugar spikes, and improves digestive health (which can really help if that pregnancy constipation hits).

Eggs

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Those incredible, edible eggs are the ultimate health food, as they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. A large egg contains about 80 calories, high-quality protein, fat, and many vitamins and minerals. Eggs are a great source of choline, a vital nutrient during pregnancy. It’s important in baby’s brain development and helps prevent developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine.

A single whole egg contains roughly 147 mg of choline, which will get you closer to the current recommended choline intake of 450 mg per day while pregnant (though more studies are being done to determine if that is enough).

Above all, except from eating healthy foods, regular exercise during pregnancy can improve health, reduce the risk of excess weight gain, and possibly make delivery easier. Exercise can benefit a woman’s mental and physical health during pregnancy, and it may give the newborn a healthier start, too. Despite this, studies suggest that only about 40% of pregnant women exercise.

An exercise slot does not need to be lengthy. Women can, for example, exercise five times a week for 30 minutes or 10 times a week for 15 minutes. Those who were doing more vigorous activity, such as running, before becoming pregnant can usually continue with their existing regimen, although they should check first with their doctor, Medicalnewstoday shown.

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