Top foods to eat and avoid in pregnancy.

Top foods to eat and avoid in pregnancy.

Healthy and balanced diet is the most important when you are pregnant. You don't need to eat foe two, but eat twice the amount of nutrients with every meal!

Medical professionals recommend having a balanced diet consisting of all the food groups for a healthy pregnancy and baby development. While this is true, there are certain essential vitamins and minerals which are of extreme importance in pregnancy and its recommended to include these in your diets! Read till the end to know the top 3 food to avoid when pregnant! (Your favourite food might be in that list so definitely go through it!)

Here is the list of 6 foods you must include in your diet when you are pregnant!

1. Vegetables:

According to the NHFS-4 data, approximately 23% of pregnant women in India are underweight with severe macronutrient deficiencies. It is recommended that pregnant women have 2-2.5 cups of vegetables everyday in their diet. Vegetables are a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamins and fibre. All of these are extremely important for healthy weight gain for mother and baby, less chances of anaemia as well as regulated blood pressure. 

Some vegetables are more nutritious than others. Here are 5 vegetables which you can consume as a part of your diet! Remember to wash your vegetables well before consuming  to wash away pesticide residue and other microorganisms.

2. Legumes:

This is especially critical if you follow a vegetarian diet. Legumes like peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas are great sources of vitamin B12, calcium, iron, fibre and proteins. All of these are crucial to the growth of a  baby.  Pregnancy is a period of rapid growth so getting the right amount if proteins is very important.

How much to consume: According to RDA, pregnant women need 46 grams per day in first trimester and 71 grams per day in second and third trimester. 

Here is an idea onhow much protein you will consume based on what you are eating: 

3. Good fats:

During pregnancy, consuming good fats is essential for both the health of the mother and the developing baby. Good fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients.

These fats play a crucial role in the development of the baby's brain and nervous system. They also help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D, which is vital for bone health. Good fats can also support the mother's overall well-being during pregnancy by providing sustained energy and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

While incorporating good fats into your diet, it's essential to strike a balance and avoid excessive consumption, as they are calorie-dense. A well-rounded, balanced diet that includes good fats can contribute to a healthy pregnancy and the well-being of both mom and baby.

4. Eggs / Meat/ Fish:

Eating meat, eggs, and fish during pregnancy can provide important nutrients that support both the mother's health and the optimal development of the baby. These foods are rich sources of essential nutrients like protein, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Meat: Lean cuts of meat, such as chicken,  are excellent sources of high-quality protein. Protein is crucial for the development of the baby's organs, muscles, and tissues.

Eggs: Eggs are packed with protein and are a source of choline, a nutrient important for fetal brain development. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption for strong bones.

Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout are renowned for their omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are essential for the development of the baby's brain and eyes. However, it's important to choose fish low in mercury and limit consumption of high-mercury fish like shark and swordfish.

While these foods are beneficial, it's crucial to practice food safety during pregnancy. Ensure that meat is thoroughly cooked to kill any harmful bacteria, and avoid raw or undercooked eggs and fish to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. 

5. Dry fruits:

Dry fruits such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are rich in healthy fats, protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and folate. Folate is particularly important in early pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects in the baby.

Additionally, the fiber in dry fruits can help alleviate common pregnancy concerns like constipation. The iron content in some dry fruits, such as apricots and raisins, can support healthy red blood cell production and combat pregnancy-related anemia.

However, it's essential to consume dry fruits in moderation, as they are calorie-dense. A handful of mixed nuts or a small serving of dried fruits as a snack can provide a nutritious boost without excessive calorie intake.

Always opt for unsalted and unsweetened varieties to avoid excess sodium and added sugars.

6. Dairy Products

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich sources of essential nutrients that support various aspects of pregnancy and fetal development.

Dairy is a superb source of calcium, which is vital for the development of your baby's bones, teeth, and overall skeletal system. It also plays a role in maintaining your own bone health during pregnancy.

Furthermore, dairy products provide protein, which is crucial for the growth and development of the baby's organs, muscles, and tissues. The probiotics found in yogurt can promote a healthy gut, benefiting both you and your baby's digestive health.

Dairy foods are also fortified with vitamin D, a nutrient important for calcium absorption and the regulation of immune function. Additionally, they contain essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

When selecting dairy products, opt for low-fat or fat-free options to manage calorie and fat intake. If you have lactose intolerance, consider lactose-free dairy alternatives or consult with a healthcare provider for suitable options.

Please note: These are recommendations for a woman with average BMI and no other health issues. Consult your doctor before trying any diet! All values are per day requirements.

Here are 3 foods to avoid in pregnancy:

When you are pregnant everything you eat and drink is passed to your unborn baby. Some things may not be dangerous to you, but can prove to be dangerous to your baby. Avoid these 3 foods at all costs when pregnant!

  1. Alcohol:

According to the CDC, there is no amount of alcohol that is assumed to be safe when pregnant. The best way is to avoid alcohol completely! Alcohol can cross the umbilical cord and reach the baby and cause harm to foetal development. There is a serious condition called - Foetal Alcohol syndrome which causes vision or hearing problems, issues with attention, and low body weight and intellectual issues in the foetus.


              2. Fish high in mercury: 

The USFDA advises women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive to avoid fish high in mercury as it can cause neurological issues in the unborn child.

       3. Raw eggs:

Raw eggs tend to have salmonella in them which is a bacteria causing fever, stomach cramps. diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea, In rare cases, it can cause uterine cramping leading to a miscarriage or pre term birth. Its best to avoid raw eggs and any foods that might contain them.


Pregnancy increases the demands on the body and its essential to have  a diet that supports the baby's growth. In addition, include prenatal vitamins to provide the extra nutrients that are often needed for pregnant women. Always consult your doctor for diet that's specifically tailored to your needs! 

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1 comment

  • shreeya

    Thankyou for the lists! Can u tell if fish is safe? which fish i can eat?

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