The best Nigerian food to eat during pregnancy is the food that contains all the nutrients needed for the development and nourishment of both the mother and the fetus during pregnancy You might have been concerned if what you consume daily is healthy for both you and the developing fetus.
Nigerian foods have been carefully explained to enable you to make the best decision on the food consumed to achieve a balanced diet without having to eat everything.
With this article, you would be able to understand the best Nigerian food to eat during pregnancy and what not to eat.
Best Nigerian Food to Eat During Pregnancy
Below are the best Nigerian foods to eat during pregnancy:
Nigerian food can be derived from cassava and cooked in various methods. Cassava can be made into fufu, white amala, and eba which constitute the best Nigerian foods that can be eaten during pregnancy.
It contains antioxidants and also has a high fiber content which increases gastric motility thereby preventing constipation in pregnancy. To make your diet balanced it is better to combine this type of food with a protein diet. It also aids the development of the fetus.
Eggplant contains a huge amount of fiber that helps to relieve constipation in pregnancy and also enhances the function of the gastrointestinal tract. As discussed in the Health Benefits of Eggplant article, It contains iron which contributes to increasing the red blood cells.
It also contains vitamin B, Vitamin C, and magnesium which help to boost the immune system thereby defending the body against any infection.
Among the best Nigerian food to eat during pregnancy are dairy products and which include milk, egg, cheese, and yogurt. They are the major source of protein containing all the essential amino acids. The egg can be a substitute if a pregnant woman is unable to eat fish and meat.
In Nigeria, eggs have different methods of preparation. It can be boiled or fried as an omelet depending on your chosen preference. You can also decide to slice it in your salad to include other forms of vegetables. Choline which is one of the nutritional values of an egg helps to develop the fetus’s brain.
Milk on the other hand is a rich source of protein and calcium. They also incorporate a huge quantity of zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin. Yogurt enhances the function of the digestive system. It helps to develop the fetus’s skeletal system and promote growth.
Most of the dark green leafy vegetables are usually made into different types of delicious soup which are afang soup, okra soup, egusi soup, ewedu soup, and manga soup. This type of Nigerian food is not complete without eating it with any of the cassava-containing meals like eba, amala, tuwo, and fufu.
These vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and folate during pregnancy. They tend to increase blood supply and also prevent low birth weight in newborns.
Beans are the commonest of the legume family. They are readily available They are a rich source of protein, iron, folate, and calcium. This constitutes reasons why legumes should be considered one of the best Nigerian food that should be eaten during pregnancy.
As for baked beans, they contain zinc in addition to their other nutrients. Consumption of baked beans helps increase birth weight and prevent preterm labor. Beans are also suitable for a vegetarian diet since it contains almost all nutrients needed during pregnancy. Examples of legumes are pea, beans, soybeans, and yam beans. They are bodybuilding food that helps repair worn-out tissues.
The fiber contains also aids in the digestion of food. In Nigeria, beans have several methods of preparation which can be prepared in form of ekuru, Akara(beans cake), and MoinMoin. Regardless of the varying methods of preparation of this Nigerian food, they still contain the same nutritional value.
This soy product is one of the best Nigerian food that should be eaten during pregnancy. They are a rich source of protein and also suitable for a vegetarian diet. Examples are soymilk, tofu, and soybeans cake(wara).
These are the type of meat that help increase the iron supply in the blood. Examples are skinless turkey, beef chops, and lean meat. They have iron as their major nutritional value. It is important to have an increased iron supply in the blood during pregnancy. Consumption of low-fat-containing meat increases the number of red blood cells in the body due to their iron supply.
This type of food is a very rich source of protein that can be substituted for other types of protein. They include tilapia, catfish, shrimp, salmon, and cod. This best Nigerian food contains little amount of mercury thereby reducing the risk of putting the fetus in danger.
Banana is one of the best Nigerian food that is very nutritious. It is very rich in potassium which regulates blood pressure and balances the body’s electrolytes. Banana can be consumed as a smoothie combined with any meal of your choice. It contains sugar which also increases the energy level in the body.
Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy?
It’s just right we back the list of Nigerian Food to Eat During Pregnancy with Foods to avoid during pregnancy too. As the saying goes, what goes inside is what makes us, during pregnancy, it’s important we are careful of the things we ingest. Such food to avoid doing pregnancy are:
There is a limitation to the amount of caffeine to be consumed daily as the fetus isn’t capable of metabolizing a large quantity. The maximum quantity that should be consumed daily is 200mg. So there is a need to be conscious of how much caffeine you take daily for the safety of the developing fetus.
During pregnancy, the growing fetus can’t metabolize alcohol. To avoid toxicity and congenital abnormality, it is advisable to refrain from taking alcohol.
Although this depends on an individual’s physiological composition. Some might take it during pregnancy without any reaction while others can’t. Examples of food that can trigger an allergic reaction include peanuts, soybean, walnut, almond shellfish, and wheat. For you to be sure of the food you are allergic to please confirm with your physician.
The unripe fruit is not safe during the first trimester of pregnancy as it can stimulate the contraction of the uterus.
For instance, unripe pawpaw is known to contain latex which its action is similar to oxytocin. When ingested, it can result in premature labor or miscarriage. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid unripe fruit during the early stage of pregnancy.
All fruit is supposed to be washed before eating as cleaned food increases the risk of ingesting toxoplasmosis which can be very dangerous to the growth of the developing fetus. Always wash fruit under running water to prevent the ingestion of microorganisms.
Eating the above-listed Nigerian Food to Eat During Pregnancy as recommended above and avoiding the food not to take during pregnancy promotes the healthy development of the fetus. There is a need to carry along your midwife to be guided and prevent complications.