(Natural News) The types of food that a pregnant woman eats will affect not only her health but also her child’s health and development. This is why it’s important to eat plenty of nutritious food during pregnancy. One of the foods pregnant women should consider eating is salmon, sometimes referred to as “brain food.” An article published in GoodHousekeeping.com suggests that eating fish like salmon could provide the child an additional 3 IQ points by age nine. This benefit can be attributed to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in salmon. DHA is a primary structural component of the nervous system and retinas. It helps maintain the central nervous system.
Salmon also offer other health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Salmon reduces inflammation: One of these is its ability to reduce inflammation. The omega-3 fatty acids in this fish increase the fluidity of cell membrane, which in turn, helps inhibit inflammation. (Related: The Powerful Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Preventing Diseases of Inflammation: The Experts Speak.)
- Salmon helps burn fat: Salmon can aid in weight management because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. These fatty acids enhance fat metabolism as well as reduce the production of triglycerides in the body.
- Salmon regulates blood sugar and blood pressure: Studies have reported that bioactive peptides found in salmon proteins may help control blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
- Salmon keeps your heart healthy: Consumption of salmon is good for the heart. Eating it regularly may improve your lipid levels and cut your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
There are many types of salmon, but the best ones are chinook (farmed and wild), sockeye, and coho. They all contain significantly more omega-3 fatty acids than omega-6, which are an important nutrient associated with reducing oxidative stress in the body.
You can enjoy salmon in many ways. You can eat it baked, broiled, sauteed, canned, or raw. However, pregnant women and people who are immunosuppressed should be cautious about eating raw salmon.
The skin of salmon is also packed with nutrients. In addition to omega-3s, it has vitamin D and some key vitamins and minerals. You can poach, grill, and broil salmon with the skin on.
Other foods good for pregnant women
Following a healthy diet is especially important during pregnancy. To ensure the health of you and your baby, try to include the following foods to your diet:
- Avocados: Eating avocados will give you high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, folate, and potassium. This fruit may help enhance the health of the fetus and relieve leg cramps, which are common in pregnant women.
- Berries: Snacking on berries helps you stay fit and healthy for they are rich in water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, but are low in calories.
- Broccoli and dark leafy greens: Pregnant women need more fiber, vitamins C, K, and A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium, and these can be found in broccoli and dark leafy green vegetables. These vegetables also provide high amounts of antioxidants and other plant compounds that benefit the immune and digestive system.
- Eggs: Eating eggs is a great way to increase your overall nutrient intake. They provide nutrients, high-quality protein and fat, and choline, which is an essential nutrient for brain health and development.
- Fish liver oil: Fish liver oil, which is often made from the oily liver of cod, offers great amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin A. One tablespoon, or 15 mL, of fish liver oil is enough for one day.
- Lean meat: Lean meat, such as beef, pork, and chicken, provides high-quality protein. Beef and pork also give high amounts of iron, choline, and B vitamins — all of which are essential during pregnancy.
- Legumes: Legumes, such as lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts, offer good amounts of folate, fiber, protein, and calcium — which pregnant women need.
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes provide beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital for the growth and differentiation of most cells and tissue in your growing fetus.
Read more news stories and studies on foods beneficial for pregnant women and their baby by going to Superfoods.news.