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Food, Foodstuffs, Healthy Living

Healthy meals for pregnant women in Nigeria

It’s normal to have heightened food cravings during pregnancy. So, we made a list of healthy meals for pregnant women in Nigeria.

It’s “natural” that your body needs more food during pregnancy. Besides caring for your body’s needs, you’re also nourishing another human, which causes you to crave more food. But what you eat (or don’t eat) matters. We made a list of the healthy foods you should include in your diet as a pregnant woman in Nigeria.

The best 5 foods for pregnant women in Nigeria

Prices of healthy foods, like eggs and beans, for pregnant women in Nigeria.
There’s no one-size-fits-all calorie intake for every pregnant woman. Instead, the calories you need depend on your weight and height, pregnancy status, the number of babies (singles or multiples), the current trimester, and genetics. As a result, you need to visit your dietician and doctor regularly to know the quantity of food you should eat. 

But in general, you should include the foods below in your diet. 

  1. Eggs

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more nutritious food than eggs. They contain mostly protein and fat, with small amounts of carbohydrates. Because of this, they help pregnant women maintain healthy blood sugar and prevent gestational diabetes. 

Some eggs are also good sources of vitamin D. The “sunshine vitamin” helps pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers develop strong bones while promoting healthy fetal development. 

Besides vitamin D, eggs also contain significant amounts of vitamins A, B (2, 5, 6, and 12), calcium, selenium, choline, and zinc. The nutrients promote cell growth, boost the immune system, and prevent birth defects or preterm birth. 

Without iron, pregnant women are likely to suffer from iron-deficiency anemia—the lack of healthy red blood cells for oxygen circulation. As a result, you’re prone to extreme fatigue and the risk of delivering a low-birth-weight baby. Eggs, however, are an iron-rich food that can fill your iron quota during pregnancy.  What’s more? Eggs are easy to prepare, which is a big plus if you prefer to set your meals. 

2. Salmon, tilapia, and herring (shawa) fish

Salmon, tilapia, and herring have a few things in common: they contain significant portions of omega-3 fatty acids, making them perfect for pregnant women. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential, healthy fats your body needs. Adequate intake improves blood clotting, inflammatory and allergic responses, and kidney health. In pregnant women, omega-3 fatty acids provide the following benefits: 

  • Improve cognitive (thinking) and visual abilities of babies. 
  • Increases the release of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DPA), which reduce the risk of depression and postpartum mood disorders in mothers. 
  • It prevents preterm labor and delivery. 

3. Beans and fiber-rich foods

Prices of beans and folate-rich foods such as spinach and broccoli, you can buy on Pricepally
Beans are rich sources of folate (vitamin B9), the natural form of folic acid. Folate helps to produce healthy red blood cells during pregnancy and fetal development. It also reduces the risk of birth anomalies while promoting fetal brain development. Dark leafy vegetables, like spinach (amunututu), fluted pumpkin (ugu) leaves, bitter leaves, and eggs, are folate-rich foods. 

During pregnancy, there’s a strong possibility that your intestinal tract will slow down, leading to constipation or hemorrhoids. You need to consume fiber-rich foods like beans, which contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber acts as a laxative by increasing the water content of stool, which normalizes bowel movements and prevents constipation. 

Besides, fiber-rich foods, like beans, typically have a low glycemic index (the ranking system for foods containing carbohydrates). As a result, they reduce blood sugar levels and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Because the human body can’t break down fiber, it serves as food for “good” bacteria in the gut (large intestines). The friendly bacteria then produce healthy nutrients such as acetate and propionate. Low levels of acetate in women may cause preeclampsia, a pregnancy-induced high blood pressure that interferes with the immune development of babies in the womb. But adequate fiber intake can help pregnant women navigate preeclampsia because it produces acetate after fermentation in the gut. 

4. Fruits and vegetables

Prices of fruits, such as apples, banana, and strawberry, for pregnant women in Nigeria
There’s only a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables. Fruit helps you stay hydrated. Additionally, they provide fiber, which helps pregnant women achieve a healthy weight. Similarly, vegetables provide iron, which supports healthy blood production for babies and mothers. 

Examples of fruits you should eat during pregnancy are: 

  • Oranges: Rich sources of vitamin C, water, and folate
  • Mangoes: Good sources of vitamins A and C. 
  • Bananas: Contain high levels of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, and fiber. 
  • Berries: Contain vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are examples of berries you should take. 
  • Apples: They supply vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium. It may also reduce the likelihood of babies developing asthma and allergies. 

Examples of vegetables you should eat during pregnancy are: 

5. Water and dairy products

You can’t afford not to drink water during pregnancy. Besides fulfilling daily fluid intake, hydration improves the delivery of nutrients from mothers to babies. It also helps waste products leave the body. 

Dairy products provide the additional calcium and protein your body needs because of pregnancy. They also contain high amounts of phosphorus, vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc. Calcium-rich foods support bone and tooth development. 

Examples of dairy foods and calcium-rich foods suitable for pregnant women are: 

Health tip: If you’re lactose intolerant, speak with your medical experts before exploring dairy product options. 

Pregnancy diet: 3 foods pregnant women should avoid

Prices of healthy fish and seafood, such as shrimps, catfish, and mackerel (Titus fish) for pregnant women in Nigeria.
1. High-mercury fish

Mercury is unsafe for pregnant women, whether at high or low exposure. It causes developmental problems in children and negatively affects the immune system and kidneys. Marine fish mostly contain mercury and are found in polluted areas. 

Examples of high-mercury fish you should avoid are: 

  • King mackerel 
  • Tuna
  • Swordfish

On the other hand, low-mercury fish and seafood that are healthy for pregnant women are: 

Health Tip: Avoid eating undercooked or raw fish because they may cause bacterial infections that cause dehydration and weakness. The same theory applies to meat and eggs. 

1. Alcohol

It increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. 

2. Junk foods

Although pregnancy increases your appetite for food, processed junk foods aren’t the answer to your cravings. Junk food is high-calorie food with little nutritional value that may cause weight gain and gestational diabetes. 

Where can I shop for healthy meals for pregnant women in Nigeria? 

Prices of selected baby foods on Pricepally
As a woman expecting a baby, market stress isn’t good for you. Pricepally exists for you—we’ll handle the market stress for you. All you need to do is order food items through any of these three channels: the website, the mobile app, or the WhatsApp shopping assistant (April). 

We know pregnancy cravings make you want to shop in bulk. Pally—the bulk-sharing feature—helps you split food prices with friends or other shoppers. This way, you can shop for more fresh fruits, vegetables, foodstuffs, and baby food for less cash. Some of the infant cereals you can buy in small or bulk quantities with us are: 

We’ll also deliver your food items to your preferred location when you want them, or the next day if you stay in Lagos. If you live in Abuja or Port Harcourt, you’ll receive your food orders the same day. Delivery prices fall within the ₦2,000-₦3,000 range, irrespective of the location. Happy shopping! 

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2 Replies to Healthy meals for pregnant women in Nigeria

  1. Wow…after going through all the writeup, I am pleased to say that this is helpful as a pregnant mom….reading this as add more impact to my knowledge. A big thanks to this blog for bringing this pregnancy tips up. Kudos to you 👏

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