If you are pregnant, your baby is relying on you for all of the healthy nutrients she needs to develop properly. Proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet are particularly important during pregnancy -- and vegetables are crucial. The good news is that you can consume veggies in a variety of ways, so getting proper nutrition does not have to be a chore.
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According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, most people require four to five servings of vegetables daily, or about two and a half cups. This is particularly crucial for women who are pregnant. One serving can vary, so be careful to take into account the form of the vegetable. For example, one serving of a leafy green vegetable like kale is one cup -- even if it is chopped and cooked. However, one serving of chopped vegetables, like diced carrots, is one-half of a cup.
Your baby needs certain vitamins and other nutrients to develop properly; often, the best source for these nutrients is vegetables. The nutrients your baby requires include vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron and magnesium. While you can supplement your intake by consuming a vitamin pill or supplement, if you reduce your consumption of vegetables, you are significantly more likely to increase your consumption of unhealthy foods. Unhealthy and junk foods, while they may fill you up, do not provide the nutrition you need to help your baby grow.
The March of Dimes recommends varying the vegetables you consume, especially while pregnant. A baked potato counts as a serving of vegetables, but be careful not to add too much butter or sour cream, which is high in fat. A salad made from kale, spinach and romaine lettuce provides good nutrition, and you can dress up a salad with cranberries, nuts and other healthy options to make it more flavorful. Also, try sauteing asparagus or broccoli in olive oil and garlic; if vegetables are well seasoned, they will taste good while still being healthy for you and your baby.
Vegetable juices can also provide many of the nutrients your baby needs to grow. Try to stay away from juices with lots of added sugar -- while they may taste sweeter, they are not as healthy. Fruit juices that are 100 percent fruit are also good to drink. You can eat more servings of fruits than vegetables, but you should aim for five total every day.