Your “baby belly” will definitely start showing in this trimester, but your rate of growth is nothing compared to your baby’s. This growth is a great reminder of how much you and your baby are changing – and how important eating lots of the right nutrients is to helping you both stay healthy.
Dealing with the Symptoms
Eating a healthy diet abundant in fiber-rich foods will help alleviate some of the gas, heartburn, bloating and/or constipation some women experience. Acne can also be a symptom during the 2nd trimester, so eating foods that support healthy skin can help fight this symptom.
As blood circulation increases, you’ll notice a few other symptoms. An obvious one is that healthy glow to your skin. Eating foods that are rich in skin-healthy ingredients like coconut oil, cherries and avocados can help keep your skin looking radiant in your later months. With more blood, your blood vessels dilate, which can lead to some dizziness. Try to avoid prolonged standing and rise slowly after lying and sitting down to combat it. Easting healthy foods like avocados and watercress that contain plenty of iron, sodium, potassium, and protein will ensure your blood has what it needs to stay healthy.
Top Foods for The Second Trimester
- chia seeds
- chocolate milk
- coconut oil
- hemp seeds
- romaine lettuce
Avocados: This fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. In each cup of avocado there are 16 grams of fiber! Plus, 205 mcg of folate, half of your daily needs for vitamin K and a third of your daily needs of vitamin B6. Eating fat is important because it helps your body absorb more nutrients. Including avocados will also give you vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin, copper, magnesium, sodium, potassium, selenium, calcium and phosphorus…WOW!
Basil: This herb contains every nutrient you need during your pregnancy. It is packed with iron, calcium, and folate. Your baby has 300 bones to grow, so calcium is a major nutrient! Basil is also a great source of folate, vitamin E, riboflavin, and niacin.
Carrots: A lack of vitamin A can cause poor vision. 1 cup of raw carrots contain roughly 700 percent (20,000 IU) of your recommended daily value for vitamin A. When your pregnant, this is doubly important, since now your baby’s eyes are developing.
Chia Seeds: The omega-3 fatty acid content is even higher in chia seeds than in flaxseeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for your baby and result in healthier cells in your body, which means your brain, nerves, skin and other organs work work better. One ounce of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. They also contain a third of your daily amount of phosphorus and about 25 percent of your needs of manganese, two minerals needs for proper development of your baby’s skeletal system.
Chamomile: Chamomile is a mine of minerals! I cup can help you get your recommended amounts of iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. This tea can also be a great sleep aid if you are having trouble sleeping into your 2nd trimester.
Cherries: This fruit can also help with poor sleep. Cherries contain melatonin, an antioxidant hormone that may help you sleep better. That’s not all melatonin is good for, it also stimulates new cell growth that can help your skin, which is growing and stretching around your belly and breasts. Cherries are a great source of vitamin C, with 10 mg per cup. This vitamin plays a big role in the production of collagen, the main strength compound in your skin.
Chickpeas: Studies have found a positive effect from eating legumes like chickpeas – low rates of cardiovascular disease and obesity. These legumes are packed full of nutrients! 1 cup gives you 12 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein, more than half of your needs for vitamin B6 and a quarter of your needs for iron. A whopping 65% of your daily needs of manganese can be found in just 1 cup of chickpeas, which will help the building of those 300 bones! Selenium, zinc and copper are also found richly in chickpeas.
Chocolate Milk: Every healthy diet recommends eating foods that are low in fat and higher in protein. Chocolate milk is both! 1 cup offers you close to 300 mg of calcium. Chocolate milk is great at keeping you hydrated and quenches your thirst, since milk is 90% water. Mind you, water is still the healthiest drink option during pregnancy, but for both hydration and a protein boost, you can’t beat milk. Consider the caffeine and sugar content, and look for brands that are made from cocoa rather than processed sugar.
Coconut Oil: Fat in your diet helps you absorb fat soluble vitamins including A, E, D and K. Because it is high in saturated fat, coconut oil was once considered bad. But one type of saturated fat called lauric acid is also found in breast milk. Scientist believe that the lauric acid in breast milk helps prevents infants from viral and bacterial infections. Coconut oil also contains antimicrobial fats that help support a healthy immune system.
Figs: Figs are packed with fiber, calcium, iron – and who doesn’t love something sweet? Figs will also offer you and your baby about 23 mcg of vitamin K, a vitmamin needed for proper blood clotting and bone formation. Low in calories, these make a great snack low in fat and sodium.
Hemp: Hemp plants have been used for years as a food source, and hemp fibers ae used to make paper and clothing. Hemp foods are packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats, making hemp one of the healthiest food choices for your 2nd trimester. Hemp is one of nature’s perfect sources of good fats (omega-6 and omega-3 in a ratio of about 3:1). Hemp also provided all 10 essential amino acids and the fiber in can help ease constipation. You can usually find shelled hemp seeds at your local health store, which are great in smoothies and yogurt!
Kale: When kale is chopped or chewed, sulforaphane is formed. It triggers your liver to produce enzymes that detoxify (neutralize) cancer-causing chemicals. Studies have shown that sulforaphane can inhibit breast cancers caused by chemicals. Kale is also rich in manganese which is a critical part in an antioxidant called SOD, that provides protection against damage from free radicals.
Romaine Lettuce: The darker the lettuce, the better it is for you! One cup of romaine lettuce contains about 2,000 IU of vitamin A, 12 mg of vitamin C, and more than half of your needs of vitmain K, as well as about 70 mch of folate and 0.5 mg of iron. Your baby needs all of these and in large amounts, and iron and folate are essential during your pregnancy.
Scallions: Well known as green onions – may be small, but they’re nutritionally mighty! Just a few tablesppons added to any dish provideds essential nutrients to support the healthy growth of your baby. Scallions containe almost 4 times the vitamin C and 5,000 times the vitmain A that is found in red, white or yellow onions! They also provide lots of healthy antioxidants, playing a big role in a healthy pregnancy.
Tofu: Soft, spongy, bland and a little frightening to some people, can be delicious when it is prepare well. It is so easy to work with and a great fast source of protein. Protein is necessary for growth and development during pregnancy and just 1 serving of tofu provides you with about 7 grams of protein. Tofu is also a great source of calcium for those moms to be who are lactose intolerant.
Tumeric: This bright yellow-orange powder is sometimes called the “wonder spice”. There is sample evidence that the consumption of turmeric both prevents and treats diseases. One tablespoon of this spice contains about 3 mcg of iron. It is also a good source of vitamin C. The combination of these 2 nutrients is ideal because vitamin C helps boost iron absorption. Tumeric also contains manganese, which plays a role in your baby’s skeletal development. Curcumin is one of the healthiest nutrients in turmeric. It works as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal in your body.
Tuna: A number of studies have found that eating high amounts of fish during later stages of pregnancy and lactation (3-4 servings a week) has many healthy benefits. Fish is especially high in vitamin D and the fats found in fish are essential, which means your body cannot make them. DHA is required in high levels in the brain and retina to provide optimal neurological functioning and visual functioning. It is important to start including healthy EPA and DHA in your diet early in pregnancy to ensure that your baby has the opportunity to get as much of these good fats as possible.
Turkey: Turkey is a great source of protein that is low in fat and packed with healthy nutrients for you and your developing baby. Just one 4-ounce serving provides about 60% of your daily recommend protein intake. Turkey is high in cysteine and selenium, nutrients that are important during pregnancy because they are both potent antioxidants. We all know turkey contains tryptophan, which is converted in the body to serotonin – a great mood booster!
Watercress: Crisp, peppery watercress is a great addition to any salad. It is a good source of protein, folate, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, vitamin K, and phosphorus – and that’s not all! Watercress includes TONS of antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A. Lutein and zeaxanthin are more key nutrients in watercress that are found in high levels in the lens and retina of they eye, and since your baby’s eyes are developing quickly now, they’re especially important.