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Healthy Foods To Eat During The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

The third trimester of pregnancy begins on week 28 and may last until week 40, or say, begins on the seventh month and last on the ninth month of pregnancy. At this stage, the baby continues to grow fast, with an increase in the weight of the baby and the size of the stomach.

There are many changes that take place in the third trimester. They include a transformation of cartilage to bone, development of hair, skin and nails and growth of baby's brain and five senses. During this time, a mom-to-be may feel a lot of movement by the baby along with symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, swollen feet, difficulties in sleeping and many others.

Diet plays a major role during the third trimester as it helps in the growth and development of the foetus and also helps provide essential nutrients to the mother. Foods that they eat during this time also wards off the aforementioned pregnancy symptoms.

Take a look at the best nutritious and healthy foods to eat during the third trimester of pregnancy.


1. Dairy

Low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt provide calcium for the development of the teeth, skeleton and bones of the baby. A study says that during the third trimester, a woman's body absorbs around 72 per cent of calcium when the daily calcium intake is around 1171 mg. [1]


2. Meat

Meat is a great source of protein. A study says that animal protein during pregnancy is the main source of the nutrient that helps in preventing the deficiency of vitamin B12 and iron in the body, which may lead to the risk of low birth weight, preeclampsia and underdeveloped brain. Also, avoid the consumption of red meat. [2]


3. Eggs

Eggs are the main source of iodine, iron, protein and DHA. A study says that iodine in eggs may help in the prevention of postpartum hyperthyroidism and neonatal hypothyroidism along with pregnancy complications such as abortion, birth defects and brain damage. [3]


4. Tofu

Tofu is a rich source of calcium. A study says that deficiency of calcium during pregnancy can increase the risk of preeclampsia and other hypertensive conditions related to pregnancy. [4] Tofu is a soy product and intake of other soy products such as tempeh or miso is also considered nutritional during the third trimester.


5. Legumes

During pregnancy, the nutritional requirements increase due to fetal growth and the development of maternal tissues. Legumes are an important part of the Mediterranean diet along with fruits, vegetables and dairies. They together help reduce the risk of preterm delivery, gestational diabetes, obesity in newborns and higher birth weight complications. [5]


6. Lettuce

Leafy vegetables such as lettuce are rich in folate. A cup of lettuce contains about 64 mcg of folate. A study says that folate is an important nutrient in the prevention of neural tube defects in newborns. Folate also ensures the proper growth and development of the foetus. [6]


7. Seafood

A study has shown that the average intake of seafood, around 29 g per day or 2-3 servings per week during pregnancy can reduce the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) newborns. Some studies also show that average maternal consumption fo seafood (around 450 g) per week can increase the IQ of the newborn. Seafood is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, minerals and vitamin D. [7]


8. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of iron and zinc. Deficiency of these nutrients can result in pregnancy-related complications such as low birth weight. Also, the high content of magnesium in pumpkin seeds prevent the risk of preterm labour and helps in the absorption of calcium by the body. [8]


9. Chickpeas

Around 55 per cent of women gain excessive gestational weight gain during pregnancy with a decrease in diet quality. High fibre snacks such as chickpeas fulfil the daily requirement of dietary fibre along with providing increased energy. Chickpeas are also rich in vitamin C, B6 and B12. [9]


10. Carrots

Carrots are rich in vitamin A that helps in the growth and development of eyes, skin, teeth and bones of the baby. Experts suggest that consumption of around 300 mL of carrot juice during the last trimester of pregnancy prevents many pregnancy-related complications.


Foods To Avoid

  • Raw or smoked seafood
  • Oranges
  • Raw sprouts
  • Unpasteurised dairy
  • High-mercury fish like shark and mackerel
  • Red meat
  • High caffeine
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