There are so many foods that you need to eat and others that you need to avoid during pregnancy because of their ingredients or potential allergens. If you’re pregnant, you have to be extra careful about what you put into your body and how it will affect the development of your baby. The good news, though, is that there are some superfoods that can help keep you healthy while also taking care of your baby’s development and needs during pregnancy. Read on to find out what they are!
This is a great pregnancy super food to eat, because it provides energy and is loaded with fiber. Oats are also known to reduce inflammation, which helps to prevent other pregnancy symptoms like heartburn or indigestion. They’re high in vitamin E and beta-glucan—both of which may help lower cholesterol levels, meaning your baby will have a healthier cardiovascular system once he/she has been born. Just make sure you buy plain oats that haven’t been flavoured with things like fruit and cinnamon for optimal health benefits.
Avocados, rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, help lower blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health. They’re also a great source of fiber, which helps keep you full and aid digestion. In fact, avocados are so beneficial to pregnant women that researchers say they can help prevent gestational diabetes! Now there’s an incentive to add some guacamole to your next meal.
According to Calorie Count, a large egg contains almost 6 grams of protein. The average pregnant woman needs between 75 and 100 grams of protein a day, so eggs are an obvious choice. Plus, they’re quick to prepare and can be eaten at any time of day (even for breakfast!). Eggs also contain choline, which aids in fetal brain development and is found in breast milk.
One of my favourite pregnancy super foods is salmon. This fish has enough omega-3s to significantly reduce your risk of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication marked by high blood pressure. It’s also packed with protein and other essential nutrients that help keep you feeling energized. Canned or smoked salmon are good options—or try it topped on salad greens!
When it comes to pregnancy super foods, most expectant mothers will rattle off a list of important nutrients like calcium and iron. But what about vitamin C, which is crucial for keeping your immune system strong? Or zinc, which helps boost your baby’s brain development? In addition to basic nutrients, quinoa also delivers these critical vitamins and minerals—and it’s one of many pregnancy super foods you can eat to make sure both you and your child are healthy.
Blueberries are rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help support both you and your baby’s health. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, essential nutrients, and fiber, making them one of the best pregnancy super foods to eat. They also have a natural sweetness to them that pairs well with many meals.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as folate, calcium, and fiber. In fact, just one serving provides more than your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. This nutrient helps boost immunity during pregnancy and lower your risk for heart disease later in life. It also plays a key role in collagen formation for healthy bones and joints!
Watermelon is high in water content, which helps you stay hydrated throughout your pregnancy. Watermelon also contains vitamins A and C as well as lycopene—all essential nutrients for pregnant women. In addition to aiding with hydration, these nutrients are necessary for a healthy pregnancy and can help stave off numerous common pregnancy-related conditions, including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
9) Lean Meat
Eats of lean skinless meat such as chicken or turkey will help satisfy you and retain lean muscle mass during pregnancy. Seventy-one grams of lean protein is the healthy standard for the physical demands of pregnancy. Easy ways to make lean meat a more frequent part of your diet might be a grilled chicken salad, a turkey club sandwich, or a simple chicken dish of grilled chicken with quinoa and vegetables.
You should have prunes, which contain lots of fiber and will keep your digestive system running smoothly. There is even evidence that a high fiber diet can reduce the risk of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can cause unfavourable side effects like high blood pressure, swollen feet, and protein in the urine.
For example, eating five prunes equals three grams of fiber. To reap the benefits of a full 25 grams of fiber, a pregnant mom should eat prunes every day, add them to a breakfast, to a smoothie, or even to oatmeal.
One benefit of eating spinach is that it contains folic acid. Folic acid, while not necessarily eliminating these conditions entirely, can at least help lower your child’s chances of developing birth defects such as cleft palate, spina bifida, and cleft lip.
Sneak spinach into sautéed mushroom spinach salad or strawberry almond spinach salad. To mask the taste of spinach, include it in a banana, strawberry, orange, and spinach smoothie. Just mix in water and ice, and put everything in a blender.
Lean cuts of top sirloin steak, filled with important nutrients like protein, B12, B6, niacin, iron, and zinc, are a smart way to give your baby brainpower. Adding them to your favourite salads, stir-fries, pasta, or chilis is a perfect way to feed yourself, too.
13) Cheese (pasteurized)
Cheese is high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous for growing healthy bones. Eat reduced-fat cheeses to reduce cholesterol and calorie intake. Cheese should be eaten with whole-grain crackers, as an accompaniment to grapes, or as a key ingredient in egg-white omelets.
14) Orange Juice
Orange juice is one way to receive important nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid. Drink it by itself, blend it into a strawberry and banana smoothie, or freeze it into a popsicle.
15) Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin C, fiber, and high levels of potassium. To cook them, heat the oven to 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Good as a side dish with any dinner.
16) Whole Grains
Brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain crackers with cheese will help to get your grains, iron, folic acid, and zinc.
17) Pumpkin Seeds
When you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to eat foods that are high in fiber. Pumpkin seeds are one of these foods, and they also happen to be high in protein—and research shows that consuming more protein while you’re pregnant may help your child develop better motor skills as he or she grows.