Pregnancy isn’t the time to skimp on nutrition. In fact, while you are pregnant you should eat a variety foods healthy foods to help support your growing baby. While you are pregnant, your baby will take all of the important nutrients that your baby needs before you even get nutrients from the food that you eat. Your body does a great job ensuring that your baby is getting plenty of vitamins and minerals for proper growth and development. When you neglect getting enough vitamins and minerals for your growing needs, your body will tend to crave the nutrients that you are missing. Not getting enough vitamins and minerals can be unhealthy and can lead to problems for you and your unborn baby if left untreated. When you aren’t getting enough nutrients from the foods you are eating, then your body will begin tapping into any stored nutrient reservoirs that you have available in your body, leaving you at risk for nutritional deficiencies. It is important to take a pre-natal vitamin while you are pregnant or nursing. Here is a list of 15 pregnancy superfoods that are packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals that you and your growing baby need.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t replace talking to your doctor about proper nutrition.
- Salmon – Salmon is very high in DHA and provides essential Omega 3 fatty acids which helps promote brain growth in your baby. This type of fish is low in mercury; however, it is important that you don’t eat more than 12 ounces of Salmon each week. Eating too much mercury can be dangerous to your unborn baby.
- Broccoli – This vegetable is packed with lots of great nutrients. It is packed with vitamin C and can help with iron absorption when eaten with iron rich foods. Broccoli is packed with fiber which helps ease symptoms of constipation.
- Dried Beans and Lentils – During pregnancy, women need to eat an additional 10 grams of protein each day. Beans and lentils can easily be added to meals or dishes, especially, soups, rice, or salads, to increase the amount of protein in your diet. Beans and lentils are also a great source of folate, which helps for prevent neural tube defects.
- Non-Fat Milk or Milk – It is important that pregnant moms get enough calcium in their diet to help prevent bone problems during and after pregnancy.
- Banana’s – Bananas are packed full of potassium and are gentle on the stomach if you are suffering from morning sickness. If you are feeling fatigued, eating a banana can help give you a burst of quick energy and can help you fight off symptoms of fatigue. Bananas are also great to eat if you are suffering from severe legs cramps.
- Choose Lean Meats – During pregnancy, your body needs more iron and it is important that you get enough protein in your diet. Lean meats are lower in fat and are healthier choices, over meats that are higher in fat content. It is important that you eat enough meat. Eating meat contains the iron that you need to prevent anemia and it is the easiest form of iron that your body can absorb, especially, if you are unable to stomach your pre-natal vitamins. If you start depleting the iron that is stored in your body, you will likely feel tired all of the time and could show the signs and symptoms of anemia. Anemia can be prevented and left untreated it can be harmful to you and your unborn baby.
- Cheese – Adding cheese to your meals or snack time can help increase your calcium intake. However, it is important to stay away from soft cheeses or cheeses that are not processed.
- Eggs – If you are unable to eat any meat during your pregnancy, eggs are another great source of protein. They are a quick and easy meal to fix. Plus, you can even hard boil a few eggs at a time so that you can add egg to your salad or have a grab and go meal or snack.
- Oatmeal – Try adding oatmeal to your morning routine;instead, of eating milk and cereal. It is easy to digest and is packed with complex carbohydrates which helps make you feel full longer during the day. It also is great for relieving constipation.
- Leafy Greens – Instead of grabbing traditional lettuce mix next time at the store, opt for healthy greens such as spinach. Leafy greens are filled with high levels of vitamins and minerals. If you are low on iron, cooked spinach is a great source of iron.
- Whole Grain Breads and Pastas – Swap your traditional white bread and pastas for whole wheat. Wheat is packed with fiber and is filled with complex carbohydrates, which take longer to break down and help keep you feeling full longer.
- Nuts – Add nuts sparingly to your diet or swap them out for traditional fats such as meat, fatty condiments, and butters. Nuts are higher in unsaturated fats (good fats) and are a great source of protein, vitamin e, and fiber, depending on the type of nuts that you choose to eat.
- Asparagus – Asparagus is full of folate which helps prevent neural tube defects.
- Yogurt – Yogurt is another great way to get calcium in your diet. Avoid yogurt that is high in sugar. Greek yogurt is a better alternative and contains more protein than traditional yogurt blends.
- Garlic – Garlic is a great herb that can help prevent preeclampsia during pregnancy. Preeclampsia can be harmful to you and your unborn baby, especially, if your blood pressure get to too high. Try adding a hint of garlic to your vegetables, omelets, pizza, and humus.
As you are choosing foods, make sure that you are choosing a healthy variety of food so that you get all of the minerals and vitamins that you and your baby need each day during pregnancy. Eat a variety of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and fats. If necessary, use the food pyramid to determine which food groups that you need to focus on. Remember that it is important to take a pre-natal vitamin to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients that you aren’t getting through diet alone.
What is your favorite pregnancy superfood?