Eating right while pregnant has different challenges at different stages of pregnancy. In the first trimester, you may be more interested in your stomach feeling right than in eating right. So, undernutrition could be a concern. During the feel-better phase of the second trimester, mothers tend to overeat and therefore overgrain. That’s when the previous food aversions change to food cravings. In the third trimester, the pressure on your stomach from that growing little person inside may prompt you to graze on mini meals instead of gorging on big meals.
What’s in a Pregnancy Superfood?
The best food for you and your baby should be:
- Nutrient-dense, providing more nourishment per calorie
- Filling without being fattening
- Rich in nutrients mother and baby most need
- Friendly to queasy stomachs
- Versatile and tasty
- Able to boost the immune system
- Free of harmful additives
These twelve superfoods are our top choices for supplying the extra nutrition you and your baby need each day.
- Seafood – “Eat more safe seafood” is our first prospection for what you can do during pregnancy to help your baby’s brain grow. Studies have found that mothers who eat sufficient omega-3 DHA during their pregnancies are likely to give birth to more mature babies.
- Nuts, raw – Nuts are one of the most nutrient-dense foods, rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, calcium, and many other vitamins and minerals you and your baby need.
- Greens – Dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, arugula, collard greens, and asparagus are a good source of all the vitamins and minerals pregnant mothers need, especially folate, the “brain-vitality vitamin.”
- Avocados – Avocados are the most nutrient-dense fruit, rich in vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, and healthy fats, in addition to the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin. Avocados make a perfect accompaniment to other superfoods, such as omelets and salads, and can be made into guacamole to be enjoyed with raw vegetable dippers.
- Eggs – Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods. For a mere 75 calories, you enjoy 6 grams of protein.
- Yogurt – Besides being packed with two of the top nutrients pregnant mothers need, protein (10 to 20 grams per cup) and calcium (300 to 400 milligrams per cup), this superfood is rich in probiotics.
- Blueberries – Blueberries have been called the “brain berry” because studies have shown that they act as a neuroprotectant against damage to nerve tissue. The blue skin of the blueberry is full of the flavonoid anthocyanin, a potent antioxidant that protects tissues, especially the brain, from damage and inflammation. They taste good and can be added to many of the other superfoods, such as yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and salads.
- Beans and Lentils – Legumes are loaded with nutrients. They have a high satiety factor, so they fill you up for fewer calories. Beans are high in B vitamins, protein, fiber, folic acid, calcium, and iron.
- Flaxseeds – We recommend mixing 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds into a daily smoothie, adding them to your muffin batter, or sprinkling them on salads or oatmeal. Two tablespoons of this superseed contains 100 healthy calories, 4 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber, and is a rich source of healthy fats.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil is nutritious and delicious pregnancy superfood. Ninety percent of the fats in olive oil are healthy monounsaturated fat, which is heart-healthy and cholesterol-lowering.
- Tofu – Tofu is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Tofu is bland on its own, but when blended with other foods, it takes on the flavor of those foods. That is why it’s a favorite nutritious addition to stir-fries and smoothies.
- Oatmeal – Opt for oatmeal as a healthy pregnancy breakfast. The special fiber in oatmeal, called beta-glucans, is particularly gut-friendly because it steadies the absorption of carbs and thereby steadies blood sugar swings.
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