There may be no more exciting-and worrisome-time in a mother’s life than those nine-plus months before her little one enters the world. It’s a time filled with a lot of second guessing and fretting over whether you’re doing all the right things, especially whether or not you know what to eat when pregnant. When it comes to picking the best foods t0 eat when pregnant, you need choices that are both healthy and appetizing. Look no further than a few of these prenatal superfoods we’ve outlined below:
Beans: Beans and excellent food to eat when pregnant because they’re savory, filling and high in protein — all major pluses when you’re eating for two. Beans’ high protein count makes them an excellent meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans, or for those who may develop a meat aversion while pregnant. Beans also provide fiber, which is important for digestion, and helps you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels — both of which can fluctuate while pregnant.
Yogurt: If you really want to know what to eat when pregnant, yogurt is at the top of the list! It’s packed with calcium, protein, and iodine, all crucial for your baby’s development. Yogurt also contains a type of good bacteria called acidophilus, which promotes healthy digestion. The digestive benefits of yogurt will really come in handy when you’re experiencing belly bloat, a common pregnancy symptom!
Nuts: Nuts are a widely recognized superfood, even for those of us who aren’t pregnant. Nuts are packed with vitamins and minerals that we all need to stay healthy, but pregnant women can especially benefit from many of the nutrients in this crunchy snack, including fiber, protein and magnesium, a mineral that helps reduce the risk of premature labor. Nuts are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which many experts feel can boost brain function in both mommy and baby.
Whole grains: Not only do whole grains provide a healthy source of carbs-crucial for you and your baby’s energy but whole grain cereals also typically provide iron, which helps prevent anemia, and folate, which can reduce the risk of birth defects. Opt for an all-natural whole grain cereal when shopping for this prenatal superfood, and check the package label to ensure the brand comes with an adequate amount of iron and folate.
Fish: Fish are low-fat and offer a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids. Opt for fish options that provide plenty of DHA (a type of omega 3 fatty acid), but that are low in mercury, a chemical that may play a role in poor fetal development. Salmon is an example of a safe prenatal superfood, while swordfish, shark and king mackerel are all high in mercury and should be avoided during pregnancy. Check out article on mercury levels in fish for more information on safe fish choices when pregnant.
Leafy greens: Dark green veggies like spinach, kale and broccoli come packed with iron, fiber, vitamin A, lutein, vitamin K , and a whole host of other nutrients! When making your “what to eat when pregnant list,” put leafy greens at the top with yogurt! Vitamin A helps baby’s bones and skin grow and lutein promotes eyesight development. Leafy greens also pack a lot of potassium, which is very important for you and your baby’s heart health and nerve and muscle function.
Lean meat: Lean meat is a great source of protein, and adequate protein intake cannot be over emphasized. After all, proteins are the building blocks of life! Meat also offers a powerful dose of vitamin B6, which is good for your baby’s nervous system, and vitamin B12, which supports fetal development.
Prenatal multivitamins: Though not a superfood exactly, supplementing your diet with a prenatal multivitamin is highly recommended during pregnancy and may even be prescribed by your doctor to help ensure you receive the proper amount of vitamins and minerals to support your and your baby’s health.
Maintaining a good diet when pregnant is key to keeping you and your baby healthy. Adding these superfoods to your prenatal menu will help ensure that you are eating well while you eat for two!
Sources for “What to Eat When Pregnant:”
Originally posted 2013-11-21 10:12:59.