Making healthy nutrition choices during pregnancy is extremely important for you and your baby. Making sure you’re eating the right amount of food is half the battle, since good pregnancy nutrition is all about consuming functional foods that provide all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy and baby’s development. Try to include a variety of these and other pregnancy super foods, and choose natural and organic varieties as often as possible to achieve optimal pregnancy health. Be sure to discuss your dietary needs with your healthcare provider. 1) Kefir— This super food typically contains three times the amount of pro-biotic cultures as a traditional yogurt, boosting benefits for digestion and your immune system– both of which are important during pregnancy. One serving of this super food can provide 10 grams of protein in just 100 calories. It also contains tryptophan– which can help relax the body– and calcium to support bone health for you and your baby!
2) Almonds— High in healthy fats, almonds are an excellent pregnancy snack to help reduce hunger-related fatigue and nausea. Their phosphorus content help support bone and teeth development, and help you maintain nutrients that pregnancy can often deplete without a balanced diet. Almonds can also help you achieve and maintain low cholesterol and healthy blood sugar levels.
3) Blueberries— This antioxidant rich berry provides vitamin K to fight cancer and promote bone growth– which is essential for your growing baby. They are also high in vitamin C, and are a fiber rich fruit , aiding digestion and helping you feel full. Blueberries have one of the lowest glycemic index ratings for fruit, and it’s iron content promotes cell growth, liver function, and oxygen transportation. This pregnancy super food is definitely worth incorporating in your diet.
4) Avocado— Containing impressive amounts of vitamins C and K, folate, and omega 3’s, avocado provides a great deal of health benefits to expectant moms. It is also extremely high in unsaturated fats, the good ones that help you feel full. Just remember that one serving is half an avocado, which provides 15 grams of good fats.
5) Quinoa— A complete protein that provides 2x the fiber as most carbohydrates, , and quinoa is iron rich, helping transport oxygen to muscles.It also contains lysine, which aides tissue growth and repair– essential to mom’s health and baby’s growth.
6) Salmon— Fresh, wild salmon is a super food that provides an impressive amount of Omega 3’s, vitamin D, and calcium– all essential to bone health and brain development. Omega 3’s also have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce symptoms associated with arthritis and asthma. While wild salmon is ideal, much of what is available fresh is farmed, so canned salmon can be a good option occasionally– and canned salmon includes small, edible pieces of calcium-rich bones! Remember to limit your fish into to 1 serving/week due to the possible mercury content.
7) Leafy Greens— Many green vegetables boast high fiber content, and leafy greens provide high levels of folate, a B vitamin that is instrumental in neural tube development, brain and spinal development, and the production of red blood cells. B vitamins have also been shown to help reduce stress, which can be especially helpful during pregnancy! Try to include a variety of super greens, including kale, baby spinach, and arugula in your meals, and be sure to include a good fat along with it to help your absorb the nutrients! Try adding some of these super foods to your pregnancy meals, or as a snack throughout the day to keep your energy levels up and hunger at bay.