20 Superfoods to Eat During Pregnancy
Did you know that a well-balanced diet is just as important to staying healthy during pregnancy as being active? Though prenatal exercise has the benefits of reducing stress and can even increase the ability to deal with labor pains, a healthy pregnancy diet fuels your body with the right foods to keep you and baby healthy. We know that many new moms do not have the time for hours of research and food preparation, so we've created this cheat sheet of what to eat while pregnant. Keep reading for our top picks of 20 superfoods that you can easily incorporate into your healthy pregnancy diet right now, and why they are important!
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Chia seeds contain fiber and omega-3 fats, which have been proven to help prevent pregnancy depression. Chia seeds also help slow down the absorption of sugar, which will help inhibit the amount of sugar your baby absorbs. Add Chia seeds to your favorite greek yogurt bowl, smoothie, cereal, or even salad!
Eating skinless lean meat, such as chicken or turkey, is a great way for you to feel satisfied and hold on to lean muscle mass. 71 grams of lean protein is a healthy intake, as it will help you with the physical demands of pregnancy. Easy ways to incorporate lean meat in your diet can be a grilled chicken salad, turkey club sandwich, or even a simple meal of grilled chicken with quinoa and veggies.
Prunes are filled with fiber and can help your digestive system run smoothly. A healthy amount of fiber can even prevent the risk of developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia can bring adverse side effects, such as high blood pressure, swollen feet, and protein in urine. A serving size of 5 prunes has 3 grams of fiber. Pregnant moms should aim for 25 grams of fiber daily. Add prunes to an almond milk and banana smoothie or to your favorite oatmeal.
Spinach contains folic acid. During pregnancy, folic acid can help prevent your unborn baby from developing birth defects such as cleft palate, spina bifida, and cleft lip. Incorporate spinach in a sautéed mushroom spinach salad or strawberry almond spinach salad. Also, if you hate the taste of spinach, mask it in a banana, strawberry, orange, and spinach smoothie. Just add water and ice, and mix all ingredients in a blender.
Lentils are filled with iron, fiber, folic acid, healthy minerals, protein and vitamin B. Add lentils to creamy soups or salads to provide you and your baby a powerful handful of nutrients.
Lean cuts of top sirloin steak are filled with good protein, B12, B6, niacin, iron, and zinc and can help your baby with cognitive development. Add lean-cut steak to your favorite salad, stir fry, pasta, or chili.
Berries are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folic acid -- and they provide amazing benefits, such as protecting cells from damage. Use berries as an oatmeal or a cereal topper, in a berry smoothie or a Greek yogurt parfait.
Broccoli provides benefits, such as helping with healthy vision and balancing normal blood pressure. Broccoli is also packed with Vitamin A minerals, which can help bone growth and strengthen your immune system.
Cheese provides concentrated amounts of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous for your unborn baby to grow strong bones. Eat reduced-fat cheeses to reduce cholesterol and calorie intake. Enjoy cheese as a snack on a whole-grain cracker, as a pairing with grapes or in an egg-white omelet.
Eggs are a great source of protein and amino acids for you and baby-to-be. Also, eggs provide omega-3 fats that babies need to help develop their brain and enhance their vision. Enjoy eggs in an omelet or frittata. Also, hardboiled eggs cut up in a salad can be an extra treat!
Orange Juice (fortified)
Orange juice can be a quick and easy way to receive calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid. Enjoy orange juice plain, in a strawberry and banana smoothie, or as a frozen popsicle.
Salmon is a great source of protein, vitamin B, and omega-3 fats that can help promote brain development and vision for your little one. Enjoy salmon grilled, smoked or broiled.
Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin C, fiber, and large amounts of potassium. Roast sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve as a side dish with any dinner.
Wholes grains contain fiber, vitamin B, iron, folic acid, and zinc. Enjoy whole grains by eating whole-grain oatmeal, brown rice, or whole-grain crackers paired with cheese for a delicious snack.
Pumpkin seeds are filled with magnesium and iron. They also are a great source of omega-3 and protein. Omega-3 helps with your baby’s eye and brain development. Pumpkin seeds are a great snack, salad, or soup topper.
Hummus is packed with protein and low in fat. This superfood helps moms lower their glycemic levels when paired with a higher glycemic food, such as crackers or bread.
Figs contain natural antioxidants, fiber, calcium and magnesium, which can help prevent constipation. Pair figs with a salad or eat them plain!
Peas are a great source of protein, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid. Peas are easily absorbed by our bodies and are packed with Vitamin C. Peas are great for a travel snack. Lightly coat them in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and provide pregnant women with probiotics / healthy bacteria. Probiotic foods help with combating unhealthy bacteria and reduce risk of prenatal infection, early labor, and allergies for your baby.