Now that you are eating for you and for your baby, it’s even more important that you plan every meal with nutrition in mind. If your diet wasn’t a top concern before, you should start monitoring what you’re consuming so that both you and your baby will stay healthy.
During pregnancy, you will need to make sure to consume appropriate amounts of certain nutrients including protein and calcium for your baby’s tissues and bones, extra water, and additional iron to help red blood cells circulate oxygen to your baby. You can start transforming your pregnancy diet now by incorporating these 9 pregnancy superfoods into your diet.
Whole Grains– Whole grains will help you reach both your daily folic acid and fiber requirements. You can incorporate them into your diet by eating whole-grain cereal, oatmeal, bread, pasta and rice.
Berries– To increase your Vitamin C intake, try eating blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. As a bonus, these fruits are also full of potassium, folate, and fiber.
Yogurt– Plain low-fat yogurt and greek yogurt are both full of protein and calcium that your baby needs for healthy tissue and bone development. They are also low in sugar and carbohydrates, making them both very healthy options. You can eat the yogurt plain, drizzle it with honey, or turn it into a chip dip. The options are nearly endless!
*Meal Tip! Combine all three ingredients to make a parfait. Layer them in a cup, alternating between whole grain cereal, yogurt, and berries. This is great for breakfast, snacks, or even desserts.
Omega 3s– These essential fatty acids are important for the development of your baby’s eyes and brain. You can incorporate them into your diet by eating salmon and some eggs (egg brands that contain omega 3s will usually say so on the label). Keep in mind that the FDA recommends eating no more than 12 ounces or 2 servings per week to keep women from consuming too much mercury while pregnant.
Lean protein– During pregnancy, 3 to 4 servings of lean protein are recommended daily. Excellent options include shrimp, veal, chicken, turkey, pork or eggs. Adding these to your meal plans will also help you reach your 27 mg a day of iron.
Beans– Beans are packed with protein, fiber, calcium, zinc and more. Best of all, there is a huge variety of beans, so you’ll never get sick of them! Mix them into your chili or pasta, or add some garbanzo beans to your salad. Soybeans can also be perfect meat substitutes for vegetarians, or anyone looking for some meal variety.
Broccoli– If you want a snack with a ton of vitamins, broccoli is perfect. It’s full of the vitamins that your body needs during pregnancy. Steam it or sprinkle it with cheese to get vitamin C, K and A, along with potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium.
Bananas– Bananas are loaded with potassium, folic acid, and vitamins B6 and C. Luckily, they’re also perfect on-the-go snacks and require very little preparation. You can make this snack more exciting by eating it with peanut butter, or cutting it up for a fruit salad.
Water– This is probably the most important “superfood” of all. To ensure that your body has enough water to stay hydrated and function properly, you should drink ten to twelve glasses of fluid each day. Juices count toward your fluid intake, but not every liquid does. Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, soda and tea, which actually cause you to lose water, do not count toward your daily fluid intake and should be consumed in moderation.
Adjusting your diet can be a struggle, but just remember that it is only for a few months and is important for both you and your baby. Also, keep in mind that having a healthier pregnancy diet does not mean your food has to be boring or bland. In fact, you should be incorporating a lot of variety so that you are getting a full-range of vitamins. If you want to learn more about how to keep your body and baby healthy through a healthy pregnancy diet, contact us today!