Pregnancy Diet / Superfoods: The Best Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy Super foods and a healthy pregnancy diet are critical to your baby’s health and your own health. Healthy eating while pregnant ensures the best outcome for your growing child, aids in keeping you physically and mentally prepared for labor and delivery, and makes postpartum recovery easier. Plus, staying healthy while pregnant is easier than it sounds. Yes, there are those moments where you just have to have that donut, but there are ways to satisfy cravings without indulging too often in unhealthy treats. These Pregnancy Superfoods are not only good for growing baby, but they’re delicious and will help you feel full and satisfied, and help kick the unhealthy cravings to the curb.

What are the best Pregnancy Super foods?

There are many Pregnancy Super foods lists out there, so I took my time compiling the best of the best foods for a healthy pregnancy diet. These foods are readily available, and the best foods you can eat for the baby (And Mama!). Keep in mind, try to eat these foods as well as other organic fruits, vegetables and lots of organic lean meats. Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods, as well as these pregnancy super foods listed below, will nourish your body, help grow your baby, optimize your prenatal health, and prepare your body for labor and delivery making recovery and the postpartum period easier on you physically. So, here is the ultimate list of Pregnancy Super foods:

1. Water
You’ll see me repeat this over and over again. Water is so critical to fertility, pregnancy and health. It is important to drink about 80 oz. of water per day. (you can find my tips on How to Drink More Water HERE.) Water aids in circulation and nutrient absorption, which helps get blood to your uterus and all of those prenatal vitamins to the baby. It will aid in keeping your placenta healthy, and also ensure your amniotic fluid is at a healthy level. Some extra perks of drinking enough water while pregnant? It reduces swelling and aids in digestion, keeping that pesky pregnancy constipation away. Simply drinking two of THESE waterbottles will get you to 80 oz. (CLICK HERE for more on Pregnancy Constipation Remedies)

2. Avocados
Mother Earth’s gift to pregnant women and moms everywhere! Avocados are full of good fats, high in dietary fiber, and an amazing source of folate, which is especially important during early pregnancy because it can reduce the risk of birth defects. Avocados are little nutritional powerhouses! Eating avocado while pregnant has been linked to healthy mamas, improved birth outcomes, and have even shown improved breast milk quality! Plus, avocados are delicious and extremely versatile. So, eat up!

3. Whole Eggs
Eggs are one of the best (And least expensive!) sources of protein while you’re pregnant. They contain every single amino acid that you and baby need to thrive. They are also rich in choline which helps metabolize all of these essential fatty acids we are consuming, and it prevents insulin resistance which is an issue for those with PCOS. The choline in eggs is essential for brain and vision development in your baby, and helps prevent birth defects. Plus, eggs are an easy way to get protein and nutrients that will benefit both you and baby well beyond birth.

4. Berries
All berries are amazing for pregnancy, especially Blueberries and Raspberries. Berries are rich in Vitamin C which aids in iron absorption. They’re also chock full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that prevent cell damage, which will not only help grow a healthy baby but will help prevent stretch marks and other pregnancy skin concerns. The antioxidants in berries also aid in circulation to your uterus, to help keep blood flowing to your placenta and growing baby. Plus, berries are delicious! They’re a low-calorie sweet treat full of fiber and hydration, perfect to add to cereal, oatmeal, yogurt or as a snack on their own!

5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an amazing pregnancy superfood, and consuming them during pregnancy boosts chances of a healthy delivery. These tiny seeds an incredible source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids which aid in baby’s brain development. They are great for keeping mama healthy too, and not only boost energy and endurance, but they are high in fiber to prevent constipation and high in protein to keep you full and keep baby growing.

Chia seeds are also rich in Magnesium which helps relieve cramps and tension, and may also lower the risk of premature labor by curbing early uterine contractions. If that isn’t enough of a reason to eat these little wonder seeds, they are rich in Iron and Calcium which are essential to baby’s growth and development. In fact, Chia Seeds contain 5 times more Calcium than milk! Chia seeds are easy to find at most markets, and Costco, but I use THESE.

6. Broccoli and Dark Leafy Greens
Broccoli and dark leafy greens like spinach and kale contain every vitamin and mineral you could possibly need. Chock full of Iron (one of the most important pregnancy nutrients), vitamins C, K, and A, as well as fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. Then there are the B vitamins, copper, calcium, zinc and choline. You can’t lose if you eat dark leafy greens during pregnancy. In fact, studies have shown that regular consumption of these types of greens can help prevent low birth weight.

7. Bone Broth
Bone Broth is truly one of the best pregnancy super foods! Drinking Bone Broth is especially great during the first trimester when women are more likely to have food aversions and morning sickness because it allows a way to nourish your body and get the protein you need when you’re more inclined to only eat starches and carbohydrates. A cup of bone broth gets you about 10 grams of protein! Bone Broth is gut healing to help with nausea, and it is a nutritional powerhouse to get you the nutrients you need to grow your baby.

Bone Broth is also rich in Magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and collagen. Magnesium helps relax your muscles and helps you sleep, which is tough during pregnancy. It also reduces the risk for preterm labor. Calcium is a given to help grow baby’s bones and prevent osteoporosis in mama. Phosphorous and collagen are essential for growing baby, but also aid in stretch mark prevention and postpartum recovery. If you can’t stomach anything else… drink bone broth. Find your favorite flavor HERE.

8. Lentils and Beans
Legumes, especially black beans and lentils, are an amazing pregnancy superfood. Just one cup of cooked lentils contains all of your daily Folate needs. Beans are rich in magnesium for healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels. And, beans are a fantastic source of protein to help you get at least 10 extra grams of protein into your diet during pregnancy. Plus, beans are high in fiber to help with digestion. Lentil Pasta or any kind of Bean Pasta is a great alternative to regular pasta during pregnancy! Especially during the first trimester when many people survive solely on carbs. Lentil pasta offers more protein and nutrients than plain pasta. Trader Joe’s and some grocery stores offer quinoa, lentil or legume pasta.

9. Organic Lean Meats
Protein is so important during pregnancy, but where you get the protein from is just as important. Clean and organic sources are best, like beans, meat, nuts, and dairy. Organic lean meats are one of the easiest and best ways to get high-quality protein. Go for 95%-98% fat-free to get the leanest protein. Beef gets extra points during pregnancy for its high iron content and presence of choline.

10. Salmon
Salmon is chock full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The benefits of Omega-3 Fatty acids during pregnancy are boundless. It has recently been discovered that consuming proper Omega-3s during pregnancy reduces the risk of allergies in infants. But, most importantly, Omega-3 Fatty Acids support brain, eye, and nervous system development. Salmon is not only a great source of Omega-3s, but it is also versatile and delicious! Salmon is fairly low in mercury, so it is safe (and encouraged) for pregnant women to consume 8-12 oz. per week.

11. Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Half of a cup of Sweet Potato contains all of the Vitamin A a pregnant woman needs in a day. Vitamin A is crucial in fetal development, such as the growth of organs like the heart, lungs, liver, blood, and kidneys. Sweet potatoes and yams are also rich in Vitamin B6, which is not only crucial for baby’s development but has also shown to reduce morning sickness in pregnant mamas. Consuming sweet potatoes during pregnancy will also give you a boost of manganese, which contributes to bone and cartilage development in your baby. Sweet potatoes are delicious, versatile, and chock full of pregnancy nutrition goodness!

12. Greek Yogurt or Skyr
Greek yogurt is great as a snack or breakfast during pregnancy because it has more protein than other yogurts, more calcium than other dairy products, and contains probiotics to help aid in digestion. Probiotics during pregnancy have also shown to reduce the risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections and allergies. When buying Greek Yogurt, always check the label for sugar content, and go for the one with the least sugar. I LOVE Siggi’s Yogurt because it is thick, satisfying and has less sugar than other brands, and it’s packed with protein.

13. Iron-Fortified Cereal
Your doctor will monitor your iron during pregnancy to ensure you are getting enough. If you find you are anemic, or short on other sources of iron, iron-fortified cereal is an easy way to get the iron you need for you and your growing baby. Personally, I found Grape Nuts had the highest amount of Iron and Fiber with the least amount of sugar. The Iron helps reduce your risk of taking an added supplement, and the high fiber content alleviates constipation. And, cereal doesn’t have to be boring! Add some berries, chia seeds, and some regular milk or coconut milk for a power-packed pregnancy breakfast.

14. Almonds and Walnuts
A handful of nuts is a great pregnancy snack. Almonds and walnuts are especially good to eat during pregnancy. Almonds help decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase the appetite-reducing hormone leptin. This helps you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight. It will also help you later with reducing weight post-pregnancy. Both Almonds and Walnuts are high in plant-based protein, contain Folate for brain development in baby, and help maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels. I have found Trader Joe’s and Sprouts to have great prices on organic nuts.

15. Whole Grains
Whole grains include quinoa, oats, barley, faro, whole wheat breads and pastas, and brown rice. Quinoa is great for pregnancy because it is considered a complete protein as well as a whole grain. This perfect protein contains all of the essential amino acids, which is typically only found in meat. Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free and provides iron, calcium, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, copper and fiber. Quinoa Flakes topped with Nuts and Fruit on top make a great breakfast option during pregnancy. Oats also contain a fair amount of protein, but all whole grain products contain fiber, magnesium and B vitamins that are typically lacking in women’s daily diets.

As you can see, there are tons of healthy pregnancy super foods to add to your pregnancy diet that provide various benefits for you and your baby. These pregnancy super foods will help get you to the end of pregnancy, keep you and your baby healthy, and prepare your body for the postpartum period in the best way possible.

You can also explore the Nourishing Pregnancy Meal Plan here for a healthy pregnancy diet.

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