When you're pregnant, there are three main things that you probably want to aim for:
✔ Staying healthy during pregnancy: Gaining the necessary weight, but not more (nor less).
✔ Providing everything necessary for the baby's development: Not only your baby's earliest development depends on your health, as the mom; but your health now will also affect your baby's health in the future.
✔ Making it easier to come back to normal weight after giving birth: Pregnancy doesn't have to be an unforgiving weight ladder, where the only way is up.
Proper nutrition during pregnancy will help you achieve all these goals, so in this post we have
9 "Super Foods" For A Healthy Pregnancy
Seafood, and particularly big fish (like tuna), are generally not recommended during pregnancy because of its high levels of mercury.
Salmon, however, doesn't have this issue, and instead contains omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for the proper development of your baby's brain and eyes.
It's also a great source of Vitamin D, which has been linked to a lower risk of preeclampsia.
If you're not into fish, an alternative could be a fish liver oil supplement. One tablespoon of cod liver oil provides the necessary daily intake of omega-3 and vitamins A and D.
Avocadoes are a great natural source of folic acid, vitamins B, C, E, K, and potassium (of which they have even more than bananas).
Folic acid is important for your baby's neural tube development, and as such, it's highly recommended during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
Potassium has been linked to reduced leg cramps as well, and all the vitamins just help you maintain a healthy immune system.
So far we have avocados and salmon... Did someone say sushi?
Not so fast :)
Raw fish (or, pretty much, raw "anything") is generally not recommended during pregnancy due to the higher risk of food poisoning from bacteria that can be found in raw foods. Better stick to properly cooked food during pregnancy, to stay on the safe side.
Berries are little vitamin bombs and a natural source of antioxidants, which is also link to a lower risk of preeclampsia.
They make for a great snack, are rich in fiber and water, and have a low glycemic index, so you wouldn't need to worry about spikes in blood sugar.
➍ All the green "things"
Broccoli, spinach, kale, cucumber, lettuce, pepper, are great natural sources of A, B, C, E, and K vitamins, as well as fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Your mom probably used to tell you "finish your veggies," "eat your greens!" right? Well, in no time, you'll be saying the same things to your own kid, so earn the right to say it, and eat your greens during pregnancy!
If you just can't stomach them, then you may want to try the "green bomb" Spirulina supplement.
➎ Yogurt, Kombucha, Kefir
In order to extract as much nutrition as possible from food, during pregnancy, your digestion slows down.
This is great for your baby, as he/she will be squeezing every drop of nutrients from what you eat, but on the downside, pregnant women tend to experience constipation, heartburn, and other digestive issues.
By adding fermented foods to your daily diet, you will colonize your gut with good bacteria and give your digestive system a much-needed boost.
Eggs, ideally organic and free-range ones, contain almost everything you need in a meal within every eggshell.
Protein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, beta carotene, and choline (which has shown to boost cognitive functions, learning, and memory of infants even before being born) are all naturally present in eggs.
So, have a couple for breakfast, around three times a week, and you'll be giving your baby much of what it needs for its development.
Lentils, black beans, peas, chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts, are all a great source of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and folate.
They are also extremely versatile. You can have them as soup, purees, stewed, pickled, used cold in salads, even ground and in a patty shape for a great veggie hamburger.
Plus, did you know that the longest living populations in the world, all eat legumes on a daily basis?
➑ Nuts and dried fruits
Nuts and dried fruits are a great way to replace the more unhealthy snack cravings that you may get during pregnancy.
All nuts are a great natural source of fiber, minerals, and some even include omega-3 fatty acids.
Dried fruits are also like bite-sized chewable vitamins, enriched with fiber. A word of caution here is that the same amount of natural sugar that's present in a whole fruit, is still present in its dried bite-sized state.
So, avoid candied versions, and limit them to a fistful per day to not have spikes in blood sugar.
Dates, in particular, have been linked to easier labor, as they may help facilitate cervical dilation. If it's delicious taste was not a good enough reason, this may be one for you to add them to your diet. Especially during the last trimester.
➒ Bone broth
Bone broth, the oldest trick known to grandmas, is an incredibly nutritious source of vitamins, minerals, and collagen.
It's benefits range from protecting your joints, reducing gut inflammation, to helping you sleep better, and even have better hair and nails.
Add some of the other foods listed here — like greens, eggs, beans — and you'll have the ultimate "potion" for a sustained healthy pregnancy."