Incorporating the right foods and supplements into your pregnancy diet can help both your baby’s development in the womb (like healthy brain function!) as well as your overall health. Read on to see which super foods to eat and supplements you should be taking during pregnancy…
*This post is in partnership with New Chapter, a brand that I love, and includes affiliate links. All opinions are my own, as always.
Before becoming a mom, I was a very relaxed and mellow kind of person. I didn’t have a care in the world. I wasn’t into routines, cleaning, schedules, planning ahead, or even thinking about the food I was eating every day.
Becoming a mother changed all of that completely, as it should.
With the pink positive on my pregnancy test came a flood of thoughts and questions…Suddenly, I was responsible for this growing little life inside of me! There was a beating heart within this blueberry-sized miracle in my womb that I needed to take care of. No pressure.
I worried about getting the right car seat, developing my birth plan, setting up a nursery, and whether I was going to breastfeed or cloth diaper.
But as anxious as I was about taking care of my son once he was born, I was twice as nervous about giving him the best head start while I was still pregnant. I spent my entire first-trimester researching the best foods to eat during pregnancy, foods to avoid and, supplements to take. I suddenly realized how little I understood about nutrition during pregnancy.
What foods were good for my baby?
Were there foods that I should be steering away from during pregnancy?
Was I supposed to be taking supplements?
I found myself paying more attention to the nutrition facts on all of my foods, mixing up green smoothies, and researching the best pregnancy vitamins to take for my little sweet pea.
Luckily, proper pregnancy nutrition can be easily achieved by making sure you are incorporating healthy foods into your diet – feed your bump the good stuff!
Pregnancy Superfoods: Healthy Foods To Eat While Pregnant
To make the most of your baby’s development (and your overall health) during pregnancy, be sure to pack in a couple of pregnancy superfoods into your diet every day!
Eating these superfoods doesn’t have to be boring, either – mix these together, or add them to a favorite dish you’re already craving.
Here are the best foods to eat while pregnant…
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach are great for pregnancy because they are jam-packed with calcium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, iron, and folate. They are also rich in antioxidants, and can help support the immune system and digestion!
You can easily incorporate these iron-rich foods into your pregnancy diet by combining them with other foods! For instance, if you aren’t a fan of steamed broccoli, try adding it into a cheese and broccoli soup.
Kale and spinach are great additions to homemade smoothies (like this one!).
Oranges are great sources of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. They also contain 90% water and can be a great way to replenish your fluid intake.
Dates, high in fiber, are commonly chopped and added to dessert recipes to give them a kick of natural sweetness. They are also great for pregnant women to eat because they are also high in potassium and iron!
Dairy products are super important during pregnancy because you need to consume more protein and calcium to help your sweet baby grow!
Try having a glass of either non-fat or low-fat milk with big meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or have a bowl of greek yogurt sprinkled with granola and fresh fruit as a snack.
Legumes are great for pregnant women to eat because they are excellent sources of folate – which helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida. Peas, peanuts, beans, soybeans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and lentils are all examples of legumes.
Hummus, made of chickpeas, is a great way to eat legumes. Use baby carrots to dip and eat your hummus for a healthy pregnancy snack.
Packed with plenty of vitamins, magnesium, and fiber, whole grains are great for pregnant women. They also help a great deal with digestion.
You can get this superfood by eating granola, oats, whole wheat bread (toast slathered with your favorite bittersweet marmalade!), or quinoa.
Eating lean meats like chicken, beef, and pork during pregnancy is great because these meats are all great sources of protein, choline, iron, and B vitamins.
Choline is an important nutrient during pregnancy because it helps to form your baby’s spinal cord, and helps with early brain function. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, other foods that contain choline include beets, spinach, and wheat.
Getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids, like those in salmon, is essential for your health and your baby’s development. Fatty acids help your baby’s brain and eyes develop properly – which is hugely important, so supplementing Omega-3s can be a good idea! I’ll talk more about that below.
You should talk to your health care provider about how much fish/fish oil you should be consuming each week!
Just like lean meats, eggs are also a great source of choline. Eggs are a true superfood for everyone, not just pregnant women, because they contain almost every vitamin and nutrient that the human body needs (source)! They are one of the best foods to eat for a healthy pregnancy.
Eggs contain potassium, iron, magnesium, folate, vitamin E, calcium, iron, and many more nutrients. So whether you serve them scrambled or sunny-side up, don’t skip eggs in your pregnancy diet.
High in potassium, bananas help fight fatigue and can give you more energy now that pregnancy hormones are making you feel tired. They are also a great source of vitamin B6, fiber, and vitamin C.
Water & Foods With High Water Content
Because your blood volume will be increasing by 50% during pregnancy (source), it’s understandable that you will need to increase your water intake.
On average, pregnant women should drink about 10 cups of fluid per day (source), but the actual amount varies by person depending on their health, weight, and doctor’s recommendations.
If you aren’t a big water drinker, however, no need to fret! Eating foods with high water content like watermelon and celery help a great deal!
Here’s a great watermelon summer salad recipe – just remember to substitute the feta cheese for a safe cheese during pregnancy like cheddar or parmesan.
High in B vitamins (like folate!) avocados make a great snack for pregnant moms. Avocados also have a high healthy fat content and contain more nutrients pregnant women need like vitamin K, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, copper, and fiber.
Carefully slice open an avocado, sprinkle sea salt on top, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon for a nutritious pregnancy snack!
Sweet potatoes aren’t just for Thanksgiving! They’re packed full of vitamin A, which is essential for fetal development, and fiber.
“…vitamin A profoundly influences the differentiation of tissues throughout the body.” Source
Easily bake sweet potatoes by rinsing them, patting them dry with a paper towel, then place them on a sheet of aluminum foil, lightly coat them with olive oil, poke holes in them in several spots, tightly wrap them in foil, and bake for 30-60 minutes (depending on size) at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pregnancy Supplements To Consider
Pregnancy supplements are not a substitute for healthy foods, but they can help fill in gaps with nutrients that your body may not already be getting enough of during pregnancy like folate and other certain vitamins.
Prenatal supplements like New Chapter’s Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin and WholeMega For Moms ensure pregnant women receive the nutritional support they need for healthy fetal development. You can learn more about Perfect Prenatal here.
Wholemega for Moms is made with 100% pure, wild-caught Alaskan Salmon oil that is non-GMO Project Verified and sourced from sustainable fisheries – which is hugely important when choosing a fish oil. The Wild Alaskan Salmon that New Chapter uses is harvested in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner, which helps to protect our oceans.
Taking fish oil during pregnancy helps your body get the fatty acids it needs for both your baby’s development and to ensure your body’s fatty acid levels aren’t getting depleted. These fatty acids include critical DHA and EPA that help with your baby’s brain and nervous system development, as well as their early visual development.*
Increasing your levels of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), which are Omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to prevent pre-term labor, increase baby’s birth weight, and lower the risk of preeclampsia.
PIN THIS FOR LATER!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.