Sticking to lean meat and avoiding raw seafood and sprouts are among the most common pieces of advice when it comes to your pregnancy diet. But with the help of the right prenatal power foods, you can make sure that you’re eating the best, not just avoiding the things that can harm your baby.
Find out more about the healthiest foods to eat during pregnancy, foods that will keep you in shape and feed your baby during the very important developmental stages before birth. These pregnancy must-eat foods deliver the right nutrients at the right time.
They’re a great source of potassium, which helps when you’re experiencing pregnancy fatigue, but bananas also pack fibre and vitamin C. These fruits are a great snack throughout your pregnancy, but they can be particularly useful in your first trimester, since they also contain plenty of vitamin B6, which can reduce the symptoms of morning sickness.
Dark, leafy greens are among the healthiest foods to eat during pregnancy, and spinach is a particularly important prenatal power food. Because of its high folate content, it can help prevent birth defects that affect your baby’s brain and spine. Along with kale, broccoli, and asparagus, spinach is also a good source of calcium and vitamin A.
As long as they’re properly cooked, eggs are truly one of the best pregnancy power foods. They deliver protein without a lot of fat, and they’re also a good source of choline and folate. You’ll only find choline in the yolk, and it can reduce the risk of any neural tube defects, so don’t just stick to egg whites. If you’re vegan, edamame is a good source of choline.
Your body needs healthy fats, and avocados are one of the healthiest foods to eat during pregnancy. They provide mono-unsaturated fats, and can also help you when you’re dealing with morning sickness. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin K, fiber and potassium, so eat them in salads or make some delicious guacamole.
With plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats, nuts are a great snack, and they definitely qualify as one of the best prenatal power foods in your third trimester. From pistachios and almonds to cashews and walnuts, they’re a great source of magnesium. If you’re lacking this mineral, you’re more likely to go into premature labor. Pumpkin seeds are also packed with magnesium, which also helps repair your muscles.
Packing more protein per serving than any other type of yogurt, the unflavored and unsweetened Greek variety also provides essential calcium and zinc. It’s one of the healthiest foods to eat during pregnancy, and you can stick to low-fat Greek yogurt, as long as it contains live cultures and no additives.
Whole grains are also on the list of pregnancy must-eat foods, and oatmeal can provide constipation relief thanks to its high fiber content. It’s also rich in protein and vitamin B6, which your baby needs. You can also opt for fortified oats, with more folic acid or iron, for a breakfast that will keep you in the best shape.
Salmon and Herring
Cold water fatty fish is one of the pregnancy power foods thanks to its high content of omega-3s. Salmon and herring are your best options, since they’re low in mercury. However, even if they’re among the healthiest foods to eat during pregnancy, 12 ounces of fish per week should be your limit.
Lentils and pinto beans are some of the healthiest sources of fiber, and they also provide you and your baby with a healthy dose of zinc, an important mineral for reducing the risk of prolonged or early labor and of low birth weight. You’ll also get calcium, folate and iron, so these prenatal power foods are a must, especially if you’re vegan.
Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, along with folate and potassium, berries are some of the healthiest foods to eat during pregnancy. Blackberries and blueberries should be your top choices, but if you berries aren’t exactly your favorite fruit, aim to eat more ripe papaya and mango while you’re pregnant.