Ok, even if you aren’t pregnant… these are still pretty incredible foods to add and keep in your diet, so don’t skip this post just because you don’t have a baby in your belly.
The Best Foods for Pregnancy
If you aren’t a big meat-eater, or simply can’t keep it down while you are pregnant, eggs are an egg-cellent (!!) alternative to make sure you are still getting enough protein. An egg scramble or omelet with veggies is an easy and quick meal to prepare when you aren’t in the mood to cook.
Especially in your third trimester, omega-3 fatty acids are important for your baby’s brain development. Salmon is high in Omega-3 and a good source of protein and vitamin B. You can eat up to 12 ounces safely each week, I personally love it grilled or baked with lemon squeezed over it.
3. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt gives a significantly larger punch of protein than regular yogurt (18 grams vs 8 grams). You might have to get use to the thicker, creamier texture, but the added protein and calcium is worth it! I eat it every morning with a bit of granola and fresh fruit on top.
4. Dark Green Leafy Veggies
Spinach and kale have high levels of folate and iron, in additon to a great source of calcium. Instantly improve your salads by ditching the iceberg lettuce and opting for darker, more nutrient rich leafy greens. If you aren’t loving veggies during your pregnancy, blend up the spinach in your next green smoothie, or saute it and add it to an omelet for breakfast.
During pregnancy you need an extra 10 grams of protein (at least 60 grams a day!). Beans are a high source of protein, in addition to being high in fiber which will help combat constipation. Lentils are packed full of folic acid which is important early in your preganancy and will help protect from neural-tube defects like spina bifida.
Almonds, Walnuts and other nuts offer healthy fats and are a high protein food that is easy to pack for a snack. I always have a small bag of almonds in my purse for when the pregnancy hunger unexpectedly hits, and walnuts are usually added as a topping to my morning oatmeal or greek yogurt.
There have been studies that suggest eating nuts during your pregnancy will lower the risk of your child having a nut allergy later on, so snack away!
7. Colorful Fruits and Veggies
The more color, the richer in nutrients, and the better for you and your baby! Fruits should be a staple in anyones diet, but packed with plenty of nutrients and fiber they are definitely a power food during pregnancy. Try to eat 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of veggies every day.
8. Lean Meats
Your iron needs double during pregnancy, so its important to include as many iron-rich foods as possible. Lean meats deliver a type of iron that is easily absorbed by your body. Including enough protein in your diet will help keep your blood sugar stable and hunger under control throughout your pregnancy.
9. Whole Grains and Fortified Cereal
Whole grain breads and cereals are fortified with folic acid and iron, two of the most important nutrients when you are pregnant. Popcorn is a great snack to increase your intake of whole grains and is full of good for you fiber. Continue adding folic acid into your diet after your pregnancy, it may help lower your chances of getting heart disearse and prevent you from having a stroke.
10. Sweet Potatoes
One cup of cooked sweet potato can contain almost 300 percent of the daily recommended Vitamin A you need when pregnant. Also, they have a high concentration of Vitamin C which is essential to aid the absorption of Iron. We can’t forget about the great source of Potassium sweet potatoes are, potassium helps your body maintain fluid and electrolyte balance. It also helps your muscles contract, keeping your blood pressure stable and allowing your body to release the right amount of energy from protein, fat and carbs.
These are 10 of the best foods for preganancy, I try to add at least one or two of them to every meal.