Getting the right nutrients in your diet when pregnant is really important. Not just for your health, but for the healthy development of your baby. We asked Rosie Letts, a nutritional therapist at Bump and Beyond Nutrition to put together a list of pregnancy superfoods – foods that are packed full of the nutrients that you and your baby need, for a healthy, happy pregnancy.
It’s definitely worth trying to incorporate as many of them as possible into your daily diet – there is something for everyone, whether you enjoy simple food or are a real foodie.
See the foundations of a healthy diet: part two for more information about why the vitamins and minerals mentioned in this article are important during your pregnancy and whilst you are breastfeeding.
Avocado is a great source of folate (the plant form of folic acid) which is essential for the healthy development of your baby’s central nervous system. It is also rich in calcium – if you are not getting enough calcium in your diet your baby will use the calcium stored in your bones and teeth (why do you think it’s free to go to the dentist during pregnancy?!)
Avocado is also packed full of ‘healthy’ fats, protein and vitamin E.
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, vitamin E and magnesium. Magnesium is needed to help your body absorb calcium.
These may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but chia seeds are full of healthy fats, protein, calcium and iron, all of which are needed for a healthy pregnancy. If you aren’t sure how to use them – simply put a couple of spoonfuls into a smoothie.
Homemade bone broth
Full of excellent nutrients including, collagen, co-enzyme Q10, cholesterol, all minerals and essential amino acids. See our Delicious homemade broth recipe for more information – it’s really quick and easy to make. You can add it to soups and much more.
Low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free and more potassium than four bananas – what’s not to love about coconut water! It also contains calcium, phosphorous, and lauric acid.
Not only this, it’s packed full of electrolytes and is thought to be better at replacing lost fluids than sports drinks or water. Staying hydrated is really important in pregnancy.
Coconut water is widely available in supermarkets now – just check the label to make sure extra sugar hasn’t been added.
Eggs are a really versatile food and contain important nutrients such as, choline, vitamin A, B12, D, K, selenium, iodine and protein. It is important to remember to cook your eggs fully, so the white and yolk are both solid. Raw or partially raw eggs are not safe to eat during pregnancy.
Green leafy vegetables
It’s important to get plenty of folate and iron and calcium in your diet and leafy greens such as kale, broccoli and spinach are good sources of these nutrients. Plus, they contain magnesium and vitamin C, which help you body absorb the iron and calcium properly. Green leafy vegetables really are a superfood in pregnancy!
Lentils and beans (known as legumes)
Legumes are packed full of iron, fibre and folate – all essential for a healthy pregnancy. Not keen on lentils – humus counts, avoid the low-fat options where possible.
Natural live yogurt
Natural live yoghurt is essential for beneficial flora, calcium, B vitamins, protein and magnesium. Plus, it’s an easy snack if you aren’t up to full meals in your early pregnancy.
Oily fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and protein. During pregnancy, you should eat a maximum of two portions per week. Oily fish includes:
- Fresh Tuna
Apricots are a great snack and contain many essential nutrients including, beta-carotene, iron, vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fibre.Try and eat organic, if possible.
Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium – essential in pregnancy. It’s also an excellent source of fibre and protein – great if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
Read more about the nutritional benefits of quinoa.
Information provided by Bump and Beyond Nutrition