Sticking to a plan to eat healthy foods is not easy, especially among pregnant women.
You may find nutritious value, but a compromise on tasteful food is often hard to commit to. However, a healthy diet that eliminates fatty, tempting processed foods high in both saturated fats and sugars is essential for nurturing a healthy baby within.
So, to help you pick a range of superfoods for a healthy pregnancy, we have put together a list of best superfoods for a healthy pregnancy.
Look For Enzymes
During the prenatal period, you may want to try a range of foods rich in enzymes. You may do great with yogurt, pineapples, avocadoes, and papayas. Focusing on Enzyme-rich foods is not only essential for energy and good taste but will also help you to boost digestion.
Even if you have an excellent digestive system, you must know that digestion is often sluggish during pregnancy.
The nutrients you eat are easily sucked up by the baby. So, your dry tummy is prone to develop digestive problems. Poor digestion often leads to gas, constipation, and heartburn among pregnant women.
So, it’s essential that you have an intake of a half cup of enzyme-rich foods and you drink plenty of fluids to wash down the food.
You would do a fantastic job with healthy, light, and tasteful avocadoes. Their strong nutritional value is exactly what you need. You may also try slices of pineapple to feed a sweet palate.
Seafood? Yes, you read that correctly! Why not? When we speak of superfoods for pregnancy, you may just want to enjoy some seafood.
Seafood like wild salmon, shrimps, and oysters ideally fit in our criteria of superfoods for pregnancy. They are light and fully packed with a good amount of protein.
You could pick fish for the protein. Plus, fishes also contain omega 3-fatty acids that support the development of your baby’s nervous system, eye and are also good for the brain.
Inflammation is common during pregnancy. However, you don’t have to worry about the discomfort that comes with inflammation as omega 3-fatty acid alleviates inflammation and constipation.
Studies on last trimester pregnancy reported that women who consumed omega 3 foods had babies with better sensory systems and cognition.
Remember, seafood is not recommended to treat your taste only. But, it is essential. Studies have shown that pregnant women who had low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids had a higher risk of developing preeclampsia.
On the other hand, women who had an adequate intake of Omega 3 foods had a lower risk of the problem during the first trimester.
So, you can also include seafood with Omega 3 as your food during the first-trimester diet.
Eye On Veggies
Veggies are exactly where you want to look at when you want super-rich food options. You may want to include green veggies in your diet as they are fully loaded with folic acid. Folic acid is essential to avoid birth defects and neural tube problems.
Green veggies may not always be easy to digest. If you love hard veggies, then we recommend you cook them and use them in a soup or a puree. Pregnant women cook hard veggies since eating is difficult during the prenatal period.
Besides, if you love veggies, you can also try smoothies and juices with green veggies. They will ensure that you maintain a consistent intake of green veggies in your diet. Veggies are power-packed with vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. So, including green veggies is essential.
Drink Leaf Tea
A super-rich drink that is a must-have in your diet for pregnancy is raspberry leaf tea. The tea tastes good, is light, and ideal for toning up and strengthening the pelvic muscles.
It is something you should drink throughout the prenatal period. Essential vitamins including A, B, C, and E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium are easily supplied with this light tea.
The Raspberry Leaf Tea is popular among pregnant women to ease labor as it strengthens the muscles around the uterus. You may want to start drinking the tea after your first trimester to ease labor during childbirth.
Get Lean Meat
The physical demands of your body are high during pregnancy. You may develop a healthy exercise routine to strengthen pelvic-floor muscles to ease labor work. However, having an adequate amount of lean meat is also essential to compliment your exercise plans.
You may try delicious chicken and turkey that are light but packed with protein. A recommended intake of 71 grams of protein is what you should have in your diet.
You don’t have to be hard on yourself. Grilled chicken with some variations of salads and a turkey grilled with veggies in a sandwich is what you can have to eat healthy and tasteful food.
Go For Foods With Folic Acid
Spinach tops are a list of foods containing rich levels of folic acid. Spinach is an excellent choice during pregnancy. However, since it’s a little hard to digest, you may want to cook it.
Plus, make sure that you eat it in moderation. You may want to include it with salads and smoothies, making it easier to digest while also having a healthy intake of the essential folic acid.
There’s a whole variety of beans available for you to eat. Beans are an excellent source of high protein and fiber in small quantities.
They are also a cost-effective choice if you have a hard-planned budget to follow. Beans in salads may also motivate you to go with the diet for even longer.
Antioxidants will help alleviate inflammation and help you ease the blood pressure and sugar levels. Maintaining normal blood pressure is often a concern for most pregnant women.
So, you’re better off doing it with a small inclusion of beans in your everyday diet. You may include a range of all including black ones, kidney beans, black-eyed ones, and others in your salad.
Mix Lean Beef With Salad
Our list of super-rich foods cannot complete without addressing the need for iron. Remember, iron is seriously important for your baby’s health during pregnancy.
You must try to double your intake of iron as a baby’s growth in the body consumes high amounts of iron. So, iron deficiency is not what you want.
That’s why we suggest a lean beef that is high in iron and has essential nutrients of zinc, vitamins B12 that are great for your baby’s cognitive development.
We don’t advise you to boil it and taste something that does not make you go continue with the diet.
As an alternate that perfectly aligns with our need for taste and healthy digestion, we recommend you to use small chunks of steak lean beef with salad and pasta. Choose whatever you love.
Work On Digestion With Natural Drinks
In case the range of enzyme-rich foods does not help you relieve the pain of constipation, you may go with a few natural drinks in your diet. Inflammation and heartburn are common during pregnancy.
So, you need not worry. Just make sure that you have these natural drinks to improve digestion and have enough energy throughout the day.
You may start with coconut water. It’s light, refreshing, and ideal for boosting up your digestion. If you have a stomach ache, this natural drink is exactly what you need.
Power-packed with essential vitamins and minerals, it helps you remove all inflammatory substances instantly.
Another refreshing choice could be a homemade lemonade. It alleviates digestion smoothly. You may want to try this drink a couple of times during the day.
When you prepare it, just make sure that you have two-full lemons squeezed into 250ml water. This drink is highly energizing. You may want to add a sweetener if you want to get used to it.
Our last healthy drink for pregnancy is apple cider vinegar. You may want to drink this before every meal. It relieves constipation instantly. You can mix one tablespoon with a cup of water and use it throughout the day.
Although these drinks have a strong potential to ease digestion, if difficulty persists to get rid of inflammation and sluggish digestion, you could take digestive supplements.
Treat Your Sweet Tooth With Dates
If a sweet tooth bothers you during pregnancy, you may not need a bar of Snickers. Dates are here to ease your sweet tooth and they are perfectly healthy during pregnancy.
Dates could be a healthy food choice and a substitute for sugary foods during the first trimester. Fructose is healthier than sucrose.
Dates are the sweetest of fruit and also ideal to recharge your energy and provide essential nutrients to the baby in you.
Plus, dates are also perfect to relieve constipation pain as they smooth the flow of food in your digestive tracts.
Studies have also shown that women, who had an in-take of around 6 dates per day in the last weeks of pregnancy, had easy labor.
The time of labor was found to be relatively shorter than those who did not. So, a healthy tip for pregnancy is to eat dates.
They are highly delicious and packed with nutrients. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sugar too. Moderation is also not a problem.
Enjoy The Luxury Of Berries
Berries could be a really good use. They are a super-rich food for pregnancy especially as it contains antioxidants and helps greatly in cell repair.
Your skin and face won’t be dull if you have a daily intake of berries. Skin tends to lose its glow for most women during pregnancy.
You may try them with smoothies and juices to keep yourself healthy. Plus, consuming berries during pregnancy will also help in developing a palate for your baby.
Try Eggs And Cheese
Eggs could provide your baby with the essentials for growth. Eating eggs during pregnancy will help improve the baby’s vision, development of cognition and hair growth.
If a fried egg concerns you, you may try an omelet or you may even do better with a boiled egg placed in the center of a plate decorated with salad. That would be a treat. You may try organic eggs to have less cholesterol and more nutrients.
In addition to egg, the next one is a super-rich choice to include in your diet. If you’re a cheese lover, then you’re highly recommended to include pasteurized cheese in food. Cheese contains magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. Calcium is essential for the baby’s bone development.
Must Include Milk And Dry-fruits
Dry-fruits pack bundles of protein in small quantities. They relieve digestion and will give you enough energy with iron. Plus, a must to include is low-fat milk.
Since you have a baby growing in you, you can’t afford to be stress-free with milk fat. Milk is essential for body growth for both you and the baby. It will keep you strong as well as ensure that the baby has good bone development during pregnancy.
Try Also Cod Liver Oil
The cod liver oil from the codfish could be a pregnancy superfood during your first trimester. The oil packs Vitamin A, essential for vision development and cognition, and keeps you active throughout the pregnancy.
There are studies suggesting that high vitamin A intake could have birth defects. However, it is essential to note that this could only happen with synthetic supplements. Natural foods have not been reported to have any problem. In fact, cod liver oil could reduce the risk of birth defects.
Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
While there is a comprehensive guide to help you pick the best foods for a healthy pregnancy, there is also a list of foods you may want to avoid eating during pregnancy. No matter how tempted you are, you have to refrain from consuming the following to ensure good health for yourself and the baby.
- Raw Eggs
- Raw Meat and Seafood
- Cheese and Juices (Unpasteurized)
Raw eggs, raw meat, and seafood are must to avoid during pregnancy. Since they are hard to digest, even a small in-take will expose you to a lot of risks.
In addition, fermented foods are also not recommended. Most importantly, in-take of alcohol is not allowed as this will damage the cognition of the baby and their organs as well.
In addition to these, you may want to cross-out those food items that don’t pack much nutrients and calories, but you’re tempted with the taste to consume them in large quantities.
Limiting snacks and junk foods during pregnancy is highly recommended. However, abandoning them completely is not desirable at all. You may limit their consumption to occasions. Plus, moderation is highly recommended.
Instead of having low-calorie foods, you should rather look for those foods that are power-packed with nutritional value in the smallest bites.
Nutrients are essential to keep you and your baby healthy. Even though we recommend a diet that is devoted to nutrients, you don’t have to be too hard to yourself.
An ice cream bar once a week or a cookie in a fortnight is not really unhealthy. It’s important that you stay happy, fulfill the occasional craving, and commit to a healthy diet.