During pregnancy you are always leery as to what food you should and shouldn’t eat, I mean after all you are totally responsible for the nourishment of someone else for nine months and oh let’s not forget the fact that some foods that you used to love now make you queasy. Aaah the joys of being pregnant! Below I have composed a list of things that you should have on your list to follow during pregnancy.
1. Prenatal Vitamins-Let’s state the obvious first. You need to take your prenatal vitamins and I cannot say this enough. Prenatal vitamins are packed with nutrients your baby needs such as vitamin B12 and folic acid that help form your baby’s brain and nervous system, Vitamin C to produce collagen, Vitamin D for strong bones and Zinc for their brain development. I know these vitamins are not the easiest to swallow as they can sometimes cause your stomach to be upset or are hard to get down but try to take them on a full stomach or consult your doctor about possibly changing them to another brand.
2. Mangoes- They are loaded with vitamins A and C, packed with potassium and are versatile. Mangoes complement many sweet and savory dishes like smoothies, soups, salsas or relishes or of course you can just peel it and enjoy!
3. Avocados- a good choice as they are loaded with folic acid, potassium, vitamin C & B6. B6 may also help with morning sickness. You can substitute avocado for mayo on sandwiches but be careful not to eat too much because they are high in fat and calories.
4. Peanut Butter-it’s packed with protein that helps build cells and create hormones for your baby. try it with crackers or celery or just indulge in a old fashion PB & J sandwich (as I did during my pregnancy)
5. Broccoli- packed with plenty of vitamins A and C, with a calcium bonus to build those baby bones with, as well as folic acid. You can toss into pasta or casseroles, stir-fry with seafood or chicken, serve steamed or dunk in dip. Either way broccoli is an excellent choice!
6. Carrots- When I was a kid my great grandmother used to tell me to eat my carrots they’ll make your eyes pretty and come to find out she was so right!! Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and it is so important for the development of your baby’s bones, teeth, and eyes. They’re perfect for snacks on the go and they are also a good source of vitamins B6 and C, and fiber to keep you regulated.
7. Nuts- they are full of important minerals (copper, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, and even calcium) and vitamin E. And even though they’re high in fat, it’s mainly the good fats especially brain-boosting DHA for your baby, which is found in walnuts.
8. Yogurt- it contains as much calcium as milk and it’s packed with protein and folic acid too. Blend it with fruit for delicious smoothies, layer with granola in a breakfast parfait, use it as a low-calorie substitute for sour cream or mayo in sandwich fillings, dips, and salad dressings, or simply spoon it out of the carton. As a plus the active cultures in yogurt (also known as good bacteria) can prevent stomach upset, as well as yeast infections. Who knew?
9. Spinach- Rich in folic acid, iron, Vitamin A, and calcium. You can eat it raw, in a salad (especially one with almonds and mandarin oranges), or as a wilted bed for fish or chicken, or layered in lasagna.
10. Edamame- these are cooked soybeans and they taste pretty good. Edamame are packed with protein, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins A and B. Salt them lightly as a snack and you’ll never miss the potato chips! You can also toss them into just about anything you’re cooking, from soups, to pasta, to casseroles, to stir-fry.
11. Oatmeal- They’re full of fiber, the B vitamins, and iron and a host of other minerals. Fill your breakfast bowl with them or add them to your pancakes, muffins, cakes and one of my favorites, cookies. However you choose to eat them you’re helping your baby in the long run!
12. DHA eggs- are a low-calorie and high-protein tasty snack. You can scramble, fry, or boil eggs. They are naturally loaded with DHA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid (better known as the good fat) that is a primary component of the brain and retina, and is essential for brain development and eye formation in the fetus. They taste just like the eggs you’ve always known and loved.
13. Lentils- Branch into beans for folic acid and protein, vitamin B6, and iron. Lentils are the most intestine friendly legume and readily absorb a variety of flavors from other foods and seasonings
14. Red pepper- a terrific source of vitamins A and C, with plenty of B6. Red peppers are one of the sweetest ways to eat your vegetables. Enjoy them with or without dip they make the perfect take-along snack. Chop them into salsa, slice them into stir-fries and pasta dishes, or roast or grill them with a little olive oil, garlic, and lemon and serve them up in sandwiches, salads, or antipastos. Red peppers are perfect for your baby’s growth and development.
Of course, this is just a short version of great foods to eat while pregnant. There are plenty of other nutritional choices including whole grains of all kinds, seeds (especially omega-3-rich flax), yams and winter squash, apricots, kiwi (which can act as a laxative and have as much Vitamin C as an orange), dark leafy greens, papaya, blueberries, tomatoes and many more. When in doubt always check with your doctor and remember to always wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, even fruits that have a rind!!