Future Mommy Super Foods
What exactly does a mom-to-be need to ensure a happy pregnancy and a healthy baby? Apart from a well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, there are a few special foods that can add an extra boost to your well-being during those exciting nine months.
While keeping a strict diet or eating schedule can be difficult, especially in the first trimester, there are a number of foods that will help make sure that you and your baby are getting all of the nutrients that you need. Some of these suggestions are not only highly nutritious, but can also help ease the struggles with morning sickness, nausea, and food aversions.
If you are already pregnant, you've probably noticed that you may have developed a few cravings for foods that you'd never go near before, or that your taste buds have gone totally haywire and you're now avoiding your old favorites. Each pregnancy is different and comes with its own set of culinary likes and dislikes.
Typically, paying attention to these cravings is an excellent way to figure out what nutrients or vitamins you may be lacking. Your body is smarter than you think and will lead you to make the right choices – or avoid the wrong ones – when it comes to foods during your pregnancy.
However, there are some nutrients, such as folate, calcium, and iron that are absolutely essential for you and your growing baby. Here is a list of several food sources, rich in these nutrients.
If you're a fan of them, make sure that eggs become a staple in your pregnancy diet. Not only are they a wonderful source of protein, helping to keep your energy levels high, but they also offer a wide array of useful nutrients to aid in your little one's development.
For starters, eggs are full of vital amino acids, which are the building blocks of life and essential to creating cells in your baby's growing body. Eggs also contain choline which helps in proper brain and spinal cord development and can even help prevent neural tube defects.
Remember that eating raw, spoiled or undercooked eggs can be especially harmful during pregnancy so make sure you buy eggs from a credible source and fully cook them before eating.
Yogurt is a wonderful snack idea that every mom-to-be should keep in her fridge. For starters, a cup of yogurt contains far more calcium than a glass of milk. Calcium is essential to your little one's bone, muscle and nerve development. Not only will your baby benefit, but your own body will get an extra energy boost.
Aside from this, yogurt is packed with folate which is necessary to your baby's brain development. Yogurt will also work to keep your tummy happy and at peace thanks to the bacterial cultures that help maintain a healthy digestive system. Try to go for low-fat Greek yogurt and avoid flavored, sugary options. Throw in some fruits or granola to add even more vital nutrients and an extra kick of flavor!
Berries – blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries! All of these are a wonderful source vitamin C, folate, and fiber. Berries are also rich in antioxidants, which, along with vitamin C, are vital elements to maintain a healthy immune system.
During your pregnancy, your body is working extra hard to keep both you and your baby healthy and free from unwanted intruders. This means that you will need all of the immunity help you can get, so make sure to throw a few berries into your yogurt, cereal, pancakes, or even make a yummy smoothie to absorb all of their nutritious goodness.
4. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which is vital in the early stages of pregnancy and helps to ensure that your uterine wall remains thick during and after implantation.
This gives you a lower chance of miscarriage, as well. Aside from this, studies show that women with higher levels of selenium in their body, especially in their first semester, have a babies with healthier birth weights.
Not only will Brazil nuts greatly benefit your baby, but they serve as an excellent mood booster and help you beat those occasional pregnancy blues or emotional roller-coasters. Even just a handful of nuts a day can have a significant effect on how you're feeling and help you deal with a low mood naturally.
Avocados are known to be packed with vital nutrients and vitamins. They are rich in potassium, folate, and vitamin C. They're also an excellent source of vitamin B6 which will help your little one's brain and tissues develop properly.
Vitamin B6 is also a wonderful aid in helping ease morning sickness and preventing excessive nausea. Your growing baby will also require above-average energy levels from your body, which the healthy fats in avocados can help supply.
You can make delicious guacamole, with selenium-rich garlic and cilantro, or opt for simpler options like simply placing a few avocado slices on whole grain toasted bread.
Prunes are high in iron which is vital to creating hemoglobin and keeping your blood healthy. Many women are at a potential risk for anemia, especially starting in the second trimester, so making sure that your iron levels remain high is essential to both you and your baby's health.
Prunes will also help keep your digestive system working properly, which is likewise helpful in beating possible problems with constipation in the latter months of pregnancy.