While we wish - no, dream - that being pregnant means we can eat anything and everything we want (hey, we already lost our abs anyway), that is, unfortunately, not the case. While the occasional burrito and bowl (or two) or ice cream won’t hurt, there are certain healthy & nutritional foods you should eat while pregnant.
So, we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best, most nutritious foods to eat while pregnant. Ya know, in between the burritos and ice cream.
Switching from white bread to whole-grain bread will help you get the daily recommended 20 to 35 grams of fibers - just make sure to choose a brand that has at least two grams of fiber per slice. And, whole-grain bread is a great source of iron and zinc. Avocado toast, FTW!
We all know folates are important both pre-conception and during the first few weeks of pregnancy, but your need for vitamin B doesn’t go away during the rest of your pregnancy. Many experts advise getting at least 400 micrograms of folate a day through either vitamin supplements or food. And, since many breakfast cereals contain 400 micrograms per bowl, it’s a great way to get your recommended daily dosage. Another 200 micrograms are recommended through foods that are naturally high in folates - like asparagus and black-eyed peas.
Dried Beans & Lentils
During pregnancy, women need an extra 10 grams of protein per day - making that a total of at least 60 grams. Since each cup of beans or lentils have about 15 grams of protein. adding them to your pregnancy diet is win-win. They are also high in fiber, which helps with constipation.
Broccoli packs essential nutrients - like calcium and folate - necessary for a healthy pregnancy. It’s also high in fiber and antioxidants. And, thanks to broccoli’s high count of vitamin C, it’ll help your body absorb iron when eaten in iron-loaded dishes like brown rice and whole wheat pasta.
This potassium-rich fruit is great for fighting off fatigue during pregnancy. Bananas are also great if you are nauseous as they are easy on the stomach. (Another thing that helps with nausea? Our Happy Mornings Tea). Try adding them to your morning cereal or breakfast smoothie.
Since your need for iron doubles during pregnancy, try adding iron-rich lean meats to your diet. A lack of iron will leave you tired (well, more than tired than you already are) so lean meats are the way to go.
If you’re a vegetarian or can’t eat meat while you’re pregnant, eggs are a great alternative to help you get the necessary amount of protein. They also contain essential amino acids that your pregnant body needs. Omelettes loaded with vegetables make for a simple, quick breakfast or dinner. If the smell of eggs makes you nauseous, try hard-boiling them - you can keep them on hand for an on-the-go breakfast or snack.
Not only will a morning bowl of oatmeal get you energized, the complex carbohydrates will keep you fuller longer. And, the oat bran in oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol levels. Rather than get the processed, high-sugar flavored oatmeal, though, try whipping up the plain kind and adding some maple syrup or jelly.
Nuts & Nut Butter
In order for your baby’s brain to develop, fat is absolutely essential (we can so get on board with that). Fat also keeps you fuller longer. So, many experts suggest replacing saturated fats - like the ones found in butter and meat - with unsaturated fats, like those found in nuts. But, since nuts are high in fat and calories, try sticking to one-ounce servings of nuts and two-tablespoons of nut butter. (If you have any kind of allergy, though, it’s recommended you avoid allergenic foods - like peanuts - during pregnancy).
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and folate. Basically, they’re like a superfood for pregnant Mama’s! They are also about 90 percent water so they’ll help you stay hydrated.
Turnip and kale have a high source of calcium while cooked spinach has high levels of iron and folate. Rather than chopping up some iceberg lettuce for your salad, trying adding dark-colored lettuces like spinach or kale. If salads aren’t your thing - hey, we don’t blame you - try adding leafy greens to your sandwiches, soups, or pasta dishes.
We know it’s hard, but keeping junk food to a minimum during pregnancy will keep both you and baby healthy. While incorporating healthy foods in your pregnancy diet can be boring (hello, what is the point of a belly bump if you can’t use it as a resting place for pints of ice cream!?), but we promise it’ll be worth it. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if we see a picture of you with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on your belly...
If eating healthy is like pulling teeth, why not indulge in other ways? At The Spoiled Mama, we make safe, effective, and toxin-free skincare for moms-to-be and new Mama's. Our bestselling Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks & Bump Gloss Stretch Mark Oil is the ultimate pregnancy must-have. If swollen feet are your problem, why not try our Happy Feet gel? We could talk about it until we're blue in the face, though. So, don’t just take our word for it, learn more here.
Thanks to Parents.com for the inspiration for this article!