Getting the right nutrients in your diet during pregnancy is incredibly important, not just for your health, but for the healthy development of your baby. We have cherry-picked our favourite pregnancy superfoods that are quite simply SUPER for pregnancy, and bursting with nutrients for both you and your unborn baby. It is definitely worth trying to incorporate as many of these superfoods as possible into your daily diet since it will make a huge difference to your pregnancy and the health of your baby.
See the foundations of a healthy diet: part two for more information about why the vitamins and minerals mentioned in this article are essential for both pregnancy and 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. In addition to this, it is also rich in calcium; if you are not getting enough of this during pregnancy, your baby will deplete the calcium stored in your bones and teeth (why else do you think it’s free to go to the dentist during pregnancy?!) Finally, avocado is packed full of ‘healthy’ fats, protein, and vitamin E.
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, vitamin E and magnesium. It is worth noting there that magnesium is needed to help your body absorb calcium.
They 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 are not sure how to use them, simply put a couple of spoonfuls into your smoothie for breakfast!
Homemade Bone Broth
Bone broth is bursting with nutrients including, collagen, co-enzyme Q10, cholesterol, all minerals and essential amino acids. It is really quick and easy to make, and can be added to soups and much more.
See Homemade bone broth recipe for more information.
Low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free, and contains more potassium than four bananas – what’s not to love about coconut water?! It also contains calcium, phosphorous, and lauric acid.
However, this is not the only reason we love coconut water. Indeed, it is also brimming with electrolytes and is thought to be better at replacing lost fluids than sports drinks or water. Staying hydrated is particularly important in pregnancy, especially if you suffer from morning sickness.
Coconut water is widely available in supermarkets now, but it is important to check the label to ensure that extra sugar has not been added to it.
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 always cook your eggs, since raw or partially raw eggs are not safe to eat during pregnancy.
Green Leafy Vegetables
During pregnancy, it is important to get plenty of folate, iron and calcium in your diet. Leafy greens, such as kale, broccoli and spinach are excellent sources of these nutrients. Plus, they contain magnesium and vitamin C, which help your body absorb iron and calcium properly. In our opinion, green leafy vegetables are a SUPER pregnancy superfood.
Lentils and Beans
Legumes are jam packed with iron, fibre and folate, which are all essential for a healthy pregnancy. Not keen on lentils? Humus counts, but try to avoid the low-fat options where possible.
Natural Live Yoghurt
Natural live yoghurt is essential for beneficial flora, calcium, B vitamins, protein and magnesium. Plus, it is an easy snack if you are not 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
See Stay Safe – Foods to Avoid and Foods to Enjoy in Pregnancy for further information.
Apricots are a great snack and contain many essential nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fibre. Wherever possible, try to eat organic apricots.
Quinoa is a good source of magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium, and therefore, is essential for pregnancy. It is also an excellent source of fibre and protein, which is great if you are a vegetarian or vegan.