Going through pregnancy can become more challenging if you're used to eating certain foods during your pre-pregnancy days. However, you know how important eating healthy is to your own health and to the health of your growing baby.
The good news is if you're looking for the best possible nutrition, superfoods have become the new go-to source. You're perhaps new to this category of health food.
What kind of superfoods should you consume? It's best to think of some of the newer superfoods out there that not many think about. Maybe some you've never heard of! Take a look at 13 of them and when you should consume them during each trimester.
1. Egg Yolks
You're seeing many superfood experts saying egg yolks are becoming important in baby development during your first trimester. One reason is the fat-soluble vitamins inside of the yolks. Vitamin D, in particular, helps stave off many potential diseases. Plus, choline in eggs yolks aids in developing your baby's brain. Stick to pasture raised, no soy, organic eggs. They cost more, but they are better for you and taste great.
While a basic superfood, don't overlook having at least a few almonds every day. A quarter cup of these provides enough Vitamin E to further develop your baby's cognitive functions while in early pregnancy stages. The more you can nurture your baby's brain, the smarter our next generation becomes. Brain boosting foods are just as important for baby in the womb as it is outside the womb. Raw almonds are great to keep in the car so you can eat a few at some point during the day.
Eating liver might sound highly unappealing, but it's a great multivitamin source without having to take a supplement. It also contains important Vitamin A, and it's more effective from food than through a supplement. Besides, many pregnant women don't get enough Vitamin A. Limit consuming this type of meat to once a week, or only every other week.
You might want to use small amounts of liver in other meats if you're skeptical of the taste. Try chicken liver chopped small, sauteed in olive oil with a bit of minced garlic, onions, and parsley. Goes yummy with rice on the side.
As a good source of iron, spirulina is a great source as you progress to your other trimesters. You'll especially like this if you don't want to eat meat. It is great in smoothies or in an acai bowl. When you are at your local juice shop ask them to put just a bit in your smoothie.
It's possible to buy spirulina in a health food store to add to various foods. Buy only top high grade spirulina and as studies don't confirm that this is okay for everyone during pregnancy, and do consult your doctor first before consuming spirulina. Use only a small amount...everything in moderation.
This is a great protein source, and it's also designed for vegetarians. You'll find lots of fiber here as well, giving you more than your needed requirement per day. Wash it very well in cold water before preparing and try in it salads, or as a side to protein.
6. Coconut Water
Here you have a very safe superfood beverage you can drink that helps with early pregnancy stages and provides electrolytes. When facing morning sickness, you could become dangerously dehydrated. Coconut water prevents this from happening, though make sure the product you choose is pure and without sugar. It's perfect for breaking up the monotony of plain water all day.
You'll discover this type of water works in numerous other positive ways from boosting energy to regulating your moods.
Maybe this sounds as unappealing as liver, yet it's a good source of iodine for baby brain development. Many pregnant women don't get enough of iodine to suffice.
It should be the highest quality of seaweed.
You can place seaweed in different foods from soup, salad, to broth. A favorite is avocado rolls where you get the best of seaweed and healthy fat combined. Seaweed snacks are delish as well.
Only use very limited amounts, all in moderation. Ask your doctor before incorporating seaweed to be sure what is good for you.
8. Pumpkin Seeds
As oddball as it sounds to eat pumpkin seeds, they have magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc. You can get your daily supply of these essential vitamins by eating pumpkin seeds in different forms, as in roasted or salted. Choose the raw kind to get the most nutrition out of them. It's a perfect salad or oatmeal topper.
Many women in early trimesters use avocados to ward off morning sickness. You can keep on eating them through other trimesters to get your healthy fats and gain lots of fiber. This is the perfect snack! Avocado toast anyone?
Quick and Simple Avocado Toast
- slice of your favorite bread, toasted
- spread thin, olive oil on top
- sliced or mash organic avocado
- place fried egg on top
- sprinkle sea salt, cracked pepper, and crushed chili flake
- garnish with cherry tomato, radish, basil, or anything else you like!
10. Bone Broth for More Minerals
The more minerals you can take in, the healthier your baby's body is going to become. Bone broth is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium as just two. In addition, this is a better source if you don't like dairy products. Seasoned bone broth soup is delicious on a cool evening with noodles or veges to satisfy any palette.
In your final trimester, consider eating dates since evidence shows they help soften the cervix for when you give birth. Besides that, they're high in fiber and give you plenty of energy when you need to keep going. This is a healthier form of sugar if your cravings sweets. Try a banana oatmeal date shake!
As another late-stage pregnancy superfood, pineapple is also said to soften the cervix. It pays to mix some dates with pineapple in some of your meals since you won't find any better superfoods for the final stressful month before going into labor. Pineapple is also perfect in kale or spinach smoothies to hide the greens flavor and sweeten things up.
13. Kale & Spinach
Don't forget about plain old kale and spinach, something you can consume every day through each trimester. There isn't any better superfood containing everything you need.
Those of you who don't love the taste of kale can blend it into a smoothie for a power drink, or chop some spinach on top of pizza or in a salad. Try buying organic only and the kind that is already triple washed so it's very easy to incorporate into your diet.
Easy Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
- Vitamix or Nutribullet necessary
- handful of raw spinach
- cup of organic frozen blueberries
- one cup favorite greek yogurt - strawberry, blueberry, vanilla flavors work well
- half of ripe banana
- organic apple juice
- a few ice cubes
- blend till smooth
Keep reading us at Bun Maternity to learn more about proper diet tips while pregnant. Check out our prenatal and postnatal apparel as well to keep you prepared now and for the future.