Good Foods for Pregnancy
You can’t go wrong with these choices rich in important nutrients to help support your developing baby’s growth and development—plus, they’re good for you. Here’s what to keep in your kitchen and why.
One of the best things you can do for both you and your developing baby’s during pregnancy is to eat healthy. Getting the nutrients important for your developing baby’s brain development, as well as his physical growth, is essential during pregnancy. Plus, eating the right foods so that you’re feeling your best. Check out these good foods and learn why they’re so good for you.
This fruit is chock-full of potassium, folate, fiber, and vitamin E. In fact, one avocado may have as much potassium as two small bananas—a good thing since potassium is an important electrolyte that aids in regulating blood pressure1. Folate is also important to support your developing baby’s brain and nervous system, and it aids in healthy neural tube development2. Dietary fiber helps support digestive health3 and vitamin E is an antioxidant, which can protect fatty acids from oxidation4.
Easy ways to enjoy an avocado: Spread it across whole wheat bread for a sandwich or add to any salad.
Broccoli offers fiber, good to help support digestive health3. It also has folic acid (to help support healthy neural tube development)2 and vitamins A and C (to help support the immune system5,6). You can add this cruciferous vegetable to casseroles or put it in salads.
Fortified cereal is great support toward getting the recommended daily amount of folic acid (to help support healthy neural tube development2). Since folic acid is needed even before you get pregnant, it’s good to eat fortified cereals if you’re even thinking of becoming pregnant. Plus, fortified whole grain cereals contain vitamin B6, which is good for red blood cell formation7.
Fruit not only satisfies a sweet tooth but it’s a source of folic acid, which is needed to help support neural tube development2. Citrus fruits, like oranges, are high in vitamin C, which aids iron absorption7, as well as helps support antioxidant function5.
Eggs are high in protein, vitamins A and D, and iodine. Your developing baby needs protein to help support cell growth and blood production7. Vitamin A also supports your developing baby’s cell growth6. Vitamin D also aids in bone strengthening for you and your developing baby.7 Iodine aids in thyroid hormone function that is important for your developing baby’s brain development.8
Egg yolks are a good source of iron, which is needed to carry oxygen to your developing baby2. Some eggs are fortified with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—the chickens are fed a diet supplemented with it; DHA helps support your developing baby’s brain and vision development.9
Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt
High in vitamin D and calcium, these dairy products are important for your developing baby’s strong bones and teeth2. These foods also have protein, which is important for your developing baby’s growth2. Be aware that soft cheeses (such as Brie, feta, and Camembert) may not be pasteurized.
This fish is high in vitamin D, good for strong bones and teeth2, as well as the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is important for your developing baby’s brain and vision development9. Salmon also has calcium, important for bone development and also helps in your circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems function.2
Many whole grains contain fiber (good for digestive health)3, iron (important for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissue)2, B vitamins, and minerals. They also provide carbohydrates, your body’s main energy source7.
1Potassium and High Blood Pressure – American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTre....
2Pregnancy Diet and Vitamin C – Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth....
3Nutrition and Healthy Eating – Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/fiber/ART-20043983?p=1.
4Vitamin E – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/004/y2809e/y2809e00.pdf.
5Nutrients And Vitamins For Pregnancy – American Pregnancy Association http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/nutrients-vitamins-pregnancy/.
6Vitamin A– National Institutes of Health https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/.
7Eating During Pregnancy – KidsHealth.org http://kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=KidsHealth&lic=1&ps=107&cat_id=...
8Iodine – NIH http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/
9Vitamins and minerals during pregnancy –March of Dimes http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/vitamins-and-minerals-during-pregn....