During the nine months of pregnancy, there are many beneficial things an expecting mother can consume as part of her diet, referred to as pregnancy superfoods.
Proper nutrition during pregnancy is essential for the health and well-being of both mother and baby as it can provide the baby with the best start to life.
Consuming a balanced diet of superfoods provides many great health benefits that will improve fetal and maternal health.
It is vital, of course, to always consult with healthcare providers regarding nutritional needs, dietary restrictions, etc.
This article will list what we believe to be the top ten pregnancy superfoods and their health benefits.
- During the nine months of pregnancy, there are many beneficial things an expecting mother can consume as part of her diet, referred to as pregnancy superfoods.
- 10. Berries – full of helpful antioxidants
- 9. Yoghurt – an excellent source of calcium, probiotics and protein
- 8. Nuts and seeds – provide healthy fats
- 7. Legumes – an excellent source of plant-based protein
- 6. Sweet potatoes – a nutritious superfood
- 5. Avocados – rich in healthy fats
- 4. Salmon – a great source of high-quality protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids
- 3. Eggs – a versatile and nutrient-dense food
- 2. Lean meats – brilliant sources of high-quality iron and protein
- 1. Leafy Greens – full of amazing essential nutrients for pregnancy
10. Berries – full of helpful antioxidants
Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are chalked with helpful antioxidants, fibre, and vitamin C.
Antioxidants are vital as they help protect the mother’s and baby’s cells from damage, while vitamin C helps support the immune system. A great way to include berries in your diet is as a dessert or a simple snack.
9. Yoghurt – an excellent source of calcium, probiotics and protein
Yoghurts are an excellent source of calcium, probiotics and protein. While calcium is vital for the baby’s bone development, probiotics help maintain a healthy level of gut bacteria, which is essential for supporting the mother’s overall health and immune system.
Ideally, pregnant women should aim for three servings of calcium-rich products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese (pasteurised or hard cheeses only, soft cheese should be avoided when pregnant).
8. Nuts and seeds – provide healthy fats
Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, flaxseeds, almonds and chia seeds, provide many healthy fats and make great nutrient-dense snack options for pregnant women.
The nutrients that nuts and seeds provide are very beneficial for a baby’s brain development and can even help to reduce inflammation in the mother’s body. Pregnant women should aim to consume a small amount of nuts and seeds daily.
7. Legumes – an excellent source of plant-based protein
Legumes such as chickpeas, peas, beans and lentils are all excellent sources of plant-based protein, iron, folate and fibre.
Legumes are very beneficial, especially for pregnant women following a primarily vegan or vegetarian diet, as the high fibre content found in legumes can aid in preventing constipation, which is a common problem during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should attempt to consume at least one serving of legumes daily.
6. Sweet potatoes – a nutritious superfood
Sweet potatoes are another brilliant nutritious superfood to consume during pregnancy, which provides excellent vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and potassium.
These elements help with immune system development, blood pressure and fluid balance during pregnancy.
Sweet potatoes can be enjoyed in various ways, such as baked, mashed, or even as a healthy alternative to traditional fries.
5. Avocados – rich in healthy fats
Avocados are rich in healthy fats as well as vitamin E, folate, potassium and fibre, which all help with supporting fetal brain development, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and may also reduce the risk of the condition known as pre-eclampsia.
An excellent way for pregnant women to incorporate avocados into their diet is by adding them to sandwiches, salads, or even eating them alone as a snack.
Incorporating healthy fats into your diet is a great healthy eating habit to help fuel your body.
4. Salmon – a great source of high-quality protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids
Salmon is an excellent source of high-quality protein and essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for the baby’s eye and brain development and great for reducing inflammation for the mother.
Pregnant women should aim to consume, on average, 8-12 ounces of fish, such as salmon, per week.
3. Eggs – a versatile and nutrient-dense food
Eggs are a very versatile and nutrient-dense food which provide many beneficial things such as choline, protein, vitamin D and many other essential nutrients.
Choline is particularly important during pregnancy as it supports the baby’s brain development and helps prevent any neural tube defects. Pregnant women should try to consume at least one egg daily as part of their diet.
2. Lean meats – brilliant sources of high-quality iron and protein
Lean meats, such as turkey, chicken and cuts of beef, are all brilliant sources of high-quality iron and protein.
An adequate amount of protein intake is vital as it helps the baby’s growth and development. At the same time, iron is excellent as it helps prevent anaemia and supports the increased blood volume during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should choose lean meat options when possible and be careful to consume them in moderation, as excessive consumption of red and processed meats can have adverse risk effects.
1. Leafy Greens – full of amazing essential nutrients for pregnancy
In first place on our list of what we believe to be the top ten pregnancy superfoods are leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard and spinach, as they are all full of amazing essential nutrients for pregnancy, including vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, fibre, iron, calcium and folic acid (folate).
Folic acid is essential during pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects. Pregnant women should consume at least one serving of leafy greens daily.
That concludes our article on what we believe to be the top ten pregnancy superfoods. Are there other superfoods that can aid during pregnancy that we didn’t mention in our list?