OK, so all pregnant women want to eat healthily, but we know it’s hard not to give into your cravings! It’s not easy to chomp on veggies when you’d rather scarf down a pizza. The pregnancy superfoods we list below do (at least) one of these things: help with healthy fetal development, reduce the risk of birth defects, or prevent pregnancy complications!
They have around 10% of your daily need for potassium, a mineral that may help prevent pregnancy-related hypertension. Studies have shown that keeping your blood pressure in check during pregnancy helps reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes 5 to 10 years in the future, too!
Serve yourself 1/4 of a cup of almonds or two tablespoons of almond butter. This serving size gets you more than a third of your daily dose of vitamin E. These heart-healthy nuts will help your baby’s brain development. Another plus to almonds: they’re full of protein, so a handful can prevent your hunger pangs.
Yolks contain vitamin D, which may lower your risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and low birth weight. Although egg whites have more protein, the yolk has almost all of an egg’s choline, which is a mineral that helps your baby’s brain health. Along with folic acid, choline reduces the risk of neural-tube defects. Try and eat an egg each day: it’ll help you get closer to fulfilling your needs for important nutrients.
Fortified cereal can contain more iron than a serving of spinach! Iron is believed to help with a healthy birthweight, and it also helps keep your energy up. Look at the nutrition facts on fortified cereal: aim for one that has 50% of the daily iron requirement, at least 6 grams of fiber, and no more than 10 grams of sugar.
Just a three-ounce serving of lean beef has half of your daily requirement for zinc! Zinc can help reduce the risk of an early delivery and other pregnancy complications. Also, it helps you get closer to your daily iron and protein needs. Look for a cut of beef that has less than 10 grams of fat per serving. Pull out your crock pot or slow cooker to prep a flank steak or sirloin. If you’re ordering a burger, just get one patty, so you’re not eating too much saturated fat.
Some people really dislike the taste of kale, but it’s packed with nutritional benefits! If you hate kale, try sautéing it along with olive oil, garlic, and raisins. Kale provides your day’s share of vitamins A and C. This leafy green also contains folic acid (which helps prevent birth defects), and calcium (to building your baby’s bones.) It also has potassium, which helps diminish water retention. You’ll really get to appreciate this benefit as you get closer to full term!