Pregnancy Superfoods that Benefit Both You and Your Unborn Baby
Posted Oct 18 2009 4:10am
During your pregnancy, you need to consciously tweak your diet to include foods that provide the best building blocks to grow a healthy baby. In addition, it is important to remember that you will need about 250-350 additional calories during your second trimester as the baby’s key development occurs at this time. Those extra calories should be well spent on nutritious pregnancy superfoods.
1. Berries – Many berries, particularly the dark colored ones like blueberries and blackberries are packed with phytonutrients which protect body cells from damaging free radicals. The folate packed into berries is crucial to fetal development and the carbohydrates are the “good” kind. Vitamin C, fiber and potassium are additional beneficial ingredients essential for a growing baby.
2. Eggs – The proteins housed within the fragile shells of this animal by-product contain important amino acids that promote fetal health. In addition, eggs pack quite a wallop in terms of minerals such as lutein and choline in addition to omega 3 fatty acids, an essential component to optimal brain development and vision.
3. Beans – Legumes are a pregnancy superfood due to their fiber rich content and supply of iron, protein, folate, zinc and calcium – all building blocks to ensure optimal baby health.
4. Milk – Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus … these bone-building nutrients are essential not only for mom but also baby’s development. Milk provides plenty of B vitamins, in addition to protein and vitamin A.
5. Beef – For the best brain development possible for your baby, expectant moms like you should eat lean cuts of beef. The niacin, protein, choline, vitamins B6 and B12 and zinc also found in beef all work together to promote optimal cognitive function as well provide good building blocks for muscle development.
6. Cheese – Pasteurized cheese, like milk, provides calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones for you and baby. In addition, magnesium, protein and vitamin B12 are additional nutrients important for good fetal development. Reduced fat varieties are just as beneficial as regular types of pasteurized cheese.
7. Whole Grains – Avoid processed grains that go into white rice, white flour and white bread and pasta products. Choose whole grain options instead. Many whole grain products are fortified with iron, zinc, B vitamins and folic acid, a nutritional component vital to brain development and the prevention of birth defects in babies.
8. Cold Fish like Salmon and Sardines – The omega 3 fatty acids in cold water fish like salmon protect brain cells and vision. The B vitamins and protein are good building blocks to protect fetal development.
9. Plain Yogurt – Plain yogurt has not only zinc, protein and B vitamins, it also has more calcium per serving than regular milk. Plain yogurt can be jazzed up with a little honey or fresh fruit to create a palatable snack or even boost antioxidants.
10. Broccoli – This green cruciferous vegetable packs quite a nutritional punch for both you and your baby. The folate is essential for normal fetal development while the fiber and calcium are important for digestion and healthy bones. The lutein and carotenoids promote good vision while potassium is for good heart health and blood pressure. Broccoli also provides your body the building blocks to produce vitamin A.
If you can avoid processed foods with refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other food additives, you can give your baby a fighting chance for the healthiest life possible. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables and incorporate low fat dairy and whole grains into your diet. Your unborn baby will benefit from pregnancy superfoods.