Please pardon my fabulous, fabulous pajama pant bottoms and admire the lovely, rich green color of the avocado.
During pregnancy we all know that it’s important to make those extra 200-300 calories count and pack a nutritious, optimum punch.
I’ve put together a list of my personal favorite, top ten pregnancy superfoods that get the job done not only for pleasing baby and helping them grow, but for those taste-buds of yours, too!
Let’s start off with something I think we all are familiar with – the glorious avocado. While commonly used in guacamole, this particular fruit has healthy omega-3’s and keeps a growing appetite in check for quite a long time. Pair it with beans, whole grain rice chips, or use it diced as a topping on some grilled chicken.
A breakfast favorite, you can either keep the yolk or ditch it — though personally I like to cook two whites, one whole. They contain a substantial amount of protein and choline, which can be be helpful for your baby’s brain development.
8. 100% Juice
Okay, so it’s a liquid. Most people opt for orange, but in my humble opinion any 100% juice will do. Boosting vitamin C for those energy lacking days is so convenient when you might not have a solid piece of fruit around. I love grape juice, and with grapes, you’re building antioxidants in your system!
7. Sweet Potatoes
Not just for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner! These magnificent, orange root veggies have potassium, lots of vitamin A (remember to watch your count of it), and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene can help with your immune system, which is wonderful if you’re surrounding by coughing coworkers, or babies… (I imagine the second situation will be me eventually, boo!)
This is a popular prize for those who are looking to add leafy greens into their diet, pregnant or not. Very low in calories, spinach is high in folates and vitamin K and can be eaten in a variety of ways. I just picked up a bag in the frozen isle of the grocery store, and it’s steam-able in the microwave. Easy convenience is always hard to argue with.
5. Peanut Butter
This is where you might find yourself scratching your head. Yes, peanut butter. This list is a little different compared to others, but I have found that peanut butter sustains me and keeps me satisfied more than any other on the go item. Protein, some sugar for that palate… pair it up with some whole grain bread and you’re bound to add it to your list. Try almond butter or hazelnut for a healthier nut. The average peanut butter serving is made up of about one-half monounsaturated fats and one-third polyunsaturated fats, so you’re still getting some healthy fats.
4. Dark Chocolate
My ultimate favorite! Cocoa beans have been shown through research to help with depression, weight loss and cardiovascular health. Normally the darker your chocolate, the higher amount of actual cocoa it contains. Unfortunately, the darker the bar, the higher the caffeine content. Just monitor!
3. Black Olives
I honestly don’t know if this is just a craving, but I love black olives. A couple tablespoons on my salad makes my day. Again, they are another high-fat food, but a good one in moderation. They have some iron, fiber and for those who are craving salt, a good alternative to pickles.
2. Fortified Cereal
Although it’s best to limit yourself to a daily bowl, almost all kids cereals have some form of folic acid and riboflavin and a number of other good for you vitamins.
Last but not least, yogurt is fantastic for upping your calcium intake and getting some more protein in your day. Most pregnant women are supposed to try and aim for 70-80 grams a day, which can be hard if you’re not getting it all in meat!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my list. Let me know if you want or need any recipe ideas to incorporate these tasty finds!
In your pregnancy, what has been/was your favorite nutritious food?