What foods should you definitely include in your prenatal diet now that you are responsible for the health of a growing baby?
While there is no list of “superfoods” that will guarantee you to have a perfect pregnancy or the smartest baby on the block, we are going to review 10 foods to definitely include in your prenatal diet. This is a list of several foods that contain key nutrients for your pregnancy diet. When these foods to eat are combined with other healthful foods and lifestyle habits it can result in positive pregnancy outcomes.
Through good nutrition we can help combat common pregnancy symptoms like constipation, improve pregnancy outcomes, and even impact the health of our future generations! It’s truly amazing.
Let’s talk about what to eat when expecting! Here are 10 foods to definitely include in your prenatal diet.
10 Foods to Definitely Include in Your Prenatal Diet
Asparagus is a wonderful food to include for healthy eating during pregnancy. They contain a significant amount of folate compared to other vegetables. Although best fresh, the canned or frozen varieties work when out of season.
2. Pasture-Raised Chicken Eggs
Eggs are one of the only dietary sources of choline. Choline is left out of the majority of prenatal vitamins. It’s a super important nutrient for baby’s brain development. Besides choline, eggs are a source of protein, vitamin A, B vitamins, selenium, and more. Eggs are my favorite breakfast for pregnancy!
Kale is a nutrient powerhouse! It packs in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K, B-6, folate, and more. Pair it with olive oil, nuts, or avocados for better nutrient absorption. Leafy greens also contain non-heme iron, a key nutrient during pregnancy.
Berry nutritious! They contain naturally occuring folate versus folic acid. Strawberries are also a source of vitamin C and fiber. When paired with foods that contain non-heme iron the vitamin C in strawberries can help improve irons absorption. Strawberry Kale salad anyone?
1 ounce of walnuts contains 4 grams of protein, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and manganese, and even a little bit of folate and choline. Walnuts are a good source of healthy fats too. They are great added to your trail mix!
6. Chia seeds
Rich in fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium these tiny seeds can be sprinkled into yogurt, salads, smoothies, or made into pudding. Easy and powerful! They are my secret weapon food to help combat pregnancy constipation.
Good for you protein packed with DHA. Fatty fish provide optimal nutrition to you and your growing baby, no need to avoid them. Omega-3’s, including DHA, are essential healthy fats to include in your pregnancy diet. Salmon is a great low mercury fish choice for pregnancy that is full of these healthy fats!
One of the best plant-based protein sources is lentils. They also contain our favorite nutrients iron and folate. Research shows lentils may significantly lower our chances of developing gestational diabetes. Lentil soup or lentil tacos both make for a delicious meal.
Broccoli is often listed under good sources of vitamin C, K, and A. It also contains folate, magnesium, small amounts of choline, and calcium. Winner! Veggies, like broccoli, are a great food to include on your pregnancy plate to healthy manage weight gain during pregnancy.
10. Greek yogurt
Yogurt is a great dairy product to include in your pregnancy diet. It contains iodine, calcium, vitamin k2, protein, probiotics (sometimes), and other vitamins. Greek yogurt contains a bit more protein than regular yogurt and is sometimes tolerated easier. Eat it as a snack or add to your smoothies for a protein-packed boost.
Are there other foods that help build a healthy baby?
Of course! This list is not all inclusive; there are many other foods that provide exceptional nutrition for you and your baby. Including lean meats, starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, fruits, beans, whole grains, and more. It is important that you eat foods from each food group every day and be aware that your prenatal vitamin is only used to “supplement” a healthy diet. Most prenatal vitamins do not provide all the nutrients necessary to fully support a healthy pregnancy.
You get ONE SHOT at this. These are 10 foods to definitely include in your prenatal diet.
Unfortunately, there are no do-overs in pregnancy. You have one chance to do it to the best of your ability.
I’m not saying this to scare you, but I am saying this to be 100% transparent.
Good nutrition during pregnancy is directly correlated to positive pregnancy outcomes, plain and simple.
Okay, so it may not be THAT simple, but that is why dietitians like myself spend countless hours studying the science and research on best nutrition practices during pregnancy.
So we can help people like YOU create the perfect environment for your baby to grow in and make it easy to do so!
If you are feeling confused about the “do’s” and don’t’s” of foods during pregnancy, be sure to join The Prenatal Nutrition Library (TPNL). You can even download TPNL app for free to get a sneak peek inside the library today. Until next time, we wish you the best of luck as you navigate your pregnancy journey!