12 Top Foods For Pregnant Moms and Growing Fetus
There are so many lists of foods that are on the “do not eat” list for pregnant women. I like to make expecting mothers’ lives a little easier and provide foods that are best for consumption for both the mom and the baby in the belly. Of course, a wide variety of whole and fresh foods is ideal, but below is a list of the top foods to help a growing baby develop best as well as keeping mommy healthy, energetic and well.
With more than 12 vitamins and minerals, eggs have protein and amino acids—building blocks for the baby’s body, DHA—one form of the good omega 3 fats, and choline—prevents neural tube defects, great for eye development and promotes healthy brain growth.
Aim for cage-free and organic eggs.
Wild catch of sustainable organic farmed raised cooked salmon has a great source of omega 3, with low levels of mercury.
Aim for 12 oz. weekly.
Packed with iron, folate—prevents neural tubal defects, calcium, B6, and zinc, beans are high in fiber and protein. They also prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Best picks would be lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, chickpeas.
4. Sweet potatoes
High in vitamin C, folate, and fiber. They are also a great energy source and have a lot of vitamin A.
Additional sources that also contain carotenoids or vitamin A: carrots, pumpkins, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe.
5. Sprouted Whole Grains, Cereals, Pasta
Contains live phytonutrients, bioavailable protein for easier digestion, protein, vitamin E, selenium, iron B vitamins, fiber and macronutrients
Best nut for your baby’s brain growth and development, walnuts are the richest source of plant-based omega-3s. Other nut butter of choice should be almonds, sunflower seed, Brazilian nuts, sesame seeds and peanut butter.
Bone and teeth building for the baby. Packed with protein, calcium, live probiotics and cultures, as well as folic acid.
8. Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
Blood and bone building as well, but has also phytonutrients, folic acid, detoxifying agents, calcium, vitamin A, K, and C as well as iron (makes red-hemoglobin for the baby and carries oxygen to the blood). Promotes eye health and decreases neural tubal defect risks.
Best: Kale, spinach, broccoli, mustard greens, chard, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, arugula, and sprouts
9. High-Quality Lean Meats
Clean and good quality protein is often the craving for mommies-to-be. Aim for open range organic buffalo, or other lean cuts of good quality meats. Stay away from deli meats, smoked or BBQ meats, or any “fair” or fast foods. Eat a few times a month at most. Lean meats contain bodybuilding amino acids, brain-building choline and protein and lots of iron to oxygenate the cells. If you are vegan or vegetarian eat veggie burgers instead or opt for natural, non-GMO and unprocessed soy products such as tempeh, seitan, and tofu.
10. Hemp, Flax and Almond Milk/Products
Lots of vitamin D, Omega 3, 6, Magnesium, Selenium, calcium, protein. Use these substitutes for your soups instead of cream, for your cereal and baking instead of milk products and for treats.
11. Colorful Fruits and Veggies
Full of antioxidants. Vitamins and minerals. The baby’s taste buds are forming and are sensitive to the flavors mama tastes. You can actually introduce baby to the spectrum of delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables by eating them yourself! It is also very hydrating for both mama and baby.
Avocados are a superfood, loaded with folic acid (forms baby’s brain and nervous system), potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 (helps baby’s tissue and brain growth, and staves off morning sickness).
Bananas have potassium, vitamin C, fiber and is a great source of natural energy. Try with nut butter or in your whole grain sandwich.
Remember to stay well hydrated, drinking at least a few liters of water a day. Add some lemon, orange or cucumber slices to change up the water flavor or drink fresh coconut water or eat water-rich fruits such as watermelon. This will help with constipation issues as well!
Sources: mayoclinic.com. webmd.com, babycenter.com, parenting.com, parents.com, whattoexpect.com