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It is essential to pay extra attention to your health when expecting a baby. You are not only responsible for your own health, but also the health and development of your unborn child. A healthy and balanced diet is important for overall well-being.
To start you on this path, consider the following list of eight superfoods for a healthy pregnancy. Remember though, it’s important to consume these foods in moderation.
Ground flax seeds contain omega-3, fiber, protein, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium, and more. They are also a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is essential during pregnancy. Make sure you use ground flax seeds rather than whole, as the shell prevents your body from absorbing most of the nutrients. You can use some flax seeds in baked goods, cereal, smoothies, or sprinkled over your morning yogurt
Avocados contain monosaturated fats and plant-based saturated fats, as well as folate in its natural form. In fact, you can get a third of your daily recommended intake of folate from a single avocado. Since it is in its natural form, it is also easy for your body to absorb and use for energy and fetus development. Try eating avocado on toast instead of butter, or blend it into a morning smoothie to make it creamy.
Blueberries are a popular antioxidant and thus can help protect your body against damage from harmful oxygen radicals. In addition, blueberries are a good source of potassium and vitamin C, both of which help promote a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
Chia seeds are an excellent way to get omega-3 fats and fiber. Some reports claim these can help ward of depression from your pregnancy, in addition to their other health benefits. For omega-3 fats, these benefits include healthy fetal neurodevelopment and maintaining a healthy birth weight. It is important to pay extra attention to omega-3 fats, since the main source of them—seafood—is limited during pregnancy. You can make a chi seed pudding, or sprinkle them on cereal, or into smoothies.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, amino acids, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals. While there is no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white, try looking for eggs specifically marked “omega-3 eggs,” as these chickens were given feed high in omega 3s like flax seeds. Try poaching or boiling your eggs to preserve as much of the nutritional value as possible.
Dark, Leafy Greens
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale contain vitamins and minerals like iron, fiber, and vitamin C. They are packed with nutrients! Create salads, put them in pasta, or blend them in a smoothie! Make sure to include a variety of dark, leafy greens in your diet to stay healthy during your pregnancy.
Did you know plain yogurt has more calcium than milk? Yogurt also contains zinc, B vitamins, protein, probiotics, and carbohydrates. Maximize your protein intake and choose Greek yogurt, which has much more protein than normal yogurt. Probiotics in yogurt are also helpful as they help your body overcome unhealthy bacteria, reduces your risk of early labor, reduces prenatal infection, and eczema,.
Sweet potatoes are full of beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, as well as carotenoids, which your body will turn into vitamin A. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects, as well as birth defects in the spinal cord (e.g. spina bifida) and brain. Fiber helps your digestive system run smoothly, and reduces your risk of preeclampsia.
Consuming some of these foods, in moderation, could help maintain your and your baby’s health. Remember to pay attention to all the food you eat though, as an overall healthy diet is more important than the above superfoods. Be sure to speak to your doctor as well as a registered dietician to make sure you’re food helps maintain a healthy pregnancy!
Sweet Kyla is a premium designer and creator of baby bedding, based in the charming town of Guelph, Ontario. Over almost 40 years, our brand has grown from a small idea to a vibrant business. Today, Sweet Kyla offers the best locally-made baby bedding in Canada.