10 Superfoods For A Healthy Pregnancy
- By Abhinav
- May 31, 2021
Prenatal exercises are definitely beneficial for reducing stress, increasing tolerance for pain during labor and for a healthy baby. But it is just as important to maintain a well-balanced diet for a healthy mommy-to-be and your baby.
Since you’re eating for two, you’ll have to make sure that you have nutritious and healthy foods. And we know that you don’t have hours of free time to research and do food preparation. So we’ve created this list of superfoods you can eat during pregnancy.
Here are the top 10 superfoods to have for a healthy pregnancy (in no particular order)
- Spinach & Other Leafy Greens
Spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, but most importantly, folic acid. Phew! That’s a long list of nutrients!
If you’re not a fan of spinach, then try having other leafy greens like Cabbage, Drumstick Leaves (Moringa), Fenugreek (Methi) or Mustard Leaves (Sarson).
Beans are powerhouses of nutrition – they contain loads of fibre, protein, iron, folate, calcium, and zinc. There are many different types to choose from, be it chickpeas, lentils, black beans, soy beans, or other!
Not only are beans packed with nutritional punch, they’re also very filling.
- Dry Fruits, Nuts & Seeds
Dry fruits, nuts and seeds are the real MVPs on this list as they really are the superfoods to be had while pregnant.
Loaded with protein, fiber, a whole host of vitamins and minerals, dry fruits like raisins, prunes, figs, dates, etc. are great for pregnant women.
Similarly, nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios & peanuts are jam packed with brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.
Last but not least, seeds! Pumpkin & Chia seeds are the two most important superfoods to be had while pregnant. They have antioxidants, omega-3 fats and are also great at limiting the absorption of sugars, which will help inhibit the amount of sugar your baby absorbs.
While you should definitely avoid fish that are high in mercury like Mackerel & Tuna, Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury. It is also loaded with protein and Vitamin B, great for your baby’s brain development.
You can also have other lean meats like Chicken & Turkey breasts.
- Whole Grains
Enriched, whole-grain breads and cereals are fortified with folic acid and iron and have more fiber than white bread and rice. Work whole grains into your day: oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich on whole-grain bread at lunch, and whole-wheat pasta or brown rice for dinner.
Other than oatmeal and brown rice, a few other nutritious whole grains you can incorporate into your diet are quinoa, millet, barley, couscous & buckwheat.
Eggs are a great pregnancy superfood – so long as you eat them fully cooked. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals and high-quality protein and fats. Eggs also contain choline which is an essential nutrient for healthy brain development.
How can you have your egg? Enjoy a simple hard boiled egg or egg bhurji or even a mildly spicy egg curry. There’s no wrong answer here!
We’ve already mentioned the benefits of having dried fruits but there are some fresh fruits you can have that are great sources of essential nutrients and vitamins.
Here are the top 10 safe and nutritious fruits you can have while pregnant:
- Avocado (Yes, it’s a fruit!)
- And most importantly, berries!
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have berries during your pregnancy. Berries are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and folic acid — and they provide amazing benefits, such as protecting cells from damage. You can have Strawberries, Blueberries, & Raspberries.
- Dairy Products
Greek Yogurt – Protein-rich foods are necessary for forming healthy nerve cells in the mother’s womb for the cognitive development of the baby. Probiotic foods like Greek yogurt are an amazing way to throw in a little calcium for your baby’s bone development as well.
Cheese – Cheese provides concentrated amounts of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus for your unborn baby to grow strong bones.
Paneer – I don’t think I need to sell you on this but here goes, Paneer or cottage cheese is a great source of calcium and protein, so yea, go ahead and enjoy your favourite paneer dish!
- Super Veggies
Apart from healthy leafy greens like spinach, there are a few other super healthy vegetables that you can add into your diet.
Here are some super veggies to have while pregnant:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Bell Peppers
These veggies are rich sources of energy, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. You can have around 500 gms of cooked veggies each day.
- Pulses (Dal)
Dal is an important source of protein. Vegetarian women who are expecting need to consume plenty of pulses and lentils to ensure that they meet the necessary protein intake.
Similar to beans & lentils, pulses have many benefits for pregnant women. They help with digestion, strengthen bones, prevent anaemia and improve foetal brain growth. Enjoy a variety of dal like Urad Dal (Black Gram), Moong Dal (Mung Beans), Masoor Dal (Red Lentils), etc.
And there you have it, a great choice of superfoods that you can start having easily and also helps you maintain a balanced diet.