Top 10 Foods To Eat While Pregnant
I was thrilled when Vitamix approached me and asked if I would be interested in writing about Nutrition for Pregnancy. Eating nourishing, nutrient-dense foods while pregnant is important to fill both you and your baby with all the essential vitamins and minerals. I know when I was pregnant, I particularly wanted to put all the best foods in my body for both of us. And using a Vitamix to make recipes, smoothies, sauces, dips, and so many other options is easy & efficient.
Here are the Top 10 Foods to Eat While Pregnant to stay strong, energized, and wholesome.
Lentils: Lentils are chock full of fiber, protein, iron, and folate. Fiber fills us up and assists with bowel movements. Pregnant women need 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. One cup of cooked green lentils provides 18 grams of fiber. Make a lentil soup with vegetables to get a fiber-filled meal in one pot. The photo featured is from E. A. Stewart and her recipe: Quick & Easy Lentil Feta Bruschetta.
Salmon: Salmon contains DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which is crucial for baby’s brain development and vision. Pregnant women need 650 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids, of which 300 mg should be DHA. It’s safe to eat salmon when pregnant as it’s low in mercury. Seafood recommendations include consuming up to 12 ounces of fish per week during pregnancy. Canned salmon is an easy-prep option to add to a salad, sandwich, pasta, or egg dish. Fuel your brain right.
Edamame: Edamame is a plant-based protein source. Just one cup of cooked edamame contains 18.5 grams of protein. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues and building bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Add edamame to a salad or pasta. Eat it as a snack with a piece of fruit.
Sardines: Sardines are chock-full of iron, protein, omega-3s, vitamin D, and choline. Pregnant women need 27 mg per day of iron. Iron is essential for proper formation of the baby’s brain and nervous system and it delivers oxygen to blood cells. One can of sardines (3.75 ounces) provides 2.7 mg of iron. In addition, pairing iron with vitamin C optimizes its absorption. Squirt some lemon juice over sardines and enjoy with crackers.
Berries: Berries have vitamin C and fiber. Vitamin C bolsters immunity, aids in iron absorption, and helps blood cells, bones, and teeth stay healthy. Pregnant women need 85 mg per day of vitamin C. One cup of strawberries provides 89 mg! All your daily needs in just one cup. Add a medley of berries to yogurt for a delicious snack or make a Triple Berry Smoothie.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A and beta carotene which help in the healthy formation of the baby’s brain, muscles, bones, and blood, and are important for immunity and vision. Pregnant women need 770 mcg per day of vitamin A. Just ½ a cup of sweet potatoes provide 15,740 mcg. Make a Sweet Potato Bruschetta for a snack or side dish.
Fortified Cereal: Fortified cereal contains folate. Folate ensures proper formation of the baby’s spinal column and brain and aids in the production of new blood cells. Pregnant women need 600 mcg of folate daily. Just ¾ cup of fortified cereal can give you up to 400 mcg of folic acid. Enjoy the cereal with a cup of milk and a cup of berries for a well-balanced breakfast.
Eggs: Eggs are a superfood containing choline and protein. Choline is essential for brain health and the development of the central nervous system. One large egg provides about 112 mg of choline and pregnant women need 450 mg daily. Try this Smoked Salmon and Spinach Quiche for a superfood Sunday brunch. You’ll have leftovers to eat during the week.
Yogurt: Yogurt has calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Calcium and vitamin D are fantastic for bone and teeth health. Calcium helps prevent blood clots. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. One cup of yogurt provides 13 grams of protein and 488 mg of calcium. Pregnant women need 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Spread this Avocado Yogurt Sauce on a sandwich or serve with tacos. This photo is courtesy of Vitamix.
Leafy Green Vegetables: Leafy green vegetables contain folate, calcium, iron, and fiber. All incredible benefits for baby. There are so many different ways to eat your greens, too. Add them to a smoothie, enjoy as a salad, stir them into soups or pasta dishes, make a pesto, or include in a sandwich or wrap. This photo is courtesy of Vitamix.
Quick Tip: Incorporate these foods into your weekly routine to get a well-balanced, nutrient-packed, healthy meal plan for you and your baby.
Thank you, Vitamix, for sponsoring this post!
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN
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