During pregnancy, women need to eat more healthy and nutrient rich foods. This is especially important when they are in the second trimester. During this time, they require at least 300 additional calories from their daily meals. This can be achieved by eating pregnancy superfoods that are also referred to as power foods. These foods are rich in most micronutrients that are required for the growth of the baby. These foods ensure that there is enough level of calorie intake and micronutrients. They include avocados, peas, Greek yogurt, edamame, figs and hemp protein powder.
6 Categories of Pregnancy Superfoods
It is rich in potassium that enhances fluid balance and helps in regulating the blood pressure. The rich contents of fibre, folate, calcium, carotenoids and luten are vital in maintaining a healthy vision. All these are raw materials necessary for the production of vitamin A. You can take in broccoli that is fried or steamed. It can also be coated with olive oil and then roasted. It can also be pasta and added to soups.
Sweet potatoes are considered as pregnancy super foods as they give large quantities of potassium to the body. They also contain vitamin C and high amounts of fibre, folate and carotenoids that are converted to vitamin A. Sweet potatoes can be boiled or roasted and then mashed while adding orange juice. This is taken alongside other dishes. Big chunks of roasted sweet potatoes can be covered with sunflower oil and then dried by roasting them again.
Spinach and fenugreek
These are superfoods for pregnancy because they are rich in folic acid and also help pregnant women to minimize risks of preeclampsia and preterm labor. Folic acid helps prevent many birth disorders like congenital disorders that are caused by the failure of the neutral embryonic tube. Folic acid is also a major requirement by the unborn for the development of the brain. Leafy vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals that are very vital to pregnant women.
Cabbage or spring greens
These should only be steamed lightly to avoid destroying the nutrients and vitamins. They are highly rich in potassium, vitamins C, E and A. They also have folic acids and iron. Just a portion of your meal is enough for your daily requirements.
Bananas contain a lot of starches and thus boost the mother’s energy. They are heavily endowed with a lot of potassium. They assist in fluid retention thus enhancing healthy fluid balance. Tryptophan contained in bananas help pregnant mothers to catch essential sleep.
They contain beta-carotene, potassium and folic acid. Strawberries are super rich in vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining a healthy skin and increasing immunity. Strawberries can also be taken after an iron-rich meal as vitamin C also enhances absorption of iron.
Avocado can be taken by adding to sandwiches and salads or taken with other grain foods. It is rich in monounsaturated fats that are essential for brain and skin health.
Berries contain phytonutrients that are believed to protect cell damage. Berries are also rich in vitamin C, which boosts immunity and potassium. Berries can be taken as a whole grain desert or in drinks and beverages.
Orange juice (fortified)
Orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D equals to milk in terms of nutrients level. It supplies large doses of potassium, folate and vitamin C to the body.
3. Milk and Dairy Products
Cheese ( pasteurized)
Cheese is rich in magnesium, phosphorous and calcium that are essential for bones of both the unborn and the mother. It is super rich in proteins and vitamin B12. Cheese is mostly taken in salads and sandwiches. But please note that only pasteurized cheese is considered safe for pregnant women.
The amino acid that is greatly needed by the unborn can be found in eggs. Eggs are also very rich in vitamins, minerals like lutein and choline. Omega-fats may also be present in eggs and is essential for brain development in the unborn. Eggs can be taken as snacks and in sandwiches. Eggs are one of the superfoods for pregnancy.
Nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous required by the mother to maintain the bones are present in milk. Milk also provides vitamins B and A. it is thus considered as one of the most nutritious pregnancy super food.
Natural yoghurt is particularly the best for pregnant mothers. It contains higher levels of calcium than milk. It also contains vitamin B, zinc and proteins. Yoghurt can be taken plain or be added to fruit juices.
4. Nuts and Whole Grains
They are mostly important when the mother feels weak and needs some energy boost. They can be taken with milk. Cereals contain folic acid and vitamins.
As the name suggests, it is almost like a complete meal as it contains many nutrients. It is important when the mother wants to add some carbohydrates in the body. The bread is also rich in vitamin B, folic acid, calcium and iron. Of all the pregnancy superfoods, whole meal bread contains the most nutrients.
These are crucial pregnancy super foods. They are rich in vitamins, calcium, folic acids, potassium, iron, magnesium and omega-3.
They are the richest plant source of omega-3. Walnuts are believed to be an excellent source of fiber and proteins. It is a good meal when under the scorching sun. They are not that helpful but are necessary for both the unborn and the mother.
It is important for pregnant mothers to take at least a handful every day. They add irons to the body and are also very rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium and folic acid. They also prevent the bowel from getting sluggish as the pregnancy grows.
5. Fish and Meat
Tuna should not be taken in excess as it may contain mercury that is not fit for the unborn. It is, however, important as it rich in minerals like antioxidant and selenium that protects the body from cancer.
Pregnant mothers are believed to have really bad moods at times. Salmon contains omega-3 that helps them keep a good mood. It is very vital for the development of the unborn. It is also endowed with quality proteins. Salmon contains very little of methyl mercury that is unfit for the child.
It contains zinc and iron in forms that are easily absorbed into the body. Ramp steak is known for its high levels of niacin, protein and vitamins B6 and B12. It also contains choline that is very essential for brain development and enhancement of cognitive powers.
It is highly endowed with zinc, choline, niacin, vitamin Band B6 and iron.
6. Pulses and Legumes
It is an excellent salad. It contains very high levels of calcium, iron, folic acid, manganese and vitamins A and K.
Sometimes pregnant mothers will get hunger pangs very often. Lentils are a good remedy to this. They also contain fibers that are good for easing digestion thus reducing constipation that is a major problem for pregnant women. Lentils also give large quantities of amino acids, calcium and folate to the body. They are also very easy to prepare. Lentil is thus one of the vital pregnancy superfoods.