We so often hear about the foods not to eat when we’re pregnant, but what about ones that we should?
Some days you might have specific cravings, or nausea might be making all food a no-go zone. But it’s important you maintain a healthy, balanced diet as much as possible to give you and your baby the nutrients you both need during this time. Eating well not only helps your baby’s growth and development but will also play a part in your own physical and mental wellbeing, energy and sleep.
Indulge your cravings from time to time and don’t worry if you survive on little more than dry crackers for much of the first trimester. Just get back on track when you can, and if you’re ever worried always speak with your doctor or midwife.
Here are some foods that are packed full of good stuff that you should add to your shopping list to up your nutrient intake. Try and incorporate these into your week-to-week diet as much as you can.
1. Sweet potato
Sweet potato is packed full of magnesium, potassium, calcium, fibre and beta carotene which the body turns into Vitamin A which is essential for your baby’s growth and development.
Unless you yourself are allergic (or your doctor has advised you not to) nuts are safe to eat during pregnancy and are packed full of healthy protein, fats and vitamins and minerals.
3. Lean meat
Your iron requirements double during pregnancy so making sure you are getting plenty in your diet is crucial. Lean meat is a great way of getting it into your diet, pair it with vitamin c-rich foods such as broccoli or tomatoes to up the absorption.
Protein is really important during pregnancy so upping your intake is important and beans and lentils are a great way to do it. They’re also high in fibre which can help keep your bowel movements regular which is important during pregnancy.
Broccoli is a serious power-player! It’s packed full of calcium, folate and vitamin C. Tip: Eating broccoli with iron-rich foods will help up your iron absorption.
Oats are a great source of fibre to help keep you regular and they are also packed full of magnesium which is important for both you and baby.
Eggs are a great source of protein as well as dozens of other vitamins and minerals that are essential for baby’s growth and development. You should steer clear of raw or undercooked eggs (typically found in aioli, mousse or cake batter) due to risks of potentially harmful bacteria.
Calcium is crucial during pregnancy and so getting plenty of it in your diet is important. Greek yoghurt is a great source of both calcium and protein as well as probiotics which are great for your gut.
9. Leafy greens
Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale are high in fibre, carotenoids, and folate, calcium, iron and as well as other vitamins and minerals. Always we sure to wash your greens really well during pregnancy.
Cooked salmon is excellent to eat during pregnancy for omega-3s, protein, minerals, vitamin B12 and iodine. Just make sure you steer clear of raw or undercooked salmon due to potential risks from bacteria.
Don’t feel bad about indulging in foods that you enjoy…
Eating shouldn’t feel stressful or overwhelming especially when you’re feeling nauseous. Of course, you want to do the best for your baby, listen to your body and eat food that makes you feel good and that you enjoy.
As long as you are eating a balanced diet, sneaking in some treats (hello, pregnancy cravings!) is fine and nothing to feel guilty about!