15 Pregnancy Superfoods List of foods for Optimal Development

15 Pregnancy Power Foods (Superfoods)

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are packed with iron, magnesium, and other trace minerals. They are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are often deficient in the diet.

  • Omega 3s are necessary for fetal brain and eye development.
  • Pumpkin seeds are excellent as a snack on their own or as a crunchy topping for roasted squash soup.

Blackstrap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is a power food for pregnant women needing extra iron and calcium in their diet. It is also high in magnesium and other trace minerals.

  • Molasses has a rich, sweet taste and can be used as an alternative to honey or sugar in herbal tea or baked goods.
  • It has a lower glycemic index than honey or sugar, making it a good choice to keep blood sugar stable and manage gestational diabetes.

Hummus

Hummus is a tasty spread made from garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, and olive oil. It is high in protein and low in fat.

  • Adding hummus to higher glycemic load foods like bread or crackers lowers the impact of the total meal on blood sugar, making it useful for managing gestational diabetes.

Eggs

There are many options for eggs in the grocery store, but it is a myth that brown eggs are more nutritious. Eggs from pasture-fed chickens have more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. They are important for fetal development.

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How we cook eggs is more important than their cholesterol content:

  • Frying or scrambling eggs glycosylates the proteins and oxidizes the cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease.
  • Poaching or hard boiling eggs protects their maximal nutritional value.

For more information on advanced glycation end products (AGE) and the content of certain foods, refer to this table from The Journal of American Dietetic Association (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/table/T1/).

Lentils

Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, iron, folate, and other healthy trace minerals and B vitamins. There are several types of lentils, each suitable for different recipes.

Avocados

Avocados are a pregnancy power food rich in monounsaturated and plant-based saturated fats. They provide nearly a third of the required daily intake of folate and are high in carnitine and potassium.

Hemp protein powder

Hemp protein powder is an excellent source of omega-3 fats, complete amino acids, and zinc, iron, and magnesium. It can be used as a quick and easy meal replacement or in smoothies.

Almond butter

Almond butter is a delicious high-protein power food that is rich in vitamin E, B vitamins, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It can be used as an alternative to peanut butter.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a pregnancy power food high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. It also contains good amounts of zinc and magnesium. Slow cooking steel cut oats or making your own low-sugar instant oatmeal are ideal options.

Edamame

Edamame, or boiled soybeans, is an excellent source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, zinc, copper, magnesium, and iron. They can be enjoyed as a snack or added to meals.

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Peas

Peas are a great choice for pregnant women as they are an excellent source of plant-based protein, calcium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C. They can be enjoyed as a snack or added to meals.

Spinach

Spinach provides maximum micronutrient density per calorie. It is rich in vitamin A, K, iron, magnesium, and calcium. It can be enjoyed raw in salads or steamed.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, making it a pregnancy-power food. It is also a source of probiotics or healthy bacteria, which benefit both the mother and the baby.

Figs

Figs are a good source of fiber, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. They can be enjoyed fresh or dried, on their own or added to salads.

Sardines

Sardines are a superfood rich in vitamin D, B-12, calcium, selenium, protein, and omega-3 fats. They have less mercury and other toxins compared to larger fish, making them a good choice for pregnant women.

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VandeVusse, L. et al. “Perinatal outcomes of prenatal probiotic and prebiotic administration: an integrative review.” J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2013 Oct-Dec;27(4):288-301; quiz E1-2. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3182a1e15d. Review. PubMed PMID: 24164813.

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