I have been reading a lot about nutrition during pregnancy and I would love to share some of the good stuff I have embraced and enjoyed during my pregnancy. I have been feeling great. I have not been sick at all, and have not had any heartburn or even any cravings. I attribute part of this to good nutrition, and I feel healthier now than most times in my life. I am sure there is just a good amount of luck in there too and who knows what the next 2 months will bring. I am optimistic and hope to stay feeling well with lots of energy. If your experience is different and you are eating healthy and exercising daily please don’t beat yourself up. Everybody is different as is every pregnancy. All we can do is our best and not be attached to the outcome. I encourage you to listen to your body and talk with your health care provider.
Here are a list of what is called superfoods that have great health benifits, loaded with antioxidants, proteins, nutrients and vitamins. Consult your health care provider before adding the below to your diet.
- Hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids. 3 Tablespoons of Hemp Seeds = 11 grams of protein
- Hemp seeds contain a healthy anti-inflammatory 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fat. In addition, hemp seeds contain an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat called GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA is a direct building block of good anti-inflammatory hormones. This GLA is not found in other foods.
- They are also noted to help increase energy levels, decrease stress and cholesterol levels, fight disease, among many other benefits.
- Hemp provides a rich array of minerals including zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.
- Chia seeds contain all nine essential amino acids and 4.4 g of protein per ounce.
- More than 40 percent of your daily fiber provided by the 11 g of fiber in 1 oz. of chia seeds.
- Chia seeds contain important minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper and manganese
- Soak in water 9:1 ratio or add on cereal, yogurt, smoothies or salads
Dark green leafy veggies:
- Rated the #1 food you can eat regularly to improve health with Kale, Collards, Turnip Green, and Spinach at the top of the list. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A C, and K, has a good amount of calcium for a vegetable, and also supplies folate and potassium.
Good Protein Sources:
You need about 75grams/day when pregnant
- Lean meat
- Grass-fed lean meat
- Fish* (fatty fish, like wild salmon, anchovies, and sardines contain the most brain-boosting fatty acids, but all fish have some. Shrimp, light tuna, and pollock are okay too. Avoid shark, king mackerel, swordfish, tilefish, and albacore due to high mercury) Limit to 2 times a week with 12 ounce servings.
- Eggs* (choose DHA eggs for an omega-3 boost)
- Milk and other dairy products
- Greek yogurt
Vegan options include:
- Vegan sausage like Field roast brand
- Tempe and Miso are soy products that are fermented which helps neutralize the phytic acid in soy, making the nutrients easier for the body to absorb). Soy is recommended during pregnancy, but moderation is key. Two servings a day is fine.
- TVP (texturized vegetable protein; check the label for the protein-to-calorie ratio to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your nutritional buck)
- Peanuts, peanut butter, almond butter and other nuts and seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp hearts
- Chia seeds
- Greek yogurt
- Wheat germ
- Whole-grain baked goods
- Whole grains — an especially high-protein variety is quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)
- Algae, like seaweed (an all-natural plant source of DHA)
Adding B6 to your diet:
And B6 plays an especially big role in the development of the brain and nervous system. Like folic acid, it helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects. You’ll find B6 in prenatal vitamins and also in bananas, avocados, wheat germ, brown rice, bran, soybeans, oatmeal, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, watermelon, and meat.
- Quinoa – This grain is a complete protein with all the amino acids. Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free, and provides iron, calcium, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, copper and fiber. It is easy to cook and has a delicious nutty flavor. Try it in a cold salad or served hot like rice or pasta.
- Amaranth – has an earthy flavor and is naturally gluten-free. The seeds of the amaranth plant are rich in iron, a mineral that helps deliver oxygen to your baby for proper development. Cook like rice or pop it like popcorn!
- Brown rice and spelt are also great.
These are packed with micronutrients! I like the wasabi flavored seaweed snakes! Delicious!
Beans like black beans, kidney beans, lentils, black eyed peas, pinto beans are great sources of protein, iron and fiber and very afforable as well!
Great for helping you stay hydrated. Grapefruit and Blueberries are the highest on the list. I keep a large bowl of fruit on hand!
Fun fatty foods:
You need a good source of fat as well. Go for avocadoes, olive oil, olives, almond butter, walnuts, pecans, etc.!
Go Organic whenever you can.
Avoid meats with hormones.
Stay hydrated!!! I can’t believe how much water I drink and how often I pee. You need more water than usual so don’t get behind. Coconut water has lots of electrolytes and I like adding small amounts of juice to my water such as grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, or a berry blend at about a 10-1 ratio.
Balance each snack by eating protein, fat and carbohydrates together. Here are some healthy snacks for pregnancy!
- apple with almond butter
- fruit with greek yogurt and nuts
- veggies and hummus or other bean dip
- bannana and walnuts
- whole grain cracker with nut butter or cheese
- boiled egg on a rice cake with avocado and tomato, argula is nice here too
- salad with vegan sausage, tuna, egg, pumkin seeds, and/or beans, etc.
- Rice cake with hummus, avocado and tomato
- Cerely with edamame hummus or almond butter
- sardines on rice cake, salad or your favorite whole grain bread or crackers
- Kahi Go Lean cereal, fruit, yogurt, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and almond milk (my favorite breakfast)
Avoid too much sugar – go for natural fruits and limit sugary drinks and desserts. This will help prevent gestational diabetes, gaining too much weight, and the baby getting too big in the third trimester.
Avoid caffeine, replace with red raspberry tea as this help tone the utererus and prepare for childbirth.
I am sure there are a lot more good suggestions. Please feel free to comment and add your own tips!