Not all foods are created equal: we know that for a fact. And while you may have spent your adolescence skipping meals or enjoying a Coke and a Snickers bar for breakfast, once you become pregnant your whole perspective on food and eating shifts. Are you now wondering what are the best foods to eat while pregnant?
Some foods are just nutritionally superior and should be included as a crucial part of your pregnancy and diet. Read on for more information about these dietary superstars:
In addition to being sinfully delicious, avocados pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are loaded with folic acid, which is essential for your baby’s neural and cognitive development. They also contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium, which are all necessary vitamins and minerals for your baby’s health and wellbeing as well as your own.
Avocados are also considered to be an invaluable “healthy fat” source. The fatty acids that avocados contain can help your baby’s nervous system grow and develop properly. It also aids in healthy nervous system function for moms, and can help you feel satiated during and after a meal. That means it can help you curb your tendency to overeat, which can help you keep unwanted extra pounds at bay.
2. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs are a great source of protein, which delivers essential amino acids to your baby as she develops in the womb. All natural whole eggs are also an excellent source for Omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in the proper formation of your baby’s brain and retinas.
As your pregnancy progresses, making sure you get enough protein and fatty acids is critical; in fact, it’s recommended that you have one serving of protein with every meal, including snacks. Eggs are easy to prepare and give you all the protein you need, so they should be a constant presence in your pregnancy diet.
When buying eggs, make sure you buy only all-natural organic eggs-and be sure to eat the yolk. Health food stores, some upscale grocery stores, and farmers’ markets usually carry all-natural eggs. Avoid eggs that are not organic or all-natural, as they have usually been stripped of the Omega-3 fatty acid that makes them such a healthful addition to your diet.
3. Olive Oil
We’ve spoken about healthy fats when discussing the benefits of avocados – so the addition of olive oil to your pregnancy diet should be a no-brainer. This healthy fat source contains the fatty acids your baby needs for proper nervous system development and function. Like avocados, this fat source helps you feel fuller for longer during and after meals, which can help you keep your weight gain in check throughout your pregnancy.
Other fat sources that you can safely add to your diet include organic butter and coconut oil, both of which are excellent when used in cooking. Olive oil makes a perfect dressing for salads. You should aim for including a healthy fat source with every meal, including snacks.
4. Raw Nuts
Like whole eggs, raw nuts provide a critical protein boost and offer the added benefit of being chock full of healthy fat. They’re also much more portable than eggs, making them the perfect snack when you need a serving of protein and fat on the road.
When you buy nuts, make sure to buy them raw. Roasting nuts significantly reduces the levels of healthy fats and strips them of some of the vitamins that they contain naturally. It can also cause nuts to go rancid more quickly. Raw nuts are readily available in bulk at most health food stores.
5. Filtered Water
Water should be your go-to beverage during pregnancy. Not only is it completely free of calories and caffeine, it also helps your body flush away toxins and other impurities. Staying hydrated will also help your baby’s wellbeing in the womb, as avoiding dehydration will help ensure there’s enough amniotic fluid for her needs.
How much water should you be drinking? Experts agree that you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should be drinking 80 ounces of water a day at a minimum.