No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, you’re bound to know someone who’s carrying a little bundle of joy. Or perhaps you’re thinking of starting or adding to your own family sometime in the future. One of the most critical aspects of pregnancy is healthy, clean food choices. Find out some of the top choices for pregnancy and share these tasty tips with a mom-to-be in your life.
Food No-No’s During Pregnancy
Before we dive into the best foods for a healthy mom and baby, let’s run through the stuff to skip:
- Cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, avoid soft cheeses
- Certain kinds of fish, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and golden or white snapper
- Raw dough, batter
- Raw or undercooked fish (all sushi)
- Raw shellfish (oysters, clams, etc.)
- Unpasteurized juice, cider or milk
- Salads from the supermarket deli
- Raw or undercooked sprouts
There are more foods to be cautious with as well; visit www.foodsafety.gov and search for “Checklist of Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy.”
Foods to Enjoy!
Now the fun part, check out some of these pregnancy superfoods:
Seed and insect-fed eggs. This one tops our list because we’re big advocates of increasing vitamin D intake—and organic egg yolks are one of the best food-based sources for this critical element of nutrition. Considering that a whopping 80 percent of pregnant women in the United States are vitamin D deficient—eggs should top your list, too.
That’s not all; egg yolks are also a fantastic source of choline which aids the development of the baby’s brain—and offers the mother a brain boost, too. Also, new research recently published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism points to a link between a mother’s vitamin D intake and increased muscle strength in her child. Look for another post on the benefits of eggs during pregnancy in the future.
Omega-rich foods. Almonds, walnuts and coconut oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids—which are critical for you and your baby. These foods assist your baby’s development in big ways, aiding the nervous system, brain, eyes and cardiac and respiratory systems.
Broccoli. Foods rich in folate and calcium are important for pregnancy—and broccoli offers you a boost of both. Sufficient levels of folate are important in the first trimester as it helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. You’ll also find fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C in this popular veggie.
Leafy greens. Pile up your salad plates with greens like spinach, kale and turnip greens, Mamas! Spinach provides folate and iron; kale and turnip greens deliver some much-needed calcium. Tip: Opt for dark-leafed lettuces—these deeper colors indicate higher nutritional levels.
Red Peppers. These mild, but tasty peppers are an incredible source of vitamin C—a critical component of pregnancy nutrition which aides your body in the growth and repair of tissues. Red peppers contain twice the amount of vit C compared to green peppers—and three times the amount in an orange.
Always choose organic, be sure to properly wash all fruits and veggies, and cook eggs and meats thoroughly. And don’t forget to ask your chiropractor about the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy.