6 Foods To Eat For A Healthy Pregnancy
Growing a healthy baby takes a lot of nutrients, and if you’re not consuming adequate nutrients in your diet this can leave mum feeling depleted, or even at a loss of minerals from her own stores! There are so many foods to consume for a healthy pregnancy, this is why I recommend eating a wide variety of nutrient rich wholefoods, so you give the little human you’re growing the best chance at growth, development and a healthy life. Today I’ve touched on 6 foods that I want to highlight for a healthy pregnancy.
1. Bone Broth – full of vitamins, minerals (especially magnesium and calcium) and amino acids like collagen and glycine. When you’re growing a baby you need to consume adequate minerals so you can grow the skeleton for that little human. If you’re not consuming enough through your diet your body can “borrow” your own minerals from your bones, not ideal! During pregnancy, researchers have found that glycine needs far exceed normal requirements. This means pregnant women absolutely need to consume enough glycine from their diet to help not only the baby develop, but to support the growth of the uterus. Bone broth is also a good source of glutamine, an amino acid that helps with support the get lining.
2. Seaweed – a rich source of iodine. Iodine is lacking in our soil so it’s a mineral many of us lack. Iodine requirements go up 50% during pregnancy. It’s very important for thyroid function, as our thyroid takes a bit of a hit when we are pregnant as it works overtimes. You also want to support your baby’s thyroid development and growth. Grab yourself some seaweed sheets to snack on daily or add a pinch of kelp salt to a meal daily to bump up your iodine intake. Also make sure you’re taking a good quality pre-natal that has sufficient levels of iodine.
3. Avocado – do we need another excuse to eat avocado? This healthy fat is rich in B6 and potassium (two important nutrients for keeping morning sickness at bay). Healthy fats in avocado also help support blood sugar balance, keep you full, satiated and calm. Add ½ an avocado to some eggs in the morning, or alongside a salad or make a guacamole to add on top of seed crackers for a delicious healthy snack.
4. Red meat – high in iron. Iron stores are depleted during pregnancy as our blood volume goes up by 50%! It’s extremely important to make sure you have sufficient iron levels to get you through pregnancy (and support good energy levels), the birth and postpartum recovery. Postpartum iron deficiency and anemia are extremely common and can have downstream effects on things like thyroid function and risk for postpartum depression. Make slow cooked stew and a lamb or beef steak, or a one-pan roasted lamb chop meal part of your regular weekly meal rotations.
5. Kale – every prenatal diet needs leafy greens!! Not only is kale a rich source of folate, it’s also jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. You can add kale into a smoothie, massage it with oil to toss through a salad, add a handful to a stir-fry, soup or casserole, sauté some alongside some eggs for breakfast.
6. Eggs – one of the best food sources of choline (a B vitamin), a nutrient every pregnant women needs to be aware of and consume daily. Did you know choline is equally important as folate for preventing neural tube defects?! Choline intakes at levels more than double our current recommended intake optimize placental function, may reduce the risk of preeclampsia, and improve infant cognitive development and reaction time. Choline also enhances the transport of nutrients across the placenta, including DHA. Eating 3 eggs daily is what I recommend, alongside taking a good quality pre-natal supplement that contains choline. Eggs are also a rich source of other B vitamins, minerals and vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E & K and the brain-building omega-3 fat known a DHA.
Written by Natalie Brady, Auckland Holistic Nutritionist.
Nat is a Registered Clinical Nutritionist & holistic health blogger. She has a Dipolma in Holistic Nutrition from Wellpark College of Natural Therapies and certificate in Qantum Reflex Analysis (Kinesiology).