// The top 10 pregnancy superfoods //
Ever since finding out about my pregnancy, I have been trying to eat as healthy as possible. Some of you may know that I changed my diet a while ago and have stuck to eating very little sugars, milk and wheat, instead opting for more healthy variations and options of food that is available out there.
This did not change when I fell pregnant, instead, it made me want to eat even more of the good stuff. You will see me coming home from shopping with a whole basket full of goodness. By that I mean fresh produce, plenty of vegetables, salad and fruit. I really dig into the vitamins making yummy acai bowls for breakfast (not too often though as too much vitamin a is not recommended during pregnancy) and using berries as a topping for my sugar and dairy free breakfast or the healthy very berry porridge. I don’t know if it’s pure luck or if this healthy lifestyle prevents from it, but: I never crave refined sugar anymore! Isn’t that the way to go, especially in your pregnancy? While a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner and not just good for oneself but the baby too, here are my very personal top 10 pregnancy superfoods I call my favourites:
Ever since I was a little girl, we used to have dates at home. Generally around Christmas time, dad and I would be really into the sweet little treat that was so special. Nowadays, the health food store and even our little Turkish corner store sell amazing ecological Israeli dates. Yes, they do contain a high amount of glucose and fructose which makes up about 70% of sugar, dates will boost your energy levels. They are very high in protein, minerals and vitamins as well as fibre – ensuring your digestion to work just fine.
Nuts are a one of the richest sources of plant based omega-3, if not the richest! But that’s not all, they are high in protein and fibre and therefore a great source for the baby’s developing nervous system, vision as well as concentration. They are said to help develop memory and cognitive response and therefore benefitting your baby’s brain. Walnuts are said to prevent the baby from developing asthma as well as eczema. Walnuts are good for you because they are said to protect your blood vessels and help prevent post-partum depression! Overall: Digging into those walnuts during pregnancy will only do your good!
Bar from the first trimester, you may still feel sluggish and tired from time to time. This feeling generally is happening due to iron deficiency as your baby now demands a huge intake for itself. That’s where figs come into play. They are a great source of iron as well as an amazing nondairy form of calcium. Other benefits these fruit hold are potassium, phosphorus and magnesium – eating figs and other dried fruit will have you feeling a lot better, more awake and ensure a healthy bowel movement (which you will have probably figured by now, changes during pregnancy).
For some reason I have been craving cherries the past couple of weeks! Doctors say, that when a woman is pregnant, she automatically eats the food, her body desires. And while cherries are packed with vitamins (especially Vitamin C to fight rashes and colds), minerals, proteins, iron and calcium (just to name a few), they are one of the most tasty snack options around. You have had trouble sleeping at night? Then do add cherries to your diet, as they carry melatonin, the hormone which induces sleep.
Good news: If you are craving potatoes during pregnancy, no need to worry. They are packed with nutrients and so very good for you! They keep you full for a long time and are a rich source of iron, calcium and potassium – all benefitting the maximum development of your unborn. If just potatoes are way too boring for you, try making some mash, adding fresh basil, a little bit of milk and seasoning.
Fish aka the greatest source of Omega-3 fatty acids is an absolute must during pregnancy. Sure, if you simply don’t like fish, there are supplements you can take (just ask your doctor). But if you don’t have a problem with seafood, you should opt for fish that is low in mercury and high in omega-3 such as salmon. Experts have found out that the omega-3 fatty acids that are most important to your baby’s early development are DHA and EPA, that both are quite difficult to find in any other food!
Lean meat is high in protein, which keeps your hunger at bay, stabilising your blood sugar levels. It is high in iron, supporting your red blood cells as well as ensuring that your baby builds up enough of them. On top of it all strenghthening the nerve connections within the baby’s brain as well as fighting pregnancy anemia.
Bananas are high in fibre, potassium, vitamin B6 (which, by the way may help with your morning sickness) and vitamin C. All in all this power fruit is the perfect in between snack when you are craving sugar and makes a great topping for mueslis or your daily porridge without being too sweet!
Cereal & Muesli
Cereal and muesli are a great way to kick start your day! They are high in fibre which a) prevents constipation, b) helps in preventing glucose intolerance which may lead to gestational diatbetes, c) helps to reduce the risk of preeclampsia. If you want to be extra healthy, make sure you don’t buy the processed versions that are high in sugar! Instead opt for cereal and muesli from your local health food store or simply mix your very own! It’s sooo easy – promised! And this is how you do it: Buy a packet of oats and mix it up with superfoods such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, almonds and dried fruit. Add some fresh fruit such as blueberries, an apple, a pear or a banana and top with fresh yoghurt, soy- or oatmilk. Or try this MULTI ENERGY OATMEAL AND DATE PORRIDGE.
Made from chickpeas, this dip is high in folic as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, which are absolute musts to include in your diet during pregnancy. Especially if you are not into fish, hummus is one of the ways to add to a healthy and balanced diet. It is also high in calcium, iron and potassium! Some people say hummus should not be eaten during pregnancy. Well, I can ensure you it’s a myth the only thing you have to be careful of is once the hummus packaging has been opened to consume within the next two days. Or if you want to be sure sure, just make your very own hummus.
And if you are in for a special treat, try this acai bowl (but go easy on the acai please as too much of the super fruit isn’t recommended during pregnancy!!!). If you like this article, drop me a comment below. xx Conny.