10 Pregnancy Super Foods (and How to Get Them in an Instant!)
Congratulations! You’re having a baby! And for what is often such an exciting time in one’s life, it can also be fraught with a long list of dos and don’ts. Deciding what to eat shouldn’t be super stressful, even if the notion that everything you eat can affect both you and your growing baby has you pulling your hair out at mealtime. With so many amazing foods to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of 10 delicious and nutritious options to ensure you and baby are getting the nutrients you both need (while indulging in your crazy cravings every now and then).
And if you want to avoid strangers reaching for your belly in the dairy aisle, you can shop for all of your pregnancy super food needs right from the comfort of your own couch with Instacart! Go to their website or download the app and then select your favorite local supermarket (yep, even Whole Foods and Costco!).
They’ve even added a new “List” feature that allows you to shop for pre-made lists (just like this pregnancy super foods one), saving you even more time between realizing you have a hankering for Greek yogurt with honey and actually enjoying it!
Sweet potatoes — With more potassium than a banana and a handful of other nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and iron, sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that our bodies convert to vitamin A, which helps with your baby’s bone, skin, and eye development. Enjoy them baked, mashed, or even alongside a burger as fries.
Greek Yogurt — While any yogurt is a great calcium-rich pregnancy food, which is necessary for healthy bones in both mom and baby, Greek yogurts typically have twice the protein compared with regular yogurt. Just be sure to keep an eye on labels when buying flavored or fruit varieties, as these can often be full of extra sugar.
Popcorn — It’s a whole grain! Whole grains are high in fiber, vitamin E, and phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help to prevent or protect against diseases like cancer, asthma, and heart disease. And while popcorn is probably the most fun whole grain to eat, barley, oats, or millet are also excellent whole grain options.
Avocado — The word’s been out for a while that avocados are full of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats (the good kind) but they also are full of fiber, folic acid, and are high in vitamins C and K. Guacamole, anyone?
Spinach — Dark, leafy greens and veggies like spinach (or kale or swiss chard) are an amazing source of antioxidants and nutrients like fiber, folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. If salads aren’t appealing to you, trying sauteing them with a little olive oil and garlic, or blend them in a smoothie with yogurt and berries.
Beans — Black, navy, pinto–really any bean will do. Beans are a pregnancy food super-combo of protein and fiber; protein will help give you a sustainable energy boost while fiber can help ease any, ahem, gastrointestinal sluggishness due to all those extra hormones.
Lean meats — No surprise that meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein, but be sure to look for antibiotic-free, lean cuts with the fat trimmed off, and know that meats such as beef and pork boast the added bonus of also containing choline. Stay away from deli meat and hot dogs unless they’re heated until steaming hot, as they can contain harmful bacteria that may pass to your baby.
Quinoa — The little seed that could! Often thought of as whole grain, quinoa is actually a seed with a handful of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein that is a perfect addition to the plate of any mom-to-be (especially those who are vegetarian, vegan, or who find the idea of eating meat less-than-appetizing).
Berries — Summertime is berry season so load up on these colorful, delicious morsels that are packed with potassium, folate, and vitamin C. Eat them straight out of the carton or add them to your yogurt, cereal, or even pancakes. And if fresh berries are hard to come by, frozen berries work just as well (just check for those without any added sugar) and work great in smoothies.