nutrition

The Top 12 Pregnancy Superfoods

People often tell me: “Now you are eating for two!” That’s true, but I have been learning in the past  6 months that “eating for two” does not mean that I should eat two times more, even though sometimes I am more hungry than I ever been in my life. But more than the quantity, I have been focusing on the quality of each bite. The thought that everything that I am eating is not just feeding my own needs but specially nourishing the little person growing and developing by the second inside of me, makes me two times more mindful on what I am choosing to eat. 

In “The Healthy Pregnancy Book” by Dr William Sears, MD, and Martha Sears, RN, wrote about the top 12 pregnancy superfoods: seafood, raw nuts, greens, avocados, eggs, yogurt, blueberries, beans and lentils, grounded flax seeds, olive oil, tofu, and oatmeal.

Why are they superfoods? Because they are:
  • nutrient-dense, providing more nourishment per calorie;
  • filling without being fattening;
  • rich in the nutrients that both mother and baby need most;
  • friendly to queasy stomachs;
  • versatile and tasty;
  • able to boost the immune system;
  • free of harmful additives.

The best way I found to include those 12 superfoods, is to have them available on my pantry and refrigerator all the time. I am not a great chef, actually I am a bad one, I am just good at preparing really quick and simple foods! So here, I am now sharing my favorite ways to add these superfoods to my baby’s and my diet:

SEAFOOD

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Lately I have been eating the canned Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon. The fresh one is the best, but I can’t buy fresh wild salmon every week, so the canned has been my best option, no added ingredients and full of Omega-3 fats.

Benefits:

Omega-3 DHA/EPA is to the brain what calcium is to the bone for mom and baby. The right amount of Omega-3 intake helps moms decrease the chances of suffering pre and postpartum depression.

Where I buy:

Costco (Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon)

How I eat:

I mix salmon with greek yogurt, mustard, turmeric, and pepper and eat with my salad or spread on my whole wheat bread for a yummy sandwich.


RAW NUTS


There are so many options for raw nuts, mixing them all are the best. I add some extra chocolate chips to add the vitamin Y for “yummy”

Benefits:

Nuts are rich in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, calcium and many other vitamins and minerals that mommy and baby need.

Where I buy:

Any natural food store (bulky items has a lot of options)

How I eat:

I buy a little bit of each nut and mix them all together.


GREENS & OLIVE OIL


My first trimester I couldn’t eat or even look at salads, so I just drank tons of green juices. But luckily my aversion for salad didn’t last long. The past 3 months I have been eating a big salad at least one time per day.

Greens benefits:

Greens are a great source of vitamins, minerals, especially folate, the “brain-vitality vitamin”

Olive Oil Benefits:

90% of the fats in olive oil are healthy monounsaturated fat, which is heart-healthy and cholesterol-lowering.

Where I buy:

Farmers Market, by far the most fresh and tasty greens that I can find. Costco for Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How I eat:

Mix the greens with any other raw vegetables and I use lemon, olive oil and salt as a dressing.


AVOCADOS


Avocados can be a yummy and easy afternoon snack.

Benefits:

They are the most nutrient-dense fruit, rich in vitamins A, B, and E, folic acid, and healthy fats, in addition to the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin.

Where I buy:

Farmers market or any grocery store. Or just pick them from your backyard tree, if you are so lucky!

How I eat:

Cut avocado in little pieces and add lemon juice and honey on top!


EGGS


The easiest way for me to eat protein, since I am not a huge fan of meats.

Benefits:

Eggs contain choline, a valuable brain-building nutrient, and egg yolks contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help build healthy vision.

Where I buy:

Costco – Organic Eggs

How I eat:

Boiled with himalaya salt on top.


YOGURT & BLUEBERRIES & FLAXSEEDS

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My favorite breakfast! I prepare a “parfait” almost every single morning. So healthy and so delicious!

Yogurt benefits:

Yogurt is packed with two of the top nutrients pregnant mother need, protein and calcium, and is also rich in probiotics, which are good for the gut.

Blueberries benefits:

Blueberry skin is full of the flavonoid anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that protects tissues, especially the brain from damage and inflammation.

Flaxseeds benefits:

two tablespoons of this superseded contains 4 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber, and is a rich source of healthy fats. Ground flaxseeds provide more health benefits than flaxseed oil.

Where I buy:

Costco – Greek Yogurt, Frozen Organic Blue berries. For Flaxseeds any Natural Food Store.

How I eat:

Mix yogurt with coconut oil and honey and topped with flaxseeds, chia seeds, granola, and frozen blueberry.


BEANS & LENTILS


Thanks to my sweet angel mother, I eat fresh back beans at least once a week!

Benefits:

Beans and lentis are high in B vitamins, protein, fiber, folic acid, calcium and iron.

Where I buy:

Costco – Organic Black Beans

How I eat:

My mom usually cooks a huge pot in advance and freeze in little bags, and once a week she prepares the beans with onions, garlic, salt and turmeric.


TOFU


I grow up in a Japanese family were tofu was literally eveyrwhere, foods, deserts, and even drinks. And guess what? I love it in everything.

Benefits:

It is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals.

Where I buy:

Costco – Organic Firm Tofu

How I eat:

cut in small square, and dip in bragg and wasabi.


OATMEAL

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During college I ate oatmeal almost every morning, not because it was healthy, but because it was very cheap and made me full all day. Luckily it was a healthy option as well.

Benefits:

Oatmeal has a special fiber called beta-glucans that is gut-friendly because steadies the absorption of carbs and and blood sugar swings. It is also rich in protein, fiber, iron, zinc, vitamin E and B.

Where I buy:

Any Natural Food Store (bulk items)

How I eat:

cooked slowly with coconut milk and water then topped with raw nuts, coconut flakes, and honey.

Those 12 super pregnancy foods are great for anyone not just for moms-to-be!
Click here to download a free card with an average amount of nutrients that baby & pregnant women should eat everyday for a healthy pregnancy.

photos by: Mike Vidales

some dreams are worth sharing…
Mariane

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