The Top Foods for Pregnancy

Are you worried that you are not eating well enough and finding it difficult to make head or tail of all the information available out there?

We do know what it’s like, so we sought the details for you! Dreaming of Baby has asked nutritionists to share insight on the best foods for pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know about pregnancy nutrition, straight from the experts.

What should I be eating in pregnancy, and why?

“If you are eating a healthy diet before pregnancy, you won’t have to change the diet drastically once you are pregnant.” This is what Karen Wright, Certified Nutrition Specialist and practitioner at Metro Integrative Pharmacy in New York City had to share on food choices and the rationale behind the choice:

Food Benefit
Wild salmon ·       Good source of protein·       High omega-3 fatty acids

·       Contains DHA and EPA

·       Farmed salmon has lower concentrations of vital nutrients

·       Contains Vitamin A and D, iodine

Dark leafy greens ·       Source of calcium, magnesium, folate, iron, potassium, vitamins C, K and A·       Rich in fiber
Bone or fish broth ·       Rich in minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus·       High in protein

·       Essential fatty acids

Legumes ·       Source of iron, especially black and navy beans·       Source of protein, folate and calcium

·       Rich in fiber

Eggs ·       Source of protein, good fat, vitamin, minerals, and amino acids·       Rich in choline which is required for brain development
Quinoa ·       Complete protein with all essential amino acids·       Source of iron and magnesium

·       Dietary fiber

·       Whole grain

Rainbow mix of fruits and vegetables ·       High vitamins, minerals and antioxidants·       High dietary fiber

·       Source of vitamin A, especially yellow and orange vegetables.

·       Variety of phytonutrients

Nuts and seeds ·       Source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamin E·       Source of calcium, especially sesame seeds, chia seeds and almonds

·       Source of iron, especially pumpkin seeds, cashews and sunflower seeds

Lean sources grass-fed animal protein ·       Good source of protein·       Contain iron, vitamin A

Resources: Brown, J. (2014). Nutrition through the life cycle, 5th ed. Table compiled by Karen Wright, CNS.

Karen Wright is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and practitioner at Metro Integrative Pharmacy in New York City.

The top 5 foods in pregnancy

Mallory Franklin, PhD, RDN, LD from Nutrimedy has also shared with us the top five foods that you should be getting into your diet during pregnancy:

  1. Salmon

Mallory Franklin, PhD, RDN, LD: “Fish is a rich source of essential Omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA. These fats are important for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Salmon is full of these powerful Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, eating 3 ounces of salmon provides all the Omega-3s you need for the day. You can also try arctic char, trout, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines for your Omega-3 needs during pregnancy.”

  1. Spinach

Mallory Franklin, PhD, RDN, LD: “This nutrient-packed green leaf provides many essential micronutrients imperative to a healthy pregnancy including calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and copper. Not a spinach fan? No problem! Try kale, swiss chard, collard greens, or broccoli for the similar nutritional benefits for you and your baby.

  1. Beans

Mallory Franklin, PhD, RDN, LD: “Protein needs during pregnancy increase to help support the development of your growing baby. By adding more beans to your diet you are more likely to meet those protein needs not to mention get some fiber, calcium, and iron as an added bonus. Try adding garbanzo beans, lentils, or soybeans to salads, stir-fries, and other dishes for an added chew and a more nutritious meal.”

  1. Oatmeal

Mallory Franklin, PhD, RDN, LD: “Whole grains are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, and B-vitamins. Oatmeal is a great substitution for common breakfast cereals that are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates. Serve oatmeal with scrambled eggs, diced tomato, and avocado for a new savory variation of this classic breakfast food. Incorporating other whole grains in your diet, such as farro, quinoa, whole wheat bread, and sweet potatoes is a great way to get healthy satisfying carbohydrates that are packed with additional nutrients.”

  1. Water

Mallory Franklin, PhD, RDN, LD: “Staying hydrated during pregnancy is very important. Water helps cushion your baby, develop the placenta, and control your body temperature. Pregnant women should get between 8-10 glasses of water per day, which is 64-80 ounces.”

Mallory Franklin is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Nutrimedy and holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nutrition.

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