During pregnancy, your body requires more nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, and iron. As a mom of three and author of Real Moms Love to Eat, nutrition expert Beth Aldrich knows what it feels like to be pregnant and how eating the right foods can make pregnancy all the more enjoyable. She highlights these five foods as being packed with multiple benefits for both you and your baby:
Beth says:It’s loaded with nutrients and benefits for pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. Spinach provides vitamins C and E, which may help reduce the risk of eclampsia and contain high levels of folate, calcium, and iron.
Beth says: Almonds and walnuts are great for preggo moms and are yummy too! Almonds are stocked full of antioxidants and calcium is needed for your growing baby. If you don’t consume enough calcium (1000 to 1300 mg) to meet the needs of both, your body will take the calcium from your bones and give it to the baby. This can cause you a loss of bone density and put you at risk for osteoporosis. Nuts also contain folate and unsaturated fat that is critical to the development of your baby’s brain.
Beth says:They are loaded with potassium and help fight pregnancy fatigue by giving quick energy. Did you know they may even help nausea? We all know this can occur when women are pregnant! Bananas stimulate the production of mucus from the stomach lining and creates a barrier between the stomach lining and the acidic gastric substances that cause heartburn and stomach upset- thus relieving an upset tummy.
Beth says:They are rich in fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, Vitamin E, iron, and Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6. Your growing baby needs these for just about every part of their little body! These foods supply energy for your baby’s development and help build the placenta. Fiber rich bread can help you meet the recommended amount during pregnancy—28 grams a day, which helps prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Products labeled “refined” or “enriched” aren’t as beneficial to you or your baby. Don’t like the taste of whole grains? Dash some wheat germ in your meals as you prepare them—you won’t even know it’s there.
Beth says:Mix in some raisins, apricots, cherries, and cranberries into your trail mix as these fruits are high in iron. Cranberries are also helpful in preventing urinary tract infections that can occur during pregnancy.
Beth Aldrich is a Healthy Lifestyle and Nutrition Expert and author of the new book, Real Moms Love to Eat: How to have a love affair with food, lose weigh and feel fabulous. (Penguin Publishing, Jan. 2012.) She is a mom of 3, a health and nutrition wiz, and has studied under holistic nutrition experts such as Dr. Oz, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and David Wolfe.