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Top 17 Pregnancy Superfoods 

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Grilled chicken with vegetables and lime
Image by Wow Phochiangrak from Pixabay

Pregnancy can trigger weird cravings and new eating habits, but it’s crucial to ensure you eat pregnancy superfoods. 

According to a study conducted by NCBI, about 50-90% of pregnant women in the United States get cravings during pregnancy. 

While you might be worried about your unusual trend of craving things you hated before pregnancy, you need to understand this phenomenon is normal. 

In this article, I compiled a comprehensive list of pregnancy superfoods for a healthy pregnancy. Let’s jump to the top 19 pregnancy superfoods without further ado.

1. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Image by Rob Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

There’s a reason why vegetables took the first slot, and you probably saw it coming. Eating more kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and broccoli would be best during pregnancy. 

The nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables help develop the baby’s spinal cord and brain. If you don’t love vegetables, it’s time you force yourself to have loads of them. 

2. Oranges

Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, folic, and folate. Eating an orange or two a day also helps you stay hydrated.

The good thing is that oranges are tasty; thus, it is easy even to eat four a day. Apart from being a great source of vitamins, oranges aid in iron absorption and are also excellent antioxidants.

3. Eggs

Eggs in a tray
Image by Monika from Pixabay

Eggs are a great source of protein. It’s easy to love eggs, depending on how you prepare them. If you don’t like boiled eggs, you can fix an omelette quickly and add a couple of proteins to your body.

Apart from being a great source of protein, eggs also carry amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids necessary for your unborn baby’s development

4. Dairy Products

Milk and cheese
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Dairy products are packed with protein and calcium essential for you and your growing unborn child. You need to add milk, yoghurt, and cheese to your diet for a healthy pregnancy.

Yoghurt, especially greek yoghurt, has a high level of calcium. Yoghurt also plays a vital role in digestion. And although dairy products are highly recommended, you might be lactose intolerant.

Therefore, you might need to consult your doctor before taking some dairy products.

5. Salmon

Image by Rob Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

You might have had anxiety whenever you crave seafood because you believe it contains a high mercury level. I’m not refuting this statement.

Several types of fish contain a huge amount of mercury, like shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and marlin, among other varieties. However, you need to include grilled teriyaki or even a whole bagel in your diet.

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, ideal for your unborn child’s eye and brain development.

6. Meat

Roasted beef
Image by Rob Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

Some strips of beef occasionally can play a huge role in your baby’s cognitive development. If you’re a meat lover like me, you won’t have to struggle to add meat to your diet.

Beef is a good source of protein and is also rich in zinc, iron, B12, B6 and niacin. Remember to ensure that your meat is well cooked and has no trace of blood or pinkish colour.

You want to add some protein to your system but ensure it’s safe for you and your unborn baby.

7. Legumes

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Legumes consist of a wide variety of lentils, beans and peas. Eating legumes add healthy plant-based protein to your body and your child. Beans, peas, lentils and peanuts are rich in protein, fibre, calcium, folate, and iron.

These nutrients are crucial to our bodies, especially when pregnant. The good thing is there are loads of recipes to prepare different legumes for a sumptuous meal.

8. Whole grains

Whole grains like brown rice, wheat, quinoa, barley, and wheat berries carry a lot of nutritional benefits, unlike refined grains. Eating whole grains promotes the absorption of fibre and vitamins.

Try your best to avoid refined grains like pasta and even white bread. Whole grains also contain a good amount of carbohydrates, essential during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.

9. Asparagus 

Image by Petra from Pixabay

Asparagus is another incredible superfood with more folate than other vegetables. There are many ways to take asparagus.

If you don’t like it fresh, you can go for frozen or canned asparagus. There are many recipes to help you enjoy asparagus, like an asparagus potato skillet.

10. Avocado

Sliced avocado on a plate
Image by silverstylus from Pixabay

Apart from the health benefits of this creamy fruit, it does help reduce morning sickness. Packed with folate and vitamin B6d, an avocado daily boosts your baby’s brain development.

Although the fruit is creamy, the fats in avocados are healthy and boost the absorption of vitamins found in vegetables and fruits.

If you don’t like it plain, you can try seasoned guacamole in scrambled eggs, salads or other simple recipes.

11. Nuts

Macadamia Nuts
Image by Wow Phochiangrak from Pixabay

There are many types of nuts. We have coconuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, cashew nuts and many more. Nuts are essential during your pregnancy journey because they are nutrient-packed kind of fruits.

Having a handful of nuts daily guarantees you a good supply of proteins, fibre, and healthy fats essential for you and your unborn child.

Nuts also make you fuller for a long time. If you feel your eating habits are becoming dangerous, you might need to eat nuts to stay fuller for longer.

12. Tofu

Tofu in a baking pan and vegetables besides it.
Image by hanul choi from Pixabay

Tofu is another healthy food during pregnancy, but you must take it in moderation. Ensure that the tofu is stored correctly and well-cooked before eating.

Ensure you’re eating other healthy meals, too, so you don’t overdo tofu. Although tofu is a healthy food, it can be high-risk when stored at room temperature.

13. Berries

Although they look small, berries carry loads of benefits from water, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and carbs. The good thing is they also don’t have loads of sugar levels, so you don’t have to worry about your blood sugar levels.

If you’re still battling nausea, berries can help reduce stress because they have a great flavour. You can make berries your regular snack because they provide superior nutritional value.

There are many berries varieties to eat during pregnancy: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and acai berries.

14. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes
Image by Achim Thiemermann from Pixabay

Sweet potatoes are also categorised as superfoods, thanks to their high level of vitamins. Besides the vitamins and nutrients, sweet potatoes also provide the energy you need to carry out your day-to-day activities.

If you’re having morning sickness, sweet potatoes might help you reduce their frequencies. We all love eating foods we know will boost our unborn babies’ development, and sweet potatoes happen to back great nutrients.

You can try fried sweet potatoes, boil them, or even bake them. There are no limits to making a delicacy with sweet potatoes.

15. Dried Fruits

Died fruits in a basket
Image by Андрей from Pixabay

The difference between fresh fruits and dried fruits is that dried fruits seem smaller, and they come with less water quantity. However, like fresh fruits, dried fruits still carry a fantastic amount of nutrients.

With just a single serving of dried fruits, you get vitamins, minerals, folate, potassium and iron. Dried fruits like dates ease constipation and a high in fibre, iron, and potassium.

Prunes are also great dried fruits and have high fibre content, potassium, iron and Vitamin K. With all the pros, there are also cons of taking loads of dried fruits.

First, dried fruits have high sugar content, and they also have more calories. Although they are not entirely harmful, consuming more than a serving at a time can hike your blood sugar levels.

16. Mangoes

A cup of mangoes gives you the recommended amount of vitamin A. This vitamin A is essential for the development of your child, and it also prevents several birth defects.

Although the fruit is tasty, and you can go overboard and eat more than enough, it is recommended to eat this sweet fruit in moderation.

17. Carrots

Fresh carrots
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Carrots come last on the list, but there are more superfoods you can find beyond this list. There are two ways to eat carrots; raw or cooked. The good thing is you will get all the minerals and vitamins in carrots when cooked and even raw.

Eating carrots has several benefits, and the most common one is better eyesight and boosts immunity. Eating carrots boost child development and also prevents anaemia. If you have constipation issues, having one or two carrots can relieve you.

As a pregnant woman, you might feel worried that you’re not eating enough superfoods to boost your child’s development. A poor diet can bring about serious health problems to you and even contribute to birth defects. For a healthy pregnancy, ensure that you combine all these pregnancy superfoods and drink lots of water.

Gloriah Mnyaki
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