When you’re pregnant you can end up craving things regardless of whether they’re healthy or not. Then, there’s the fact you’re eating for two so temptation to snack can be at an all time high. However, cravings and an increase in appetite can do you and your unborn baby good. Of course, as health specialist will say, if you’re hungry, eat, after all it’s all about being in tune with your body but you do need to make sure that you’re eating the right things. Nutritionist and author of “What to eat when you’re pregnant” Henrietta Norton, talks about what the top foods are to eat during pregnancy. This way you and your unborn child are getting the most nutrients and minerals you can.
Your Pregnancy Nutrition Guide: What to eat when you’re pregnant by Henrietta Norton is out now.
- QUINOA Quinoa is an incredibly healthy, easy and filling grain that’s packed full of magnesium and fibre which will help sustain your energy levels and keep you fuller, longer. It also happens to be one of the only plant foods that are a complete protein and contain all pernine essential amino acids. Amino acids cannot be made by the body, so eating this whether it’s in salads or as a pasta or rice replacement is a great way to make sure you and your child are getting the vital amino acids that you need.
- AVOCADO Avocado will provide you with Folate, vitamin B and E. Folate or folic acid helps to ensure your baby’s spine and brain develops correctly. When it comes to B vitamins, avocados contain all of them with the exception of vitamin B12. B vitamins have countless health benefits, from easing digestion to encouraging body development, encouraging red blood cell production to boosting the immune system. Vitamin E’s antioxidant levels help to get rid of free radicals and boost the immune system. The proof’s there, avocado is a superfood for you both. Enjoy it in a smoothie, salad, on toast, in a sandwich or as a dip.
- BROWN RICE Brown rice will provide you both with folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and protein. These nutrients, minerals and proteins are essential for production, repair and function
- PUMPKIN SEEDS Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, magnesium, protein and fibre. As explained previously, these vitamins and nutrients are vital for the health and development of you and your baby. Buy packets of pumpkin seeds to snack on the go or sprinkle over a salad or dish.
- SUNFLOWER SEEDS Much like pumpkin seeds sunflower seeds have a wealth of benefits to offer. You’ll receive a vitamin C, magnesium, protein and fibre boost by incorporating them into your diet. Add to breakfast cereals and porridge, bake in bread or eat with hot and cold dishes.
- ALMONDS Almonds are a versatile nut that can be used in countless sweet and savoury dishes. They’re also great in smoothies and juices as well as incredibly filling. They contain calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, B vitamins, vitamin E, protein and fibre. This makes them one of the best ingredients to get the many vitamins and nutrients you need in one go.
- BRAZIL NUTS Selenium, a mineral naturally found in soil, contains antioxidants which help fight disease and also helps the thyroid to function at a healthy level (perfect if you’re suffering with fatigue). Luckily, brazil nuts contains one of the highest concentrations of selenium, as well as vitamin E, magnesium, protein and fibre. Stock up.
- EGGS For most people, eggs won’t be an introduction during pregnancy but what they probably don’t know is the level of nutrients they reap from them. Sure, we all know they contain protein but did you know they contain vitamin A, choline, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin K, iron, selenium, iodine and protein too?
- GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES Green leafs are simple to incorporate into your diet. The contain folate, magnesium, vitamin C and fibre so it’s well worth doing so. Whizz them up in your nutribullet, have a salad with your main meal or cook up some spinach and kale as a side dish.
- DRIED APRICOT Dried apricots are delicious, they’re a healthy way to get natural sugars and they contain iron as well as beta-caroten. Beta-caroten is the orange/red/yellow pigment found in a range of vegetables and fruits it’s antioxidant effects are invaluable in helping your body’s immunity.
- CHICKEN BROTH Chicken broth contains all minerals, essential amino acids as well as protein. It’s a super soup. Add noodles and a few spices to make it extra delicious.
- LENTILS Lentils are a great “base” food. You and your baby will love them and the vitamins and nutrients they bring namely folate, fibre and iron. Use them in a stew, eat them in a salad or use them as a pasta or rice substitute.
- NATURAL PLAIN YOUGURT By eating natural plain yoghurt you’re providing your baby with all the B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, protein and beneficial flora. Beneficial flora often referred to as gut flora, increases the gut’s absorption of water, reduces counts of damaging bacteria and increases the growth of human gut cells.