5 Foods to Eat More of During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time when many women start becoming more aware of the foods they are eating and how those choices may impact their growing baby. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods and diverse in colorful produce is a great place to begin. To dive in deeper, make sure to check out our Pregnancy Program for everything you need to know about nourishing yourself and baby-to-be.
To get you started, here are 5 foods to start eating more of right away and why you need them.
The beautiful red color in beets can be attributed to their high antioxidant content. Antioxidants help fight off damaging free radicals in the body, making a more hospitable environment for baby. Beets are also a great source of vitamin C (immune-boosting and pre-cursor to collagen), fiber (promotes blood sugar and hormone balance) and folate (reduces risk of neural tube defects in the developing babe).
Packed with antioxidants, fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C, berries are a fruit to consume daily while trying to throughout pregnancy. As far as fruits go, berries fall fairly low on the glycemic index scale, meaning you get to enjoy the sweetness without spiking your blood sugar. Fun Fact: Just one cup of blueberries provides about one-third of your daily vitamin K, a nutrient you need for blood clotting, that becomes particularly useful during delivery to stop any bleeding.
Walnuts are a plant-based source of Omega 3's, the good-for-you, heart healthy fats that we all need more of in our diet. Adequate fat intake is important for hormone and appetite regulation and is important to consume enough throughout pregnancy. Walnuts can be especially important to include in your diet if you don't eat fatty fish like salmon or tuna, other great animal-based sources of Omega 3 fats.
Bone broth is chock full of collagen, a structural protein that will allow for expansion of the uterus as baby grows. Also, as your skin gets stretched to the max as that belly starts expanding, collagen is the protein that makes skin supple, keeping stretch marks at bay. Collagen is particularly rich in the amino acid glycine. Glycine can be made by the body, but in certain circumstances (pregnancy), the body's needs increase, making it important to include in the diet. Glycine plays a role in infant brain development.