Keep energy levels up with fibre and vitamins
Like iron, pregnant women need to consume more potassium, because of their expanding blood volume. And as you already know, orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, which, in addition to fighting colds, helps your body better absorb iron and keeps both your and baby’s teeth and bones healthy.
You can also get your vitamin C from broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers and a variety of citrus fruits, including another prenatal power food – mangoes, which are packed with more than 20 different vitamins and minerals.
Surprise! Plain yogurt actually contains more calcium than milk. Plus, it’s got essential bone-building nutrients, including protein, B vitamins and zinc.
Calcium is essential for keeping your bones and teeth healthy and helping baby to develop hers, and skimping on this key nutrient could put you both at risk. Expectant mums should get at least three servings of calcium a day to reduce the risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery. If your calcium count comes up short, your body will take the calcium your baby needs from your bones, putting you at greater risk for osteoporosis later on.
Those oats are filled with fibre, protein and vitamin B6. Start your morning off right with a nice big bowl of oatmeal. Whole grains are great for keeping your energy levels up, especially if morning sickness has you feeling a bit drained.
Plus, all that fibre will help with constipation. But the benefits don’t just stop with mum. This convenient breakfast dish (yep, the instant kind is great too!) also contains protein and vitamin B6, both of which are important for baby’s development.
You had to know these guys were going to make the list. Chock-full of antioxidants and nutrients, dark-green veggies – including spinach, asparagus, broccoli and kale – should be on everyone’s plates.
These super foods are important for mumsto-be and their developing babies. That’s because, in addition to all those antioxidants, leafy greens supply calcium, potassium, fibre and folate, plus another important nutrient we haven’t told you about yet: vitamin A.
Because of its role in helping baby’s eyesight develop and aiding in bone and skin growth, it’s important for mums to nosh on vitamin A-filled foods too. No midnight cravings for asparagus or spinach? Oranges are also a great source.
This oily fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Forget about pre-ordering Baby Einstein DVDs – just incorporate salmon into your diet over the next nine months.
The omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) in fish help baby’s brain to develop and higher levels of DHA in newborn babies have been associated with higher IQs, advanced motor skills and fewer neurological problems.
Omega-3s are good for the development of baby’s eyes, too, and salmon is also a great source of lean protein for mamas-to-be.
Worried about seafood? Salmon’s low in mercury and considered safe for expectant mums, but limit your intake to two servings of six ounces (170g) or less each week to be safe. Just not feeling fish right now? Snack on walnuts and almonds. – TheBump.com/ McClatchy-Tribune Information Services