You’re probably fed up of hearing that you’re supposed to be eating healthily! You don’t need me to tell you that what you eat affects your baby’s growth and development, but did you know a healthy diet can also lower the risk of you developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and having a low birth weight baby? So let’s look at 10 Super foods that tick many of the essential nutrient boxes and can be easily combined into your daily nibbles.
I think this has got to be the number one most portable nutritious snack ever! 1 Banana contains 10% of your daily needs for potassium, a mineral that can play a part in avoiding high blood pressure and reducing water retention. They also contain tryptophan which helps to promote sleep and yet they an energy boosting snack that prevents those pregnancy muscle cramps so day or night they should be your number 1 go-to-snack!
Perfect as a protein-rich snack to stave off hunger when you’re out & about; almonds also provide you with Vitamin E, fibre, calcium, riboflavin and niacin.
3. Fortified Cereal
When it comes to iron your regular bowl of fortified cereal could contain more iron than a serving of spinach plus folic acid, other B vitamins and zinc. Research found that iron can lower your baby’s risk of autism and it’s also important for keeping your energy levels up and ensuring a healthy birth weight for your baby. Look for cereals that have 50% of your daily iron requirements, 6g of fibre and less than 10g sugar per serving.
As well as being high in protein, chickpeas, lentils, black beans and soya beans provide you with fibre, iron, folate, calcium and zinc. Enjoy them either hot or cold in soups, chilli, salads and pasta dishes or enjoy hummus with dips or in a wrap.
If you are vegan, veggie or are just wanting to cut back on animal products, quinoa is the best complete source of a plant based protein as it contains all of the amino acids. It’s also high in fibre, super quick to cook and can be eaten either hot or cold. Try a quinoa bowl with black beans and chopped veggies.
6. Red Peppers
One red pepper contains nearly three times as much vitamin C as an orange. This vital vitamin is much needed in pregnancy to help with your body’s absorption of iron and to bolster your immune system. Eat raw in salads, add to stir fries or use to dip into hummus.
7. Sweet Potato
One of these lovelies is not only packed with beta-carotene that your body converts to Vitamin A to support your little one’s cell division and development of their central nervous system in the first trimester they are also loaded with Vitamin C, calcium, fibre, folate and energising complex carbs that fill you up for few calories plus larger amounts of potassium. Bake, roast or mash or even use thins slices as an alternative to pasta sheets in lasagne.
Just 1 cup of oats made into porridge (or healthy flapjack!) provides more than 30% of your daily dose of magnesium which is used to build baby’s bones and teeth, as well as regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure and reducing the risk of premature labour.
9. Dried Apricots
Another perfect snack, rich in iron – one handful provides 10% of your daily iron requirement. They also contain folic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium and help you to keep regular toilet habits as constipation is common in pregnancy.
Whether it is raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, these sweet gems are packed with phytonutirents that protect cells from damage, together with carbohydrates, Vitamin C, potassium, folate, fibre and fluid. Throw them in a smoothie or add them to yoghurt, pancakes or porridge.
I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration to eat healthily and try to some new snack ideas.
Thanks for reading.