We all know that cravings are common during pregnancy. From pickles to chocolate- to chocolate pickles- women can desperately want to eat foods they would never think of eating normally.
But what foods are on the top of the list when it comes to nutrients needed during pregnancy?
“Fortunately, there are many foods that are both delicious and nutritious for moms-to-be,” said Jillian Reece, RD, a dietician in the Weight and Wellness Center at Tufts Medical Center. “The best diet will be one with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains.”
Here are ten common foods that you might not think of as beneficial:
Packed with vitamins A and C, oranges can aid in the absorption of iron. Adequate iron stores during pregnancy help to deliver oxygen to a growing baby. Other options that have similar impact include carrots and sweet potatoes.
Eggs are a great source of Vitamin D and choline. Choline helps with brain development.
Legumes and beans are lean proteins that are also high in fiber. They also contain iron, folate and calcium.
4. Non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt
Yogurt is high in calcium, vitamin D and protein.
This fruit, rich in healthy fats, is a great source of fiber and has more potassium than a banana.
6. Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)
Peanut Butter (and Almond Butter) is rich in B vitamins which can reduce a baby’s risk of developing birth defects, help with development of the nervous system, and assist with metabolizing carbohydrates. And yes, unless you yourself are allergic to peanut butter, it is safe to eat during pregnancy.
It doesn’t just make Popeye strong! Spinach is high in potassium, vitamin K, calcium, iron and folate. Other veggies with similar benefits includ kale, Brussel sprouts and broccoli.
Fatty fish like salmon support healthy skin and tissue development for the baby. Salmon is a great source of protein, vitamin D and provides Omega 3 fatty acids to help with the neural development of the baby.
9. Brown Rice
Whole grains such as quinoa, barley and brown rice help to provide energy and can be a excellent source of fiber, B vitamins and magnesium.
Lean proteins, like chicken, turkey, seafood and tofu help muscle health in a growing baby. Tofu has the added benefit of containing calcium.