Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own. As an Etsy and Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information see Disclaimer and Disclosure Policy.
Now that you’re pregnant, one of the many first things you should do is change your diet slightly. For one, you need more calories. Yay, you get to eat for two now! No, not really; you actually only need an extra 300-500 calories a day.
And that is only during the second and third trimester. There are, however, certain Pregnancy Superfoods that are a must to include in your diet while you are pregnant.
In the first trimester, you don’t necessarily need extra calories, but you should choose more nutritious foods to help your baby’s development. As always, you should also talk to your doctor once you find the perfect pregnancy doctor.
You may need to eat less or more, depending on your weight and activity before pregnancy. Your activity during pregnancy may also need to be adjusted, so keep that in mind as well.
During the first trimester, you may or may not suffer from morning sickness. Although, for me, during my first pregnancy, it was more like all day sickness. While I only actually got sick a couple of times, nausea made it very difficult to eat anything at all.
That is why it is important to include these superfoods in your pregnancy diet for the times you can eat. Luckily once I hit the second trimester, it mostly went away.
What are Pregnancy Superfoods?
Pregnancy superfoods are foods that are packed with the essential vitamins and minerals required for your growing baby. During pregnancy, your body requires extra calories and superfoods to make sure those calories are worth it. The nutrients in superfoods allow you to have a healthy pregnancy and aid in developing your baby.
I then craved fresh fruit and vegetables, which made it extremely easy to eat healthy and nutritious. Anything sweet would still make me nauseous, which was weird for me because I have always had a sweet tooth.
I remember one night my husband really wanted chocolate cake, so I made one. It looked so good, and my brain really wanted it, so I had a piece. My stomach had other ideas. The cake came right back up, so no more sweet stuff during that pregnancy.
Try not to overthink your diet too much, though. You don’t want to be cutting calories or obsessing over everything you eat. You want to be mindful of the nutrients you are getting.
Eating more fresh foods and cutting back on processed food can help give you and the baby the valuable vitamins and minerals you need. Most cravings are actually your body’s way of saying what it needs.
The superfoods listed below are important to include in your diet because they are all packed with vitamins and minerals your body needs during pregnancy. Even with a well-balanced diet, make sure you are also taking prenatal vitamins.
Eating well and making sure to take the necessary supplements, and getting enough sleep can help keep your energy up throughout the day.
Superfoods to include in your pregnancy diet.
Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all great superfoods to eat while pregnant.
They are all great sources of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C is needed for your body to make collagen, an important protein in cartilage, tendons, bones, and skin.
Antioxidants help our bodies destroy free radicals. What are free radicals? And why do we need to destroy them?
Free radicals are unstable molecules that are formed when your body uses oxygen. They can damage living cells and may also play a role in cancer and other diseases.
Strawberries are also a great source of fiber, folate, and potassium. Folate helps to ensure healthy growth, development and prevents congenital disabilities like spina bifida.
Potassium is important during pregnancy because your body creates about 50% more blood volume during pregnancy, and to balance that out, you need extra electrolytes. Potassium is one of those electrolytes your body needs.
Blueberries also have Vitamin K and manganese. Vitamin K helps with the normal clotting of your blood to prevent excessive bleeding, and manganese helps to form bone and cartilage.
Raspberries are a great source of phosphorus and selenium. They have also been known to help control blood sugar.
Phosphorus is important for muscle movement, kidney and nerve function, and cell or tissue repair. Selenium is involved in regulating your immune system; it acts as a sort of armor against disease.
Blackberries have the highest amount of antioxidants out of all the berries and Vitamin K and manganese.
See why berries are considered a pregnancy diet superfood? These little things have a lot of nutrients for your growing baby.
2. Dark Leafy Greens and Broccoli
Leafy greens like kale and spinach and broccoli are all important superfoods to include in your pregnancy diet.
Kale is a great source of fiber, calcium, Vitamin A, C, and K. I love it because it is very versatile. You can throw it in a smoothie, chop it up for a salad, bake it into a chip, or use it in a stir-fry.
The fiber in kale is beneficial for preventing constipation and helping with overall digestion.
Spinach is loaded with folate, which is the important B vitamin needed for your baby’s developing spine and brain. You can also use spinach in many different applications as well. I love to chop it up and put it in frittatas or scrambles.
Broccoli is also a great source of folate, fiber, calcium, potassium, and many beneficial antioxidants.
Milk, yogurt, cheese, and cream soups are all great sources of calcium.
Calcium is super important for your developing baby. It helps the baby build strong bones, teeth, and grow a healthy heart and nerves.
Calcium can also reduce your risk of hypertension and preeclampsia. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are also great sources of protein.
I especially like greek yogurt, which happens to contain more calcium than other dairy products. It also contains probiotic bacteria, good gut bacteria that help to improve your digestive health.
You want to aim for 3-4 servings of dairy a day to get your required calcium intake. A great cream soup to have would be broccoli cheese. You get your serving of dairy and broccoli deliciously and satisfyingly.
Most greens are a great source of calcium if you don’t like dairy or are lactose intolerant.
Or some fruit juices can be an option as well, as long as they are fortified with calcium. Just be careful of the extra sugar they may contain.
Great source of protein.
Eggs are another great pregnancy diet superfood since they have so much protein. Protein is what contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of our cells.
So eating enough protein is essential for your developing baby. And if you are anything like I was during pregnancy, most times, lean meats was not an option.
The site of raw chicken or other meats made me run to the bathroom. So preparing a meal with meat proved difficult. My husband would end up cooking on days I was super nauseous, but even then, the smell of cooking meat was too much.
So that is where eggs come in. They are great sources of protein, healthy fats, iron, and many of the necessary vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy.
Healthy fats like Omega 3 and mineral choline are crucial to a baby’s developing brain. Both of these are found in eggs.
Plus, they are low in carbohydrates, so they are considered to have a low glycemic index, perfect if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
The iron in eggs helps prevent anemia and keeps your energy up while your body makes the extra blood needed during pregnancy.
I especially love how versatile they are. You can scramble them up with lots of veggies and cheese for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Hardboiled is always a great option and easy to grab for on the go.
My go-to breakfast a lot of the time was a piece of whole-grain toast with mashed or sliced avocado and a sliced hardboiled egg on top. Yummy!
This includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, peanuts, and edamame.
These tiny superfoods are great to include in your pregnancy diet because they are all great plant-based protein sources, fiber, iron, folate, and calcium.
Lentils are an amazing source of folate; just 1 cup contains your daily requirement. They are also rich in potassium, which helps to regulate your blood pressure. Lentils also contain Vitamin B5, which can help combat migraines during pregnancy.
Chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans, are the main ingredient in hummus. Hummus makes a great dip for all sorts of veggies, creating a healthy and filling snack.
Chickpeas are also great in a salad or you can roast them with a little salt and olive oil for a delicious, crunchy, easy to grab a snack.
Black beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and soybeans are great additions to your pregnancy diet.
You can add them into salads, make a great chili, add them to soup, or even add them to pasta dishes. Canned beans are usually fine to use; check that the cans are BPA free.
Cans that have low sodium are also important to get. Make sure to rinse them before use; this can remove some of the unnecessary sodium as well.
If you use dried beans, make sure to soak them overnight, and then rinse them before. This minimizes the presence of the carbohydrate oligosaccharide, which the body cannot easily digest.
The oligosaccharides end up fermenting in your large intestines while your probiotics (good bacteria) break them down. The bacteria create a lot of gas during this process, which in turn makes you gassy.
Gas during pregnancy is already increased due to hormones like progesterone, so if soaking the beans can prevent more, it’s worth it. But, I use canned to make it easier.
What to eat during pregnancy for brain development of baby
For the brain development of the baby, be sure to include Salmon in your pregnancy diet. Salmon has Omega 3 fatty acids like DHA. This is an essential nutrient for your baby’s brain development. Also, be sure to avoid and get rid of toxins.
The best way to do that is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants. As mentioned above, berries are very high in antioxidants and a key in baby brain development during pregnancy.
Pregnancy superfoods first trimester
So there you have it, including these superfoods can help achieve a well-balanced pregnancy diet. They are all packed full of important nutrients needed to help your baby grow and develop.
If you are wondering what NOT to eat while pregnant, check out this post on how to reassess your diet and habits. Eating these superfoods can also help curb morning sickness. Find out when morning sickness starts here.
There are many more superfoods that can be included in your pregnancy diet. Check out this pregnancy superfood list.