15 Pregnancy Superfoods For Your Baby’s Brain Development

pregnancy superfoods helping fetal development

To fuel up during your pregnancy, reach for superfoods! A diet rich in vitamins and nutrients aids in proper fetal development and can help with aches, pains and feelings of low energy during pregnancy.  In addition to taking your prenatal vitamins, it’s smart to consume foods high in magnesium, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium, protein, calcium, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Add the following superfoods to your plate often to help you and your baby stay healthy and thrive.

Keep reading to learn more about the best pregnancy superfoods to eat while you’re expecting. 

15 Superfoods For You and Your Baby

1. Spinach

Spinach contains calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, iron, and folic acid. However, the high iron content of spinach is why you should include it in your diet. Anemia is a concern during pregnancy and following birth. Extra iron also encourages the development of the baby’s red blood cells.

2. Bananas

Carrying a banana with you in your purse is a great idea—it’s a pregnancy superfood that’s also easy to eat on-the-go. Bananas have high levels of potassium, which fight off that terrible pregnancy fatigue that drains your body by mid-day. Eat them plain or add them to your yogurt, smoothies, or cereal!

3. Carrots

Pregnant women need Vitamin A because it helps the development of the skin, eyes, teeth, and bones for your baby. You don’t want to skimp out on vitamin A, and carrots are a fantastic source! Also, the high fiber content keeps your bowels moving, reducing constipation.

4. Sea Salt

Sea salt contributes to proper fetal development because it contains a very important element – iodine. You can get ample amounts of iodine in your diet by using sea salt in your dishes, and it works towards balancing your hormones.

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5. Avocados

Avocados are delicious additions to your salads and sandwiches, and pregnant women can rejoice in knowing they can eat as many avocados as they want! These fruits are a source of folic acid, which is needed for neural tube development, and vitamin C.

6. Nuts

Are you looking for a healthy, yet convenient, snack? Nuts are the best choice, and you have several different choices! All nuts contain magnesium, iron, copper, selenium, and zinc. Walnuts, almonds, and pistachios include omega-3 fatty acids, which are valuable for your baby’s development.

7. Popcorn

Popcorn has a bad reputation for being an unhealthy snack, but it is good for you! Excessive amounts of salt and butter are not good for you, however, so be mindful of what you add. Popcorn has high levels of fiber, vitamin E, and antioxidant compounds. These nutrients strengthen your baby’s cell membranes. Try minimal butter and using some parmesan cheese for flavoring.

8. Broccoli

Broccoli is full of nutrients – like calcium and folate – that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy. It also is a great source of fiber and antioxidants. To top it off, broccoli contains vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron when you eat it with iron-rich food, like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.

9. Oatmeal

Start your day with a warm bowl of oatmeal to increase your energy level. Oatmeal contains complex carbohydrates that keep you feeling full for longer and lower your cholesterol levels.

10. Oranges

Everyone needs extra vitamin C in their diet, and oranges also contain folate, fiber, and water. Oranges are 90 percent water, so you can eat them to help meet your daily fluid requirements. Remember, low fluid intake makes you feel even more tired!

11. Eggs

Eggs are a low-calorie, high protein food that boosts your baby’s brain development and the formation of healthy organs. They are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to get free-range, organic chicken eggs, if possible, and you can always choose egg whites if you’re trying to limit your fat consumption.

12. Dairy Products

Calcium is an important mineral during pregnancy, so you want to consume dairy products to get a direct calcium supply. Milk, cheese, and yogurts are all good choices.

13. Yogurt

Yogurt does belong under dairy products, but it deserves its own section! Most yogurts contain folic acid and vitamin D along with microflora probiotics, which improves how your body absorbs nutrients.

14. Salmon and Other Seafood

Chances are you’ve heard the common pregnancy myth that you can’t consume seafood during pregnancy. The myth does contain some truth, since certain fish contain higher levels of mercury and harmful trace minerals, and should therefore be avoided. However, fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring have low levels of mercury and harmful minerals. Instead, these fish contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and are something we consider a pregnancy superfood. So, eat up!

15. Chicken

Chicken and other sources of lean protein are important for baby’s development. Pregnant women need high levels of protein, and lean meats provide a high-quality source of protein without high levels of fat.