By Kellie Doligale
Grocery shopping can be much easier for a mama-to-be when you have a manageable list of pregnancy “superfoods”-ingredients recommended by health organizations that are both safe during pregnancy and rich in vitamins and minerals.
Coupled with a little ingenuity, the following foods are packed with nutrients and have plenty of versatility:
An idyllic protein containing all of the necessary amino acids, eggs pack disease-fighting nutrients like lutein.
Do not consume raw or partially-raw eggs during pregnancy; always fully cook both the white and yolk.
- Hard-boiled as a snack, on salads or in sandwiches
- In homemade waffles, crepes or French toast
- Cooked in omelets or frittatas with other healthy ingredients such as chopped vegetables and pregnancy-safe cheeses rich in calcium
Blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cranberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium.
Always rinse your berries thoroughly.
- As a snack on their own or drizzled with a little sugar or lemon juice
- On top of whole-grain cereal, oatmeal or pancakes
- Use frozen berries for smoothies
- Layered with yogurt and granola or cereal for a parfait treat
An 85% lean portion of beef provides about 22 grams of protein along with vitamins B6 and B12, iron, zinc and niacin. Always cook your meat to well-done during pregnancy.
For vegetarians wanting to get the same high protein levels, beans are an optimal alternative.
- Use lean ground beef to make burgers or meatballs
- Add ground beef to pasta, chili or tacos
- Eat lean steak by itself, cut up with rice and beans, or on a sandwich
Greens are an excellent source of folic acid, a nutrient that supports the development of a healthy neural tube, which occurs before many women even realize they’re pregnant.
They also contain vitamins A, C and K. Try kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens and turnip greens.
Always wash your greens thoroughly.
- Get creative with salads depending on what kind of flavor you want
- Puree dark greens, especially kale, into a smoothie for bonus nutrients
- Pair arugula with salmon, or on top of pizza after it comes out of the oven
- Try a variation on a pesto sauce. You can use nearly any leafy green
- Toss spinach leaves into pasta dishes
This refrigerator staple packs plenty of calcium vital for both your and baby’s bones.
Available in a number of flavors and textures, yogurt also contains protein, B vitamins and zinc.
Probiotics in yogurt also help with digestion. Make sure any variation you purchase is pasteurized.
- Use it as a substitute in baked goods such as breads and muffins for moisture
- Use plain yogurt to top sweet potatoes (another pregnancy superfood), blend into smoothies or add creaminess to curries, baked chicken or potato salad
- Substitute plain yogurt for mayonnaise to create delicious aioli sauces for dipping