We already know that 9 out of 10 adults don’t get enough fruits and vegetables every day. But what about pregnant women?
According to a 2013 study published in the “Journal of Family and Reproductive Health,” less than 2% of the 485 pregnant women evaluated met fruit and vegetable guidelines for pregnancy.
Maintaining a healthy diet and getting the necessary vitamins and minerals is even more important when you’re pregnant — not just for yourself, but also your baby!
Luckily, superfoods can help! But before we dive into pregnancy superfoods, let’s first take a look at the most important nutrients expectant mothers need.
What nutrients do you (and your baby) need while pregnant?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), expectant mothers need more calcium, folate (or folic acid), iron and protein.
Calcium helps the body regulate fluids and builds your baby’s teeth and bones. Pregnant women need at least three servings of calcium per day.
While dairy products may be high in calcium, they aren’t great for your health. Research has shown that dairy products, such as milk and cheese, can increase your risk of certain cancers.
And despite years of clever marketing, milk (and other dairy products) can actually be detrimental to bone health. Luckily, there are plenty of plant-based calcium sources!
Also known as vitamin B9, folate is found naturally in many foods. Folic acid is the synthetic version and can be found in supplements and prenatal vitamins. Both folate and folic acid promote proper fetal growth and development to reduce the risk of brain and spinal cord birth defects.
To prevent deficiency, adults should get 400 mcg (micrograms) of folate per day. Pregnant women, however, need 600 mcg per day.
Women need 27 mg of iron per day while pregnant — that’s two times the amount of iron than those who are not expecting. This is because a woman’s blood volume increases by 50% during pregnancy. The extra iron also helps your body make more blood to supply oxygen to the fetus.
A great way to increase the absorption of iron (whether you’re pregnant or not) is to eat iron-rich foods with foods that are high in vitamin C.
Protein helps build bones, muscles, tissues and blood. The mother needs protein for breast and uterine tissue growth as well as a healthy placenta. It also ensures the proper growth of fetal tissue, as well as other vital organs like the brain and heart.
Top 10 best pregnancy superfoods
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and romaine lettuce, are some of the best veggies to eat while pregnant because they’re rich in iron and calcium. The Super Green mix and Skinny Protein mix both contain greens and can easily be added to smoothies, oatmeal, dressings and more!
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds may be small, but their nutrient content is HUGE. These tiny seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for a baby’s brain development. They’re also a good source of iron and calcium. You can find chia seeds in the Forever Beautiful mix.
Eating berries and other fresh fruit provide pregnant women and their babies with lots of important vitamins and nutrients. Blueberries are especially rich in folate. The Forever Beautiful mix contains acai, blueberries, maqui berries and acerola cherries. It’s also a fabulous source of vitamin C, which improves iron absorption.
Baobab is one of the six ingredients in our Super Green mix. This superfruit contains 7-10 times more vitamin C than oranges and 2 times more calcium than cow’s milk.
Bananas are a good source of folate as well as other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, which may help with morning sickness symptoms like nausea and vomiting. The Plant Protein mix contains banana powder and is a great source of plant-based protein.
Superfoods to avoid during pregnancy
At the top of the “do not eat while pregnant” list is coffee or, more specifically, caffeine.
Women who are pregnant metabolize caffeine slower than those who aren’t — it can take 1.5–3.5 times longer to eliminate caffeine from their body!
Studies have shown that consuming more than 200mg of caffeine a day while pregnant increases the chance of having a miscarriage. Additionally, caffeine crosses the placenta, which means it enters the baby’s bloodstream and can affect his or her health.
Caffeine isn’t just found in coffee, soda and energy drinks — caffeine naturally occurs in over 60 plants. Both matcha and guarana contain naturally occurring caffeine. Because of that, we recommend exercising caution or consulting your doctor before consuming our Power Matcha and Energy Bomb mix while pregnant or breastfeeding.
We also recommend not doing the 5-Day Detox while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The bottom line
Getting the proper nutrition is very important, especially while pregnant. Adding superfoods to your diet while pregnant can help you and your baby thrive.
While superfoods can be part of a healthy pregnancy, consult your doctor before starting any new health routine.