8 Great Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
Learn to eat a tasty, well-rounded diet full of all the vitamins and nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.
Preggos, Have Hope
With all the culinary "no-nos" for a pregnant woman, food can turn from friend to foe. No raw sushi. No morning cup of coffee. No after-work glass of wine. No imported Brie or feta. With all the restrictions, what's a girl "in the family way" to eat? The good news is: plenty. These eight recipes are great examples of how you can dine well and make sure you get the specific nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.
Omega-3s: Salmon with Sweet Chile Sauce
These days, most prenatal vitamins include a dose of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that has been found to play a role in babies' brain and eye development. One of the best food sources of omega-3 is salmon, featured in this simple recipe. There's no need to worry about mercury contamination in salmon, as it doesn't contain high levels of the toxic metal.
Iron: Spicy Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers
Go ahead, indulge in a juicy hamburger. Your iron needs increase during pregnancy because your body is producing more iron-rich blood cells to support the growing baby. The best food sources include beef, pork, dark greens, and fortified whole grains and cereals, but most women still need a supplement.
Vitamin C: Grapefruit Brûlée
Vitamin C helps you absorb iron and provides more building blocks for your baby's growing body. The best sources include citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, and spinach. Indulge in an easy grapefruit dessert and see how satisfying vitamin C can be.
Calcium: Three-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Consuming proper amounts of calcium during pregnancy ensures that both you and your baby will enjoy strong bones and teeth. While milk is really the best source of calcium, you also can get it from other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt and non-dairy items such as tofu and turnip greens. One serving of this creamy comfort food provides one-third of the recommended daily amount of calcium.
Folic Acid: Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts
Folic acid, or folate, is widely regarded as nutritional insurance against neural tube birth defects. Like omega-3s, folic acid is a major component of prenatal vitamins, but there are tons of great ways to get more in your natural diet. Primary sources include: lentils, dried beans and peas, spinach, and citrus fruits.
Magnesium: Chocolate-Almond Cherry Crisps
In pregnancy, proper magnesium levels can help stave off leg cramps and early labor. Almonds are one of the best sources of naturally-occurring magnesium, with 80 milligrams per ounce, and are delicious baked into these crispy little cookies. You also get added vitamins and minerals from the rice cereal and the dried cherries.
Fiber: Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Chiles
During pregnancy, you need to eat 28 grams of fiber each day. Whole grains are rich in fiber as well as B-vitamins, iron, and, in the case of quinoa, protein as well. Often called the "supergrain", this ancient grain is higher in protein than other varieties. Use it instead of ground beef in these stuffed chiles for a satisfying meatless supper.
Ginger: Ginger Crinkles
For centuries, ginger has been touted as an effective treatment for morning sickness. While there are plenty of candies and ale out there to try, these Ginger Crinkles are a delicious, homemade way to up your ginger intake while satisfying "the baby's" sweet tooth.