Want to get the best food for you and your growing baby? See our ten treats for pregnancy health
When you’re pregnant, you want to get the best out of every mouthful of food. Even if you can’t eat much due to morning sickness or if you need to grab a snack when you’re on the go, make every bite count.
This really is a wonder fruit, packed with protein, potassium, folates, vitamin A and magnesium. Low in carbs and only 130 calories for half a fruit, serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the hole where the stone was, or mash on toast with a sprinkle of pepper, coriander and toasted seeds.
Mango has folates, a B vitamin that helps your baby’s spinal cord develop. Apples and pears are also good sources, then add a handful of anti-oxidant and brain boosting blueberries (also full of vitamin K and C, manganese, fibre and copper) for a snack that packs a punch. Blueberries are also great for the skin, so if you have pregnancy acne, they are a good remedy.
Once health experts said you shouldn’t have too many eggs and they also banned runny eggs for pregnancy. Great news, they are now firmly back on the menu and contain high quality protein, iron and 13 vitamins. Most importantly, they contain choline, which helps your baby’s brain develop. For animal lovers, look for organic free range.
Cheese and Apple
Struggling to get enough fibre? Apples are a great source of that and pectin. You need protein, so snack on some cheese with it. Low-fat, hard cheese like cheddar will help build your baby’s bones; or cottage cheese is mild and easy to digest.
Getting swollen ankles? You’re not alone with this very common pregnancy problem. A diet too high in salt makes it worse, so snack on cucumber and celery (maybe with hummus) to help the body expel salt; drink plenty of water too.
Want a quick and tasty snack without having to cook? That old favourite hummus is a great stand-by to have in your fridge. The dip, made from the humble chickpea, olive oil, lemon juice and a hint of garlic, is full of protein which can help you keep hunger at bay and avoid bingeing and it can even help balance your blood sugar levels. It contains folates, which may reduce colorectal cancers and also packs pots of fibre.
A Handful of Nuts
A great snack choice to replace things like salty peanuts or high-carb crisps, a small handful of mixed, unsalted nuts are high in fibre (great for avoiding constipation) and they
will help you feel full due to the hit of protein they contain, They offer lots of ‘good’ calories, plenty of the minerals, magnesium and zinc, plus unsaturated fats, so are a great snack if you need to keep your weight stable.
It’s not just trendy, it really is a super veg, with one cup having more vitamin C than an orange; it contains alpha- linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acid – both really good for you, plus loads of vitamin A and calcium, which is great for creating your baby’s bones. It also contains a good amount of iron. In fact, if you add lemon juice, it’s easier to assimilate the iron. Go for organic whenever possible.
Yoghurt with Fruit
Another great way to pack in the calcium, choosing low fat yoghurt is a good way to get a hit of this essential nutrient. In fact, if you don’t get enough calcium in pregnancy, your baby takes it from your bones – yikes!
Even if you find wheat grains indigestible, naturally gluten free oats are easy to digest and they have lots of other benefits too. They contain B vitamins, minerals like iron, zinc and copper, antioxidants and fibre too. Of course, they can help lower your cholesterol and assist you in controlling your blood sugar. Eat them as porridge or cookies, or incorporated into delicious smoothies.