by: Rebecca Siggers
From kale to goji berries, it seems that for every season there is a new superfood that enters the mainstream as a trendy new treat with powerful health benefits. Whether it’s a vegetable that helps the body deal with inflammation or a snack food that is rich in anti-oxidants, superfoods are an important part of maintaining bodily health and balancing out our complex system.
Yet, when it comes to eating for two, things can get a little bit more complicated with ensuring your body is at its best. There are many hard and fast rules that go along with healthy eating, but most pregnant women will want to do just a little bit more to ensure the health of their new baby.
Fortunately, there are plenty of superfoods out there that are even better for expectant mothers who are looking to experience the healthiest pregnancy possible. Whether it’s those leafy green vegetables that should be a part of your daily diet coupled with exercise or a treat to thank yourself at the end of each day, here are some foods that will greatly benefit your little one.
This leafy green may have been all the rage just a few years ago, but even as its star has dimmed in popular culture, it still swaggers with the same health benefits! While most leafy greens are great because they’re filled with folate, a natural form of folic acid that helps to avoid birth defects, they also contain many important vitamins and minerals. Fortunately, kale makes the grade in particular because it contains vitamin A and C, and it’s full of potassium, which helps to guard against water retention. Whether you bake it in the oven as a chip or sauté it alongside onions and garlic, this is a green that's hard to beat.
Many of us know that fish is a great source of protein, but many people aren’t aware that salmon gets its health potency from the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. While the suggested healthy dose of omega-3s is 300 milligrams per day, this is a food that you may not want to pass up if you happen to be expecting. Not only can it help to guard against postpartum depression and pre-term labor, it also assists with the development of a baby’s brain and it's central nervous system. If salmon isn’t quite your jive, it’s still important to get in the much-needed omega-3s. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there in foods fortified with DHA or under-the-sea products like anchovies and tuna.
While this prized superfood may not be one of the most common items you’ll run across, these small-size bites are both nutritional and offer up a sweet treat. Fortunately, it seems like they can have a positive impact on your pregnancy too! In a study, it was determined that expectant moms that ate 6 dates a day were more likely to experience a shorter labor. While this can give many women hope for having an easy-going pregnancy, the idea of a delightful treat enabling you to go into labor swiftly might be worth a try. If you’re not the kind of person who can fit dates into your daily diet, you may want to try them chopped up on a salad or even added to a smoothie for a touch of sweetness without adding sugar.
There are many varieties of chocolate, whether they’re filled with caramel or toffee, that aren’t particularly good for you. Fortunately, dark chocolate is full of antioxidant properties that can be utilized to good effect when you’re preparing to bring your baby into the world. According to a study by the Hershey Centre for Health & Nutrition published in the Chemistry Central Journal, it was determined that dark chocolate and cocoa have more flavonals and antioxidant abilities than even fruit does! As antioxidants are helpful to the body in maintaining healthy cells, a small dose of dark chocolate a day can be ideal for a woman who is trying to maintain body health during pregnancy and enjoys chocolate’s health benefits.
For many people, potatoes are one of those foods that are part of the every day and comprise the starchy eliminate of the ideal dinner. If you're looking to be more health-conscious, especially while pregnant, it’s worth switching out your reds or russets for the sweet potato! Not only do they contain fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron, they’re also chock-full of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. It’s vitamin A that helps with the healthy development of your baby including everything from the bones to the skin, so consuming this nutritional vegetable is a great meal choice. While many people hate to give up the good old potato, in no time at all you’ll be used to the slightly sweet, earthy flavor of this very healthy food.
Maintaining health during pregnancy and after childbirth is extremely important to many. Incorporating these superfoods along with staying properly hydrated can increase the chances of you and your little one sharing the healthiest experience possible during your pregnancy journey.
Rebecca Siggers is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, she is also caught by the fashion bug. She has been writing for True Corset and Kinnaird for sometime now. A traveller by heart, she enjoys meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.