5 Pregnancy Super Foods

Pregnancy is undoubtedly the time to maximize your nutrition, both for you and your baby-to-be. You’ve most likely heard to increase your intake of folic acid, iron, omega 3’s and fluid, and to steer clear of mercury, highly processed foods and under-cooked foods. However, you may not have heard as much about these five “superfoods” that prenatal nutritionist Nicole Silber, RD, CSP recommends adding to your daily mix:

  1. Seeds: Seeds of all shapes and sizes are boosters of fiber and magnesium. Some favorites are hemp seeds and sesame seeds (what tahini is made from!). Hemp is high in plant protein and sesame offers a non-dairy source of calcium. Sprinkle them in cereals, shakes, soups and salads.

  2. Kimchi & Pickled Vegetables: These fermented foods are all natural sources of probiotics. Probiotics promote immune and gut health, specifically bowel regularity. Don’t like Kimchi or pickles?  Try some other foods high in probiotics like sourdough bread, sauerkraut, plain unsweetened yogurt or kefir.

  3. Ginger, Herbs & Bitters: These all aide digestion and can calm a nauseated or uneasy stomach. A little goes a long way, and you don’t need much. If you feel queasy, fill up too quickly, or get heart burn sip on ginger tea or freshly sliced ginger in hot water after meals, throw some dandelion greens and parsley into salad or try bitters straight up.

  4. Blackstrap Molasses: This natural sweetener is a great source of plant-based iron. Just one tablespoon provides 10% of the daily iron needs, which makes it useful for vegetarians and for those not taking iron supplements. It is also a gentle laxative, which can combat the back-up often experienced from prenatal vitamins. It still is a sweetener high in natural sugar, so keep to single tablespoon servings. To get the job done, mix in hot water or drizzle on oatmeal, smoothies or yogurt.

  5. Cacao Nibs: Cacao beans are what chocolate started out as before tons of sweeteners were added. Cacao nibs have all of the benefits of chocolate like fiber, iron, magnesium, antioxidants and a strong chocolate taste, without the added sugar. Next time you’re craving chocolate, grab a handful of Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs instead. They add crunch and flavor to oatmeal, yogurt or trail mix. But, if you still really want your sweet chocolate fix, choose a small piece of a minimally processed chocolate like Sweet Riot’s Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs or Eating Evolved’s 72% Primal Chocolate Bar.