Four Prenatal Power Foods You Probably Already Have at Home

 Photo credit: The Food Network

Photo credit: The Food Network

Picking out a name and decorating the room for your new baby are important steps to preparing for his/her arrival, but one of the most valuable things you can do both for yourself AND for baby is to eat wel! You can stock up on the important things like these simple cabinet staples to help ensure that your baby is developing well inside of you, and that you are staying in prime health too!

1. Oatmeal Oats of any kind (steel cut, rolled, or even the quick ­heat microwave kind) are an ideal breakfast for expecting moms. They are filled with fiber (4 g/ serving on average) so they keep your digestive system working and ease constipation. They are also filled with protein (6 g/ serving), which is vital in fetal development and keeps you energized and feeling full as you begin your day. Vitamin B6 is another aid in fetal development, which is found in oatmeal.

Tip: If you’re not crazy about the taste of plain oats, some of my favorite nutritious add-­ins are:

● Honey or organic coconut sugar
● Dried fruits (with no sulfur - check the label)
● Flax seeds or chia seeds (for additional energy, fiber, and omega ­3’s)
● Chopped apples or bananas
● cinnamon

2. Beans/Legumes Beans and legumes are wonderful sources of iron especially for pregnant women who don’t eat meat, and even those who do. During pregnancy, your body’s blood volume increases rapidly, and therefore, expecting moms must increase their iron intake to about 27 milligrams per day to avoid anemia (red blood cell deficiency).

Beans and legumes also contain zinc (baked beans are especially rich in zinc, so load up on them at the last barbeques of summer) encourages healthy baby growth and decreases the risk for premature delivery. Pregnant women also need about 25 extra grams of protein per day to encourage proper muscle development for baby, and to keep mom’s energy levels up.

3. Mangoes Mangoes, in addition to being absolutely succulent and delicious, they contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals! Vitamin C (also found in oranges and orange juice) facilitates iron absorption and promotes bone/tooth health for both you and baby. It also helps with proper immune function and helps you fight off colds and other illnesses.

A favorite mango recipe of mine (which is also rich in calcium and healthy fats) is as follows:

Annie’s Mango Lassi
● ½ c. fresh or frozen mango
● 1 c. coconut milk
● 1 c. almond or regular milk
● 1 c. ice
● 4 tablespoons honey, agave, or coconut sugar Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

4. Nuts & Seeds Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats including omega ­3’s, which are essential for both you and baby’s brain health, and magnesium, which builds your baby’s immune system and prevents premature labor. They are also protein ­rich and keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day. Any nuts or seeds are wonderful to snack on, but some suggestions are:

● cashews
● pistachios
● pumpkin seeds
● almonds nut butters are another delicious and versatile way to up your magnesium and protein intake