Google+ Authentic Parenting: 20 Pregnancy Power Foods

Friday, May 6, 2011

20 Pregnancy Power Foods

Many an article about pregnancy focuses on what you can't eat... In the end, all these negative messages get you down and you feel like you can't do anything. I think it is better to focus on all the wonderful things you can eat. All the lovely foods out that that will give you more energy, and boost your little one's growth. Here is a list I've composed with the help of my Facebook Likeronies and Twitter followers. I specifically composed a list that would work for any belief or diet, wether you're vegan, vegetarian or paleo (like me). So you won't find dairy, meat or grains in this list.

  1. Red Raspberry Leaf tea is recommended for uterine support, it prevents hemorrhaging and miscarriage, reliefs nausea and stomach distress, reduces pain during labor and after birth. With all these virtues, no wonder it is the most commonly known tonic for pregnancy.
  2. Brocoli. This treelike begetable contains folate, fiber, calcium, lutein, zeaxanthin, carotenoids and potassium. Potassium helps balance fluids and normalizes blood pressure. Ingesting folates reduces your risk of your baby developing neural tube defect.
  3. Spinach, like brocoli, is loaded with vitamins, folic acid and iron. It's also high in magnesium.
  4. Apricots are a great supply of calcium, folate, iron and magnesium, which is needed to help turn food into energy. The fiber in the fruits can help regulate your bowel movements. They're also a great source of beta carotene, which boosts the immune system (and your baby's) and is key in the development of vision and skin; and vitamin A.
  5. Avocado is actually a fruit, but is mostly consumed as a vegetable. It is very high in potassium (higher even than bananas), has the richest fiber count of any fruit, chuck full of monounsaturated fats and the highest fruit source of vitamin E
  6. Coconut: juice and meat, coconut is natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Coconut oil is a wonderful source for fatty acids. 
  7. Water. Maybe this should have been the first recommendation. There are a multitude of benefits in drinking a healthy quantity of water in pregnancy, it flushes excess sodium from your system, hydrates the body, facilitates the flow of nutrients to the baby. Regular drinking is also required to replenish the amniotic liquid, it prevents hypertension, cardiovascular disease, constipation, hemorrhoids and even premature birth. 
  8. Nettle tea. Nettles are very rich in vitamins and minerals and are also an excellent, yet less renowned, tonic for pregnancy. Additionally, it contains large amounts of vitamin K, much needed towards the end of pregnancy. Like RRL, it prevents pain during and after labor and hemorrhaging. It also eases leg cramps and prevents hemorrhoids. 
  9. Walnuts are the riches source of omega 3 and thus good for the growth of your baby's brain and nervous system.
  10. Tomatoes are rich in lutein and lycopene, which are required for healthy eyes, and it is a great food for energy boosting too. 
  11. Olive oil consumption is linked to better scores on height, weight and psychomotor skills in children.
  12. Almonds are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, manganese and protein. Studies have shown that when pregnant mothers ate lots of nuts, babies were less likely to develop allergies and asthma later in life.
  13. Seeds can offer an easy, healthy snack, ad they are a great way to supply your body with essential omega fatty acids, as well as potassium, zinc, iron, calcium and a whole range of vitamins. 
  14. Prunes. Many women get constipation in early pregnancy due to hormonal changes or in the third trimester due to the pressure on the intestines. Prunes, dried, fresh or juiced will help your transit along.
  15. Watercress. This tiny little sprout is filled with nutrients you need in pregnancy, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C, and iron. Plus it is easily grown at home in a small container (and fun to do if you have kids around, you can even make little egg people with it and grow their hair)
  16. Berries. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries and the likes are packed with carbs, phytonutrients, vitamin C, potassium, folate, fiber and fluid
  17. Bananas are particularly rich in potassium (fluid balancing) and is an easy snack. 
  18. Asparagus. Another folate packed vegetable. 
  19. Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which keeps your immune system on its toes. 
  20. Garlic is a real superfood. No wonder the Spartans ate a clove a day. Garlic reduces your risk of preeclampsia.
But probably the most important thing to say about food is not to stress it. Just eat a healthy variety, keep it interesting, and relax. Food is to be enjoyed, no to be stressed about.

images: christmas stock images

Read more:
Herbs for pregnancy
Health benefits of olive oil



  1. This is great! Thank you for this post!!!!!

  2. Oh my goodness. I've been working on putting together my blog so it will be ready this Fall when I launch my side business as a doula, infant massage instructor and natural childbirth educator, and I really wanted to create a place that embraced and promoted attachment parenting, and so much more... but ya know what? I don't need to now. I've been glued to your site since finding it just a bit ago and realized I'm just going to link the snot out of it! lol. I'd rather lead my readers to your articles than struggle to find the time to write my own when all I really care about is educating and encouraging them... don't care so much whether it's my voice or yours doing the educating and encouraging. :) Anyway, I'm basically saying, "I love your blog!" I'm sure I'll be linking to your blog/articles in the future. Glad you're here.

  3. Wow, thank you Elizabeth, I feel really flattered. Happy to hear that youlike my blog so much and feel free to link away. If you ever feel inspired, you can always do a guest post over here :)

  4. Thanks for this list! However, I recently read somewhere that Red Raspberry Leaf tea is contraindicated for pregnancy. Any thoughts?

  5. There is indeed quite some contradictory advice about RRL, but most of the negative things is - in my opinion - fear mongering from the medical circuit, as they do with everything alternative. I would say use it after discussion with your midwife. There are also different routes to take, some take it only after the first trimester, because some believe it could cause miscarriage in first trimester.
    As with anything in pregnancy: do a lot of research, discuss it and do what you think is wise.


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