by Guest Blogger Rob Wildman Ph.D. on January 28, 2011
Over the last few decades of research — and my simple observation of glowing mommies-to-be and their bouncing babies – I’ve come to see that nutrition is absolutely critical to a healthy pregnancy and infant.
As a nutritionist to many mommies-to-be and a proud father of two, I’m often asked what are the best foods for pregnancy?
I’ve made it easy with a list of seven foods that can make every bite count toward a healthy pregnancy. These foods are practical and also enjoyable during a time when a woman’s tastes, cravings and lifestyle are all in constant states of change.
Here are my top seven:
- Coconut Water – It’s typical for a woman to gain more than 15 pounds of water during pregnancy as her blood volume expands and she creates amniotic fluid, not to mention the water going into the developing bundle of joy. Be sure to get at least 8 cups of fluid daily, including water and non-caffeinated beverages. Coconut water is an especially nice and delicious option because it provides natural electrolytes, such as circulation-supporting potassium.
- Yogurt – Yogurt provides protein, calcium and probiotics to build bacteria that supports the immune system, healthy blood glucose levels and the digestive tract. Also, because constipation is common during pregnancy, some women can help keep regular by eating yogurt daily.
- Cranberries – Pregnancy brings an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberry acts as a natural antibiotic in the urinary tract by providing special nutrients that decrease the ability of bacteria to stick to the wall of the urinary tract.
- Spinach – This leafy green contains vitamin A, calcium, B-vitamins and folate for energy and neural tube development. Spinach is also well known for its eye-protective properties because of its lutein content, which literally functions as sunglasses for the eyes, helping both you and your baby.
- Omega-3 Fat – Omega 3 fatty acids from fish and algae — as well as flaxseed — support a healthy, developing baby brain, as well as circulatory system.
Robert Wildman, Ph.D., is a nutritional expert and registered and licensed dietitian with a focus on teaching people how to eat to live longer and healthier. He has authored several nutritional books including The Nutritionist: Food, Nutrition, and Optimal Health.