Pregnant and confused by the do’s and don’ts when it comes to a prenatal diet? While we know ‘eating a well balanced diet’ is the standard advice, what it actually entails is another story. Australia’s leading fertility nutritionists weigh in on the 6 nutrient dense foods they’d always recommend incorporating into your pregnancy diet.
1. Slow Cooked Meats
These meats are full of protein- essential for foetal, placental and maternal tissue growth. In trimester 1 there’s usually no need for additional protein, but this need consistently increases as the pregnancy progresses. By the second trimester, pregnant women are recommended to consume around 1kg of protein daily.
This pregnancy superfood is packed full of most of the nutrients needed to support the nutritional demands of growing a baby. In particular, eggs are rich in choline- needed for brain and cognitive development, as well as DHA and protein.
Just two eggs (and their yolks) meet about half of a pregnant woman’s daily choline needs.
3. Low Mercury Fish
Small oily fish like sardines are high in Vitamin D and Iodine, as well as brain boosting Omega-3 fat DHA.
Wild caught fish are hard to find, but the cleanest to consume, which is why they’re recommended.
Known as nature’s multivitamin, liver is rich in choline, iron, folate, B12 and almost every vitamin and mineral required for the healthy brain development of your growing baby.
Try adding organic chicken livers to bolognese sauce, or homemade meatballs for a nutritional boost you won’t even taste.
Plants from the sea are rich in iodine- an essential nutrient for foetal growth and development. Deficiency here has been associated with some congenital abnormalities.
All the best sources of iodine come from the ocean- think fish, seaweed, nori, wakame.
6. Leafy green veggies
These vegetables are full of folate, as well as a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which support foetal health and development.
Best eaten with some fat- blanch kale, broccoli and wombok until crispy and fry off with ghee. Mix together with fresh rocket (raw greens are full of vitamin C) and top with a dressing made of mayonnaise, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
A prenatal vitamin is designed to keep your nutritional stores topped up, so when a baby does appear on the ultrasound, there’s more of you to go around. But vitamins and minerals can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate, so it’s best to think of a prenatal as an insurance policy for any gaps in your diet.
Looking for nutritional support in pregnancy? Have you tried The Prenatal by moode?
Looking for more nutritional advice? We discuss all things pregnancy and nutrition over here on The Journal