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Top 10 Maternity Foods – Pittsburgh Maternity Photographer

Top 10 Maternity Foods – Pittsburgh Maternity Photographer

Top 10 Maternity Foods – Pittsburgh Maternity Photographer

During my first maternity leave, I began reading books to learn more about healthy diets for pregnancies and babies. Today I am excited to share 10 maternity foods to enjoy while pregnant. Below are the facts behind why these foods are indeed the best along with my favorite ways to prepare them. I believe these ten foods should definitely be on your maternity diet!

Dairy Products

Dairy products are made of two different kinds of high-quality protein. They are casein and whey. Dairy as a whole is the best dietary source of calcium, and provides very high amounts of phosphorus, various B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.

Greek Yogurt is a great dairy product that I definitely recommend! Nowadays there are a lot of different flavors that make Greek yoghurt really enjoyable. It also contains a lot of calcium and probiotic bacteria that is good for your health. 

I recommend consuming probiotic supplements during the pregnancy to reduce your chance of allergies and infections. 

Legumes

This group of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts. 

These foods are a great source of fiber, protein, iron, and calcium. All of these are substances that your body is in need for during the pregnancy. These plant based foods are something I would definitely recommend fitting into your diet. 

You can use these legumes in soups and salads. I love peanut dressing on my salad when I am having an oriental dish. 

Sweet Potatoes 

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which your body transforms into vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for the growth and differentiation of cells in your growing fetus.

I love cooking sweet potatoes into fries by just slicing them, drizzling in oil, adding spices, and putting them in the oven. Another meal I enjoy them in my chili as well. 

Salmon

Salmon is very rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential during pregnancy, especially the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

It is recommended by doctors to eat 2-3 meals of fatty fish per week to consume the recommended amount of omega-3 and also to increase EPA and DHA blood levels.

I love baking my salmon in the oven with a side of lemon-drizzled asparagus. Another way to serve salmon is alongside broccoli and brown rice. 

Eggs

Eggs are the ultimate health food as they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need, including choline. 

By having a low choline intake during pregnancy, it increases the risk of neural tube defects and can possibly lead to decreased brain function the fetus.

One meal I love is having a slice of bread, using a glass to cut a circular hole in the center of the slice, and then cracking the egg inside the bread, eggs in a basket. 

Broccoli, and Large Leafy Greens

Broccoli and dark, green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain many of the nutrients pregnant women need. 

Due to their high fiber content, these vegetables may also help prevent a very common problem among pregnant women, which is constipation. 

One way to sneak in kale and spinach is through fruity smoothies and salads. I also love making kale chips, and kale soup! 

Lean Meat

Beef, pork and chicken are excellent sources of high quality protein. 

Additionally, pork and beef are also rich in iron, choline and other B vitamins. These are all needed in much higher amounts during pregnancy. 

I love chicken salad and avocado stuffed hamburgers. Additionally, I love sprinkling some freshly grilled chicken on top of my salads. 

Berries

Berries are packed with water, healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.

Berries help your body absorb iron because they generally contain high amounts of vitamin C. Berries are also a great snack, as they contain both water and fiber. They provide a lot of flavor and nutrition, but with hardly any calories.

Berries in yogurt, along as in smoothies are always a great dish! 

Whole Grains

Eating whole grains may help pregnant women meet their increased calorie requirements, especially during the second and third trimesters. Another thing to keep in mind is that opposed to refined grains, whole grains are packed with fiber, vitamins and plant compounds. 

Oats and quinoa are some whole grains I love incorporating in recipes. Oats in a berry crumble, and quinoa in stew. 

Avocados

Avocados are a great choice for your maternity diet. This is due to their high amount of fats, folate, and potassium. These healthy fats help build the skin, brain and tissues of your fetus, and folate may help prevent neural tube defects.

I love avocados on avocado toast, and in chocolate mousse. I also enjoy sprinkling them in my salad. 

I hope you enjoy a healthy maternity diet! use by these foods in your daily diet, and try some of my recommended recipes! 

Laura

Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.

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