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Health & Pregnancy

Pregnancy Superfoods

Add these choice foods to your diet to boost your pregnancy nutrition.
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Eggs

  • Why: Eggs supply the gold-standard of protein because they provide all of the amino acids you and your baby need to thrive. They also include more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, such as choline, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Certain brands supply the omega-3 fats baby needs for brain development and peak vision, so check the label.

  • Enjoy: In omelets and frittatas, in salads and sandwiches, in homemade waffles, crepes, and whole-grain French toast, as snacks, hard-cooked, or scrambled.

Milk

  • Why: It's an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D -- bone-building nutrients mother and child require every day. Milk also packs protein, vitamin A, and B vitamins.

  • Enjoy: Plain or flavored, in smoothies made with fruit, over whole-grain cereal and fruit, and in pudding. Prepare oatmeal in the microwave with milk instead of water.

Orange Juice (fortified)

  • Why: Orange juice with added calcium and vitamin D contains the same levels of these nutrients as milk. Plus, orange juice supplies hefty doses of vitamin C, potassium, and folate.

  • Enjoy: Plain or frozen as pops or ice cubes, as part of smoothies.

Pork Tenderloin

  • Why: Pork tenderloin is as lean as boneless, skinless chicken breast, and it serves up the B vitamins thiamin and niacin, vitamin B6, zinc, iron, and choline.

  • Enjoy: Grilled, broiled, or baked.

Salmon

  • Why: For the protein, B vitamins, and the omega-3 fats that promote brain development and vision in babies.

  • Enjoy: Grilled or broiled, use canned salmon in salads and sandwiches.

Sweet Potato

  • Why: Sweet potatoes pack vitamin C, folate, fiber, and carotenoids -- compounds your body converts to vitamin A. They also supply potassium in large amounts.

  • Enjoy: Baked, sliced cold, cooked, peeled potatoes for snacks and side dishes, mashed with orange juice, and roasted: slice washed sweet potato into wedges, coat lightly with canola oil, and roast on a baking sheet at 400¢ª Fahrenheit until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Whole Grains

  • Why: Enriched whole grains are fortified with folic acid and other B vitamins, iron, and zinc. Whole grains contain more fiber and trace nutrients than processed grains, such as white bread, white rice, and white flour.

  • Enjoy: Oatmeal for breakfast, whole-grain breads for sandwiches, brown rice, wild rice, whole-wheat pasta, or quinoa for dinner, popcorn, or whole-grain crackers for snacks.

Yogurt (plain low-fat or fat-free)

  • Why: For the protein, calcium, B vitamins, and zinc. Plain yogurt contains more calcium than milk.

  • Enjoy: Stir in: fruit preserves or honey, fresh or dried fruit, or crunchy whole-grain cereal. Use plain yogurt to top cooked sweet potatoes or to make smoothies.

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Reviewed on April 30, 2008

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