Superfoods provide vitamins and minerals important for mum's health during pregnancy, but did you know that they can really help your baby's brain development too?
The good news is - you don't need to go on a special diet.
But it's important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need. These nutrients include:
- vitamin A
- folic acid
- omega-3 fatty acids
Here are 10 of the best pregnancy superfoods - including at least 1 that might surprise you, that can help boost your baby's intelligence!
Keep reading to learn more about 1 recipe you really need to try in pregnancy.
1. 🌿 Spinach
Spinach is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, fibre and for folic acid.
Perhaps the main benefit of including spinach in your diet is the high iron content.
Anaemia is very common during and after pregnancy – an ample source of iron ensures that you and your baby stay healthy, because it helps in baby brain development by encouraging the formation of more red blood cells.
2. 🍌 Bananas
Snacking on a banana or two every now and then, or even carrying one in your bag is a really good idea.
Bananas are just very easy to consume on the go. They contain high levels of potassium, which is not only a mood booster but also fends off the fatigue and energy drain that you experience during pregnancy, particularly around the mid-day hours.
Bananas are a rich source of the water-soluble vitamin B6 that is necessary for the development of the central nervous system of your baby. Snacking on a banana, especially in your first trimester, is great for your baby's brain and nerve development.
Have them straight up or slice them up and mix with some yogurt for a delicious smoothie.
3. 🥕 Carrots
Pregnant women should be eating a lot of carrots.
This vitamin A-rich vegetable helps develop the eyes, teeth, skin and bones of your beautiful baby.
So never skimp out on anything that contains vitamin A; carrots are accessible and easy to consume, not to mention a fantastic source of this critical vitamin. An added bonus: reduced constipation.
4. 🥑 Avocados
Ah yes! The superfood we’ve grown to love over the years!
Avocados make for an excellent addition to sandwiches and salads and you should be eating lots of them.
They contain folic acid and vitamin C, the former of which is needed for optimal tube development.
5. 🥦 Broccoli
Broccoli is full of nutrients like folate and calcium which are required for a normal and healthy pregnancy, as well as optimal baby brain development.
It is a rich source of antioxidants and fibre, as well as vitamin C. This helps your body absorb more iron when you eat iron-rich food like spinach, apples or whole-wheat pasta.
What’s more, it’ll help you’re developing baby absorb the iron in your diet a lot better – an essential ingredient for healthy brain development.
If you’re a vegan who can’t tolerate dairy and citrusy fruits as well as vegetables, then adding some broccoli to your favourite dishes, salads or soups is the way to do.
6. 🍿 Popcorn
Do you find it strange that popcorn ended up on this list?
Even though some consider it an unhealthy snack – on the contrary – it’s actually quite good for you.
People often include popcorn in the same category as unhealthy snacks because once you start having it, you can’t stop! It’s actually too much popcorn that is indeed detrimental to your health, due to the high amounts of butter and sodium.
However, if you have it in small doses such as a small to mid sized bag (preferably butter-free), you can reap its benefits.
Popcorn is a good source of vitamin E, fibre and antioxidant compounds. These nutrients work to strengthen the cell membranes in your baby’s brain. Instead of butter popcorn, go for the regular variety and add a little parmesan cheese to taste.
7. 🥚 Eggs
Eggs are of great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a low calorie alternative to other protein foods.
Protein-rich foods aid in the formation of healthy organs and baby brain development.
Always go for the organic range, and if you want to limit your calories a little then, skip the yoke altogether – although it’s here that you’ll find the omega-3 content.
8. 🐟 Seafood including Salmon
You’ve probably heard of the pregnancy myth that it’s unsafe to have seafood while you’re pregnant.
While there is some truth to this myth because certain types of fish can contain high levels of harmful trace minerals and mercury – other types like sardines, mackerel, salmon, and herring contain low levels of the harmful minerals and mercury.
In fact, these types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them a pregnancy superfood and a great way to boost baby brain development.
So go ahead and indulge!
9. 🥛 Dairy Products
Calcium is a vital mineral to consume during pregnancy, because it will help you maintain good bone health, but more importantly, help your baby develop not only strong bones, but also optimal brain tissue growth – given the B vitamins.
Furthermore, the benefits of yogurt are irrefutable – in fact, we’d dedicate an entire article to that if we could, just to get the point across.
Most yogurts contains ample amounts of folic acid and vitamin D plus microflora prebiotics, which encourages daily nutrient uptake by a significant margin.
10. 🍗 Chicken and other Lean Protein Sources
If you’re strictly not a vegan, then go ahead and consume chicken as well as other lean protein foods because they will help in optimal baby brain development.
Pregnant women need to consume a certain amount of lean protein because it’ll help them stay strong throughout pregnancy without putting on weight.
🧂 Sea Salt
Maybe not quite classed as a food, but sea salt contains the all-important iodine – an element that works to balance your hormones and helps to promote healthy baby brain development.
You can get lots of this good stuff by adding some to your dishes.
Try This Superfood Recipe in Pregnancy
🥚🥑 Eggs Baked in Avocado
Eggs baked in avocado is a real favourite here at BABYGO. It tastes delicious and it contains 3 of the best pregnancy superfoods for baby brain development.
And best of all, it's really low in carbohydrates making it a real winner for minimising pregnancy weight gain!
What you need:
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 eggs
- sea salt and pepper
- 4 rashers of bacon
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced – remove the seeds if you don’t like it hot (optional)
What you need to do:
- Preheat your grill to maximum, then lay the bacon on the grill pan or a baking tray and slide underneath. Grill for 3 mins on each side for crispy bacon.
- Meanwhile, cut your avocado in half, remove the stone and scoop out a generous tablespoon of flesh from each half to create a hole big enough for the egg. No need to waste the leftover avocado – you can save it and spread it on toast later!
- Crack an egg into each avocado half, season with a little salt and pepper and place on a microwaveable plate. Cook the eggs in 30-second bursts for 2 mins– this should ensure firm whites, but runny yolks.