You probably know the list of foods you should avoid while pregnant almost by heart; but it can be a little harder to identify the ones you should be eating. We’ve rounded up five foods that might seem unimportant, but that become must-eats while you are pregnant. Here’s an overview of each, as well as a few creative ways of eating them.
So fresh: this citrus fruit is one of the best sources of Vitamin C around. Lemon can boost your immune system, and is a star food when it comes to detoxifying your body and warding off free radicals (the riper it is, the higher its antioxidant concentration). Plus, when combined with hot water, lemon juice helps to calm nausea. It can also improve your gut health.
To Drink: Lavender Lemonade – via Pinterest
Ginger is used to ease motion sickness, and it also helps calm nausea which can happen while you are pregnant. Plus, it has energizing and antibacterial properties. Gingerol, the element that gives the food its spicy taste, is responsible for the latter. It can be eaten in cookies or as ginger ale but the ideal scenario is to eat the root in raw. Choose one that looks juicy and not too fibrous, and that has shiny skin: simply grate, and brew into tea or enjoy with a stir fry.
Kale has become popular lately, and it’s good to eat while you are pregnant. Like all leafy green vegetables, it is rich in antioxidants. It also contains a number of vitamins, calcium, fibre, and protein, just to name a few benefits. Choose darker leaves for maximum Vitamin C, and save the outer leaves, since those are the ones that are most nutrient rich. Try eating it raw, lightly steamed or sautéed.
On your plate: Kale Chips – via Pinterest
Garlic is famous for protecting us against colds thanks to its antimicrobial properties. What isn’t necessarily common knowledge is that garlic may contribute to good blood circulation, since it relaxes and dilates the blood vessel walls. There are several studies that identify garlic as a blood thinner, so watch your intake before your due date in order to avoid excessive bleeding while giving birth.
On your plate: Grilled Zucchini with Garlic, Lemon and Parmesan – via Pinterest
For those of you who miss sushi during pregnancy you can still enjoy seaweed while you’re expecting. It contains a remarkable amount of Vitamin B12, which has a positive effect on cell growth. Seaweed increases energy—it’s even known for its anti-depressive properties. It also helps with digestion and fights constipation. In total, seaweed contains 23 different minerals, including iodine, calcium and magnesium. It is also rich in fibre and protein. So reach for vegetable rolls that contain it, or add a few sheets to your soups and sautéed dishes.
In your bowl: Korean-Style Miso soup – via Pinterest
For further reading, we suggest browsing through Super Foods for Pregnancy by Susannah Marriott.