Modern Mom: 10 Best foods to eat when pregnant

Sarah Brooks

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With so many rules and recommendations on what to eat and what to avoid when pregnant, it’s easy to get confused and just throw in the towel. When it comes to your baby’s health, though, there are certain foods that nourish your baby’s developing brain more than others.

Modern Mom: 10 Best foods to eat when pregnant

Photo Credit:JGI/Tom Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images

Broccoli

Broccoli is both a great source of calcium and vitamin B6. It helps your body absorb iron and can satisfy your craving for something crunchy. Top fresh broccoli with a few tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, mix well and add in some chopped garlic, then bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Bananas

Bananas are rich in potassium, vitamin C and fiber, all essential for a growing fetus. If you're in your first trimester, try eating one for breakfast as they've been known to help with morning sickness.

Lentils

Folic acid is important in pregnancy for preventing birth defects of the spinal cord and brain. One serving of lentils contains nearly 50 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Try these lentil ‘meatballs’ here

Eggs

With both of my pregnancies I had a huge aversion to meat. Knowing that I still needed to get my protein, I turned to eggs. With six grams of protein per egg, they help you get a jump-start on the daily recommended requirement of 70 grams. Eggs also help promote the baby's growth and brain health.

Modern Mom: Are eggs all they’re cracked up to be?

Asparagus

Another food loaded with folate and vitamins A, C, E and K is asparagus. Bake it in the oven sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, saute it on the stove with a bit of olive oil or grill it on the patio with salmon. Asparagus is also good for the brain, so eat up!

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are great as a mid-afternoon snack or served with baked chicken for dinner. You can eat them as-is or top with brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, folate, fiber and vitamin C — all vital for both mommy and baby.

Avocados

Avocados have the good fats you need during pregnancy. Also packed with folate, vitamin K and vitamin C, avocados help your developing baby's brain and tissues. Toss in a salad, blend in a smoothie or eat as-is topped with a dash of salt and pepper.

Almonds

Almonds are a good source of protein and iron, both vital nutrients during pregnancy. They also contain folate, so grab yourself a handful or two in the afternoon. If raw almonds aren't your thing, give almond butter a try.

Check out this delicious almond butter, banana and chocolate smoothie here

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are another food rich in folic acid. We love them because they can easily be added to soups, salads and cereals without providing too strong of a flavor or being too filling. Toss a handful into one meal each day!

Greek yogurt

We all know calcium is good for the bones, and if you don't get enough, your bones will start to weaken and your baby may not get the required amount. Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, plus it provides twice the amount of protein as regular yogurt.

If you're pregnant, the best thing you can do for your baby is to take care of yourself. Eat healthy, get some exercise, make sure you're getting enough sleep and try to live as stress-free as possible.

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Sarah Brooks
Newlywed, new mom and first-time home buyer, Sarah is currently playing out her exciting life in Phoenix, Arizona. She recently gave up her job in finance to stay at home with her baby girl, who between bath time and feeding time, keeps her very busy. In addition to settling into her new neighborhood and parenthood, she is also a writer and contributor for SheKnows.com.