Superfoods are a quick and easy way for people to get important vitamins and minerals, but what if you're pregnant? Here’s what you need to know...
ARE SUPERFOODS SAFE TO EAT WHILE PREGNANT?
9 out of 10 adults don’t get enough fruits and vegetables every day. But what about pregnant women?
According to a 2013 study published in the “Journal of Family and Reproductive Health,” less than 2% of the 485 pregnant women evaluated, met fruit and vegetable guidelines for pregnancy.*
Consuming whole foods that are rich in essential nutrients is imperative for supporting your body’s functions and ensuring your system is operating properly. As an expectant mother, healthy eating becomes even more vital—not just for yourself but also for your baby!
Consult with your OB-GYN to understand how your daily nutritional needs change during pregnancy and always ask your doctor before introducing any new vitamins and supplements into your diet.
WHAT NUTRIENTS DO YOU (AND YOUR BABY) NEED WHILE PREGNANT?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), expectant mothers need more calcium, folate (or folic acid), iron, and protein. But every woman is different, so check with your OB-GYN to learn how to best supplement your diet to account for your increased nutritional needs.
Calcium helps the body regulate fluids and builds your baby’s teeth and bones. Most pregnant women need at least three servings of calcium per day.
While dairy products are high in calcium, they aren’t the only—or even healthiest—way to get this important mineral. Luckily, there are plenty of plant-based calcium sources! Soy, beans, peas, lentils, spinach, and raspberries are a few great plant-based calcium sources. Check with your doctor to determine which sources are best for you and your growing baby.
Also known as vitamin B9, folate is found naturally in many foods. Beans, nuts, leafy greens, and certain fruits are all-natural sources of B9. Folic acid is the synthetic version and can be found in supplements and prenatal vitamins. Both folate and folic acid promote proper fetal growth and development. Talk to your OB-GYN about how to best supplement with prenatal vitamins and dietary sources.
Protein helps build bones, muscles, tissues and blood. Expectant mothers need extra protein for breast and uterine tissue growth and to support a healthy placenta. Protein also ensures the proper growth of fetal tissue, as well as other vital organs like the brain and heart. As you can see, getting enough protein is incredibly important during pregnancy! Be sure to talk to your doctor about how best to meet your protein needs while pregnant.
Iron is an essential mineral that the body uses to carry oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases by 50%, which means expecting mothers need double the amount of iron to supply oxygen to the baby.
A great way to increase the absorption of iron (whether you’re pregnant or not) is to eat iron-rich foods with foods that are high in vitamin C. Your doctor will be able to help you adjust your diet to meet your increased iron needs, but beans, baked potatoes, cashews, and whole-grains are some of the best plant-based sources of iron.
CAN SUPERFOODS HELP DURING PREGNANCY?
While superfoods are rich in essential vitamins and minerals and can be an easy way to add more nutrition to your diet, it is very important to ask your doctor before taking new supplements or making any changes to your diet. Only your doctor knows enough about your individual health history and nutritional needs to determine if superfoods are right for you during pregnancy. Here are some highly nutritious fruits and vegetables and nutrient-dense superfoods to discuss with your doctor.
Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and romaine lettuce, are some of the best veggies to eat while pregnant because they’re rich in iron and calcium. The Super Green mix and Skinny Protein mix both contain a serving of greens and can easily be added to smoothies, oatmeal, dressings and more!
Chia seeds may be small, but they’re packed with nutrients. These tiny seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for a baby’s brain development. They deliver iron and calcium. You can find chia seeds in our Forever Beautiful Mix and Chocolate Lover Mix.
Berries and other fresh fruit are great sources of important vitamins and nutrients. Blueberries are especially rich in folate. The Forever Beautiful Mix contains acai, blueberries, maqui berries, and acerola cherries. It’s also a great source of vitamin C, which improves iron absorption.
Bananas are a good source of folate as well as other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, which may help with morning sickness symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Our Plant Protein Mix contains banana powder and is a great source of plant-based protein.
SUPERFOODS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY*
At the top of the “do not eat while pregnant” list is coffee or, more specifically, caffeine.*
Women who are pregnant metabolize caffeine slower than those who aren’t — it can take 1.5–3.5 times longer to eliminate caffeine from their body! Additionally, caffeine crosses the placenta, which means it enters the baby’s bloodstream and can affect his or her health.
Caffeine isn’t just found in coffee, soda, and energy drinks — it naturally occurs in over 60 plants. Both matcha and guarana contain naturally occurring caffeine. Because of that, our Power Matcha Mix and Energy Bomb Mix aren’t recommended while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Our Golden Mellow Mix doesn't contain caffeine, but—as with all of our superfood mixes—we strongly advise pregnant or breastfeeding women to speak with their healthcare provider before using this mix.
We also do not recommend doing the 5-Day Detox while pregnant or breastfeeding*.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Becoming a mother is one of life’s most amazing gifts. The way women’s bodies adapt and change to bring new life into the world is truly magical. During pregnancy, proper nutrition is more important than ever and is essential for supporting your body. However, no two pregnancy journeys are alike.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition during pregnancy. You should always ask your OB-GYN or primary care physician about all the vitamins and supplements you take regularly—and always consult with your healthcare provider before adding any new vitamins or supplements to your diet.
*Consult with your OB-GYN to understand how your daily nutritional needs change during pregnancy and always ask your doctor before introducing any new vitamins and supplements into your diet.