15 Pregnancy Power Foods (Superfoods)

  • Medical Author:
    Erica Oberg, ND, MPH

    Dr. Erica Oberg, ND, MPH, received a BA in anthropology from the University of Colorado, her doctorate of naturopathic medicine (ND) from Bastyr University, and a masters of public health (MPH) in health services research from the University of Washington. She completed her residency at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in ambulatory primary care and fellowship training at the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Quick GuidePregnancy: What Not to Eat When Pregnant

Pregnancy: What Not to Eat When Pregnant

Avocados

Healthy fats are super foods for developing brains. Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats, and also provides some plant-based saturated fats; this makes it a pregnancy power food. One avocado provides nearly a third of the required daily intake of folate, and because it is in the natural form, it is highly bioavailable (its ability to be absorbed and used by the body). Avocados are also high in carnitine and potassium. Try using avocado instead of butter on toast or sandwiches. Add it to a smoothie for a rich creamy flavor without the dairy.

Here's a tip: when using only part of an avocado, leave the remaining part attached to the pit. This will prevent it from turning brown so quickly.

Hemp protein powder

One easy way to ensure that pregnant women are getting enough protein is to use a protein powder. I recommend hemp protein for several reasons. Hemp protein is an excellent source of omega 3 fats, provides complete amino acids, and is high in zinc, iron, and magnesium. I also recommend it because few people are allergic to hemp (as compared to soy or whey protein; both of which commonly cause allergic reactions or symptoms of intolerance). Hemp protein can be used as a quick and easy meal replacement when mixed with almond milk or orange juice, or combined with berries and other ingredients to make a smoothie.

Almond butter

Almond butter is a delicious high protein power food. Almond butter, like all nuts, is rich is vitamin E, all the B vitamins, iron, calcium, and magnesium. While nuts butters are high in fat, the fats are almost entirely in the form of healthy monounsaturated fats. Mix up the monotony of peanut butter by using almond butter in its place. Try it with celery sticks for a tasty nutritious snack that older children will enjoy too.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a pregnancy power food for its high fiber, complex carbohydrates. Good amounts of zinc and magnesium are also found in oatmeal. While slow cooking steel cut oats will provide the highest amount of fiber, instant oatmeal is an option too. Instant oatmeal can provide a fast, simple breakfast or snack as long it isn't too high in sugar. Artificially sweetened sugar-free oatmeal isn't a better option. If you can't find a low-sugar instant oatmeal, make you own with raw quick rolled oats. Put oats in a bowl and add water to just barely saturate and cover the oats. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, add berries and nuts, and you've got a perfect pregnancy power breakfast!

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/27/2015
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