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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Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt, making it a pregnancy power food. Pregnant women need about 50% more protein in their diet than nonpregnant women. Yogurt is also a source of probiotics, or healthy bacteria. Probiotics are pregnancy super foods because these healthy bacteria help overcome unhealthy bacteria, reducing the risk of early labor, prenatal infection, and eczema and allergy in the babies up to 5 years later.

Figs

Figs are a good source of fiber, calcium, and magnesium. They also contain lots of manganese, a trace mineral that is important for our natural antioxidant systems. Enjoy figs fresh or dried; on their own or added to a salad for a touch of sweetness. The combination of fiber and magnesium also makes figs a good choice to relieve constipation, a common problem for pregnant women.

Sardines

This super food is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D. Sardines are also rich in B-12, calcium and selenium. Try eating canned sardines spread on crackers. Fresh anchovies, if you are lucky enough to be able to find them in your local fish market, are delicious simmered in a tomato-herb sauce. Sardines are high in protein and omega-3 fats. Two sardines provides over 300mg of these anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids. Because sardines are small and low on the food chain, they have less mercury and other toxins compared to larger fish. This makes them a good choice for pregnant women.

REFERENCE: VandeVusse, L. et al. "Perinatal outcomes of prenatal probiotic and prebiotic administration: an integrative review." J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2013 Oct-Dec;27(4):288-301; quiz E1-2. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e3182a1e15d. Review. PubMed PMID: 24164813.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/27/2015

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