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10 Pregnancy Superfoods (according to a real food dietitian)

First, let me start by saying the word “superfood” is dumb.

It implies that one single food is the holy grail or holds the key to curing cancer. Or that you have to take an expedition to a rainforest to get a hold of it.

There’s simply no single food that’s king.

But, when my colleagues, Jessica and Stacey over at TheRealFoodRDs.com asked me to write a guest post about prenatal nutrition, I just couldn’t shake the urge to write about “superfoods.”

That’s because pregnancy is a unique time where nutrient needs go waaay up and it pays (by reducing complications for both you and baby) to put in the extra effort to eat certain nutrient-dense foods.

I’ve noticed that with all the focus on “what foods to avoid during pregnancy,” not many women are looking at what foods to eat MORE of.

When I’ve come across lists of so-called healthy pregnancy foods (like in magazines or other blogs), few of them make the cut by my standards. (Sorry, Cosmo, soy is NOT a wise choice in pregnancy.)

To make the cut for my 10 Pregnancy Superfoods list, a food has to offer specific nutritional benefits for pregnancy and few (if any) downsides.

And no, they don’t need to come from a place far, far away.

“In reality, a superfood can be anything with specific nutritional benefits, as exotic as acai berries or as Plain Jane as a bunch of kale.”

You might be surprised when you read through my list (#2, 5, and 7 in particular), but these foods have been prized as fertility-boosting foods in traditional cultures across the globe for centuries.

I assure you, I’m not relying on old wives tales for evidence.

As I’ve explained in my book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes, there’s oodles of modern day scientific research to back up my top 10 pregnancy superfoods.

But enough of the small talk. Let’s dig into the meat and potatoes of it.

I suggest you grab a pen & paper and head on over to TheRealFoodRDs for my “Top 10 Foods for a Healthy Pregnancy“.

Until next week,
Lily

PS – Before you go, I’d love to hear what food (or foods) you consider superfoods during pregnancy. There’s certainly room to expand upon my list!

Tell me in the comments below.

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.

4 Comments

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  1. Hi Lily!
    I love your list, thank you! Especially the avocado, eggs, and wild salmon – three of my favorite things. I’m not a mom-to-be, but beets are my current “superfood.” Here in the South, they are plentiful and as a root veg, they last a long time (raw with skins) in the fridge. They are great roasted, and then I like to quick-pickle them for the extra vinegar umph. Hopefully they are good for pregnant moms, too! Hope you and your family are doing well! -Jill

    • Awesome, Jill. Yes, beets are fantastic. A great source of folate, vitamin C, and potassium. I love ’em roasted and as a slaw!

  2. Very good article for pregnant women to focus on super foods during pregnancy. My gynaecologist in Dubai always advised me to eat whole foods for maximum nutrients. Thanks for sharing such informative post.

  3. Thank you for sharing! I have heard a lot about spirulina, would this be a good item to add to my diet if pregnant?

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