Veggies, non-starchy, include artichoke, asparagus, bell pepper, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chayote squash, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green leafy vegetables (which have high amounts of vitamin K1 needed for normal blood clotting, which lowers your risk of postpartum hemorrhage). Don’t hesitate to stock up on collards, dandelion, mustard, spinach, kale (which has 45 different types of antioxidants called flavonoids), turnip greens, spinach, watercress, bok choy, and arugula before going to the hospital to deliver. Tomato, green beans, leek, lettuce, mushroom, okra, onion, radish, summer squash, zucchini, and turnips are also great veggies to include in your diet. The following veggies have a higher amount of carbohydrates including beet, parsnips, snap peas, snow peas, and spaghetti squash.
Sources of good carbohydrates include whole grains like pasta, cereals, breads, legumes including beans, lentils, split peas, starchy vegetables potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, green peas, corn, and don’t forget to throw some salt and butter on them for your good fat and sodium chloride content. Milk, yogurt, butter, and heavy cream can be sources of carbs too because they contain lactose, which is a sugar.
The dairy products listed above also double as great sources of protein. But keep in mind that Greek yogurt has more protein than traditional yogurts. Other animal proteins should be pasture-raised because they have more vitamin B12 and Vitamin D since they are in the sun more. Beef, lamb, pork, bison, venison (deer), chicken, turkey, duck, sausage, bacon, organ meats, homemade bone broth, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, almond butter, beans, peas, and lentils are great sources of protein. Remember plant proteins have zero B12, which is a B vitamin that helps to increase natural energy production so if you’re tired in your first trimester try eating more meat. For any vegetarian or vegan moms I highly recommend taking a B12 vitamin supplement all the time, whether you are pregnant or not.
I left seafood like salmon and fatty fish for last. The problem with large fish is the mercury content. If you want to know exactly which fish you should not eat, listen to episode 5 Foods to avoid while pregnant. Small cold-water fish are especially beneficial for the brain-boosting Omega 3 fatty acids. This includes fish such as: salmon, herring, sardines, and fish eggs (roe). They also contain iodine, zinc, and selenium. Iodine necessity increases by 50% during pregnancy in order to maintain normal thyroid function in the mom and healthy brain development in the fetus. That being said, be sure you are using iodized salt. Most salt is iodized but be sure to check the label.