10 Amazing Fruits and Veggies to Eat Every Week of Your Pregnancy (And How to Sneak Them In)

Posted in Pregnancy + Birth

Getting fresh fruits and veggies in during your pregnancy is both essential and challenging. Your growing baby needs the nutrients, and yet time and budget often get in the way.

To simplify life as much of possible when I was pregnant with my girls, I came up with a list of 10 powerhouse fruits and vegetables to consume every single week of pregnancy.

I chose these 10 because they:

  • Offer a variety of different nutrients
  • Are easy to work with
  • Can be found at affordable prices

At the end of each week if I had each item at least once, I felt like I wasn’t completely failing at healthy preggie eating. ūüėČ

The foods I chose are:

1. Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach and dark leafy greens have great health benefits for pregnant women.
Look at any “healthy foods to eat” list, and chances are, at least one dark leafy green will be on it. And for good reason.

Chard, spinach, watercress, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine…there are so many different types of leafy greens to choose from. This makes it super easy to switch up which green you go with from week to week, which gives you some budgeting flexibility.

Benefits to Eating Dark Leafy Greens During Pregnancy:

  • High in folic acid, which is incredibly important throughout pregnancy, but especially during the first trimester, as it can reduce chances of certain birth defects¬†and¬†can reduce¬†the chances of miscarriage and premature birth.
  • Vegan source of¬†iron, which is needed for red blood cell production, for both you and your baby. The iron can also help¬†prevent anemia.
  • With the high nitrate count in most leafy greens, spinach, in particular, consuming them regularly throughout pregnancy can help lower your blood pressure.

¬†Sneak ’em in:

Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies! Such a great option because:

  1. You can use frozen greens! Cheaper, harvested at the peak of freshness, and lengthens the shelf life, making it less likely for the greens (and the cash you spent on them) to go to waste.
  2. You can make them taste yummier by blending them with delicious fruits.
  3. Blending allows you to easily consume the greens in their raw form, which means more nutrients for you and your growing little love bug. You still get some nutrients when you cook the dark leafy greens (so use them that way, too!), but try to eat them raw whenever possible.

You could also…

Use them as a base for a salad.

Add them to a sandwich or wrap.

Wilt some spinach into your pasta sauce.

You could also make them into¬†juice, but you’ll lose the fiber. If you have the choice between the two…go with blending the greens into a smoothie to get the full nutritional benefits.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have amazing health benefits for pregnant women
Not just a popular Thanksgiving side dish, Sweet potatoes are as nutrient-rich as they are beautiful with their bright orange color.

Benefits to Eating Sweet Potatoes During Pregnancy:

  • Sweet potatoes are a wonderful plant source¬†of¬†Vitamin A, which helps support eye health in your growing baby.
  • The fiber helps relieve constipation, a common pregnancy symptom.
  • The Vitamin B6 found in sweet potatoes can help reduce morning sickness.

Sneak ’em in:

Sweet potatoes are delicious when chopped and¬†roasted. Hands down, my favorite way to enjoy them. A little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil…perfect.

You can also…

Bake them whole.

Mash them up for a grown-up (and healthed-up) take on mashed potatoes.

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Slice them into wedges and bake them into sweet potato fries for when those salty/savory cravings hit.

3. Avocado

Health benefits avocado pregnant women
A good fat. And a tasty one, too. Avocados are traditionally known for their use in Mexican dishes, but this little fruit is incredibly versatile and can branch out beyond burritos.

Benefits to Eating Avocados During Pregnancy:

  • The¬†choline found in avocados helps out your growing baby’s brain and healthy nerve development.
  • The¬†saturated fats in avocados help with the developing cell structor of your baby’s cells—particularly the membrane.
  • The folic acid helps support the development of baby’s organs.

Sneak ’em in:

Avocado toast is a delicious way to incorporate avocados into your pregnancy diet. Pick a whole-grain bread, toast it up, top with mashed avocado, salt, and pepper. Make it a little fancier by add a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil, or add a (thoroughly cooked) egg on top for a protein-punch.

You can also…

Add them to smoothies to make them extra creamy and delicious.

Halve them and top with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil to enjoy on their own.

Add them to salads.

Make sandwiches and wraps super yummy.

Add them to burritos or burrito bowls.

Top off your scrambled eggs with a few slices.

Mix with peeled and chopped hard-boiled eggs, sliced green onions, and salt & pepper for a healthier take on egg salad.

Or, if that salty craving starts to hit, make up a batch of fresh guacamole.

4. Beets

Beets are a pregnancy superfood
I had precisely 0% beet consumption during my first pregnancy. This is because I had absolutely no idea what to do with them.

When my blood pressure started creeping up during my second pregnancy, I started researching foods that naturally lower blood pressure during pregnancy. Lo and behold: beets do!

This root vegetable has many properties that could help reduce the risk of preeclampsia, which makes it a must for a healthy pregnancy diet.

Benefits to Eating Beets During Pregnancy:

  • Beets have the ability to reduce blood pressure within a matter of hours. For pregnant women, keeping a healthy blood pressure is absolutely crucial, and beets can help make that happen.
  • The betaine found in beetroot has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve swelling and joint pain¬†during pregnancy.
  • The antioxidant properties of beets allow them to help boost your immune system, keeping you healthy to carry on with that baby-growing that you’re busy doing.

Sneak ’em in:

To be honest, the only way that I consumed beets during my pregnancies was by adding them to smoothies. You can buy them whole, chop them up, and throw them in, OR you can buy packages of peeled beets in most grocery stores and use those (which saves your hands from turning bright red, as you don’t have to actually touch them).

You can also…

Roast them in the oven. On their own, or with other root veggies (including other pregnancy superfood sweet potatoes).

Add them to salads.

Drink beet juice (delicious with apple and ginger).

5. Berries

Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all great for pregnancy diets
A delicious way to get some essential antioxidants to your little one, berries are a must for any pregnancy diet. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all

Benefits to Eating Berries During Pregnancy:

  • The nutrients and antioxidants that are found in blueberries support the nervous system and healthy brain development for your baby.
  • The fiber and polyphenols give a boost to cardiovascular health, making sure that little heart that you’ve been listening to keeps growing ¬†strongly.
  • Berries promote good blood circulation and can help your baby develop health blood vessels.
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Sneak ’em in:

You don’t need to do a whole lot of “sneaking” when it comes to berries. They¬†are a delicious fruit to snack on¬†by themselves—no fuss. Wash ’em; eat ’em.

You can also…

Add them to smoothies (beets + strawberries + blueberries is a winner). Bonus Рyou can use the frozen berries to extend your shelf life and avoid letting the fresh ones go bad.

Add them to a salad.

Pile them on top of yogurt and add some chopped almonds or walnuts.

6. Broccoli


Broccoli could be probably thrown into that Dark Leafy Greens category from earlier, but this veggie is such a pregnancy superfood that I wanted to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the group.

Benefits to Eating Broccoli During Pregnancy:

  • One amazing thing about broccoli is that can actually protect your baby’s skin from ultra-violet (UV) rays during pregnancy. This is thanks to the¬†sulforaphane and¬†glucoraphanin that reduce skin inflammation.
  • Broccoli strengthens and protects bones during pregnancy, being a plant-based source of calcium.
  • It also gives baby’s brain a boost of protection and can help reduce the chances of some neurological defects (such as Spina Bifida), thanks to folate.

Sneak ’em in:

Once again, smoothies are your friend when it comes to getting the stronger-tasting veggies into your pregnancy diet, as the taste of fruit can help hide the vegetables a bit. Plus, you can use¬†frozen broccoli to lengthen the shelf life (I love frozen fruits and veggies…can you tell?!) and consume the broccoli in it’s raw state.

You can also…

Steam it.

Roast it.

Chop it up (really small, in my case) and throw in a salad.

Sauté it in a stir fry and serve over quinoa.

7. Bananas


Bananas seem like such a “basic” fruit to me that I never would have thrown them into the “superfoods” category before becoming pregnant.

For a pregnant mama-to-be, this classic comes with all kinds of goodness.

Benefits to Eating Bananas During Pregnancy:

  • Bananas are loaded with Vitamin B6, which supports your growing baby’s central nervous system.
  • No real shock here—bananas are known for their potassium. Pregnant women especially need to make sure they get enough potassium in their diets, as it helps¬†reduce swelling, a common pregnancy side effect.
  • Bananas contain both¬†gum fiber and pectin, which can help prevent diarrhea in pregnancy by absorbing some excess water in your body.

Sneak ’em in:

Most of my pregnancy banana consumption came from…yep…smoothies¬†again! They add a burst of sweetness, seem to pair well with literally every veggie you blend them with, and, like avocados, add a delicious creaminess to your smoothie.

You can also…

Eat them whole.

Slice them and throw them on top of yogurt, whole-grain cereal, or oatmeal. 

Blend them with peanut butter, oatmeal, milk, and Greek yogurt for a proteined -up breakfast smoothie.

Bake them into yummy banana bread when they get a little overripe.

8. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a first trimester life-saver if you have bad morning sickness like I did. I think there were a few weeks in the early months where I existed entirely on saltines and grapefruit. Besides being something that I could stomach, grapefruits are also full of wonderful nutrients for both you and your baby.

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Benefits to Eating Grapefruit During Pregnancy:

  • Grapefruit can help neutralize stomach acid, helping to eliminate common pregnancy symptoms like heartburn and indigestion, which are incredibly common late in pregnancy as the baby grows larger.
  • Like other citrus fruits, grapefruit is high in¬†Vitamin C, which is especially beneficial for pregnant women, as it helps¬†reduce swelling and can help curb other¬†preeclampsia¬†symptoms, like high blood pressure.
  • Grapefruit has also been known to help combat¬†insomnia¬†that occurs during pregnancy, especially towards the end. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try eating a few slices before bed.

Sneak ’em in:

I always go for the slice in half and eat approach when it comes to grapefruit.

You could also…

Add them to salads. 

Throw them into those smoothies.

Juice them (or buy grapefruit juice at the store) for a new breakfast beverage.

9. Carrots

Another classic snack that happens to be a pregnancy health powerhouse, carrots are sweet, mild, and easy to enjoy.

Benefits to Eating Carrots During Pregnancy:

  • Carrots are high in beta-carotene (which, like in sweet potatoes, the body converts into the essential Vitamin A), meaning they are wonderful for your baby’s growing skin, eyes, bones, and organs.
  • They are also a good source of¬†Vitamin C, which protects the¬†immune system (especially important for pregnant women during cold and flu season), and helps your body better absorb¬†iron.
  • If bananas aren’t your thing, you can get a nice dose of¬†potassium from carrots, too, which helps prevent muscle cramps and increase blood flow to the brain.

Sneak ’em in:

Carrots make a great healthy, on-the-go snack throughout pregnancy. You can buy baby carrots, throw them in your bag, and eat them on their own throughout the day as hunger strikes.

You could also…

Eat them with hummas or your favorite kind of dip.

Roast them.

Toss them into salads. 

Shred them and bake them into healthy breakfast muffins.

Steam them.

Mash them for a mashed potato alternative. (You could also mix in some sweet potatoes to boost up the health factor even more.)

Add them to smoothies or juice them.

10. Mango


Mangos are a tropical fruit that brings a different flavor into the mix. Sweet and delicious—and, of course, good for you and baby!

Benefits to Eating Mango During Pregnancy:

  • Mangos are a wonderful source of¬†Vitamins C and E, which can help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy (even if it isn’t always “glowing”) throughout your pregnancy.
  • Because they are rich in carbohydrates, mangos can help fight fatigue and provide an energy boost to moms-to-be.
  • Mangos can help¬†fight constipation¬†due to the fact that they are¬†diuretic in nature and aid in digestion.

Sneak ’em in:

Frozen mango in smoothies¬†keeps you from having to figure out if a mango is ripe or not, and saves you the trouble of chopping. Plus—delicious, delicious, delicious.

You could also…

Make a fresh mango salsa. 

Eat them raw on their own.

Use them to sweeten up salads.

Put fresh slices over a bowl of yogurt.

Juice them

 

What pregnancy must-have foods would you add to this list?

 

 

 

10 Amazing Fruits and Veggies to Eat Every Week of Your Pregnancy and How to Sneak Them In

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March 31, 2017
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