Thursday, June 7, 2012

Top 5 Foods for Fertility and Pregnancy

It's no secret eating healthy while trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy is important, but how do you know what's best for you and your growing baby inside?  The foods you choose can effect fertility, as well as the long term health of your baby (recent studies have even shown that how you eat during pregnancy can decrease the chances of childhood obesity).  Here is our list of the top 5 super foods to eat during preconception and pregnancy.

1.  Dark green leafy veggies- Green leafy veggies like spinach, kale and chard, are packed with iron, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber and the all important folate.

2.  Salmon and other wild caught fish – Salmon is high in omega-3s and healthy fatty acid, essential for brain development during pregnancy.  Salmon also has low amounts mercury, a compound that can be harmful to your baby's developing nervous system.  Good quality, pharmaceutical grade DHA (in capsule form) is also a great source of omega-3's if you can't find and eat enough quality fish. 

3.  Egg- Eggs are loaded with protein and other essential nutrients for pregnancy like vitamin E, healthy fats and beta carotene.  Be sure to include the yolk.  Egg yolks are packed with choline, which is good for brain development and helps in the prevention of neural tube defect.

4.  Whole Grains and nuts- Whole grains and nuts are important in pre-conception and pregnancy because they're high in fiber and nutrients, including vitamin E and selenium great for healthy hair, skin and nails, especially during pregnancy. 

5.  Yogurt and cultured dairy- Yogurt is high in fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin K.  They’re highly important in supporting the brain and the nervous system in baby's early development.  Greek yogurt typically has twice the protein of regular yogurt and any kind of yogurt is a great source of calcium.  You’ll want to stay away from any dairy that’s been ultra-pasteurized.

We also recommend taking a daily prenatal vitamin and a DHA supplement during pre-conception and pregnancy.  Always check with your OBGYN and/or midwife before taking any supplement during pregnancy.