Diet is one of the most important factors during pregnancy, but more importantly, it is one of the few factors you can have complete control over. A healthy diet can contribute towards a happy and comfortable pregnancy by reducing many of the common complaints such as fatigue, nausea, anemia and heartburn. 

It will also ensure you are providing the best possible environment to grow a healthy baby. Your developing baby relies on you for all of its nutritional needs, which basically means your own needs are doubled. While the appealing prospect of 'eating for two' when expecting is no longer recommended, a pregnant woman must definitely eat the nutrients for two. And there are also some specific nutrients to focus on, with intake varying throughout your pregnancy.

So what should an expectant mum be eating and how does she double the nutrients without doubling food intake? It's as simple as choosing foods super rich in these nutrients. We call these Pregnancy super foods. So stock up on the following foods and make them a part of your daily diet. 

Almonds Rich in protein, zinc, calcium, magnesium. Good for the development of brain, heart & nervous system.

Avocado Rich in omega 3 and essential amino acids for brain development and the production of collagen to reduce stretch marks.

Bananas A convenient snack rich in iodine, iron, zinc, folate and b-vitamins for normal growth and development.

Blueberries One of the best antioxidant food sources. Rich in vitamin C for a healthy immune system for both mum and bub.

Chickpeas An absolute wonder food with over 9 essential nutrients. Invaluable excellent source of protein, calcium and fibre.

Carrots Excellent for eyesight, immunity, healthy skin, hair and nails.

Brazil nuts The best source of selenium for fertility.

Dairy products Most absorbable source of calcium for strong bones and teeth. Also rich in protein and vitamin B12 for energy and healthy blood.

Dark green Invaluable source of folate to reduce the risk of birth defects.
Leafy Vegetables Also rich in calcium, vitamin C & B and dietary fibre. Increases the absorption of iron when eaten with lean protein sources.

Eggs Nature's own vitamin capsule. Higher in protein than chicken. Always use fresh eggs, but no runny yolks during pregnancy.

Flaxseed oil Extremely rich in omega 3 and other essential fatty acids for brain development and healthy heart, skin, and placenta.

Lean meat Most absorbable source of iron for healthy blood.  Reduces risk of anaemia and fatigue. Fantastic fuel for foetal growth.

Seafood Excellent source of zinc for conception, as well as zinc, omega 3 and iodine for optimum IQ brain development.

Tofu The only non-animal complete protein. Rich in calcium and dietary fibre. Fabulous for vegetarians.

Wholegrain products One of the best sources of folate and the B-group vitamins essential to normal growth and development, great energy source to reduce fatigue and excellent aid for constipation.
 
See Lisa Neal's Feeding the Bump for more super foods and easy to follow recipes. Available at all good book stores or online at www.allenandunwin.com/

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