Ten Foods that Support a Healthy Pregnancy

BBQ teriyaki salmon (Credit:Nigel O'Neil/Royalty-Free)

We all know that cravings are common during pregnancy.  From pickles to chocolate- to chocolate pickles- women can desperately want to eat foods they would never think of eating normally.  

But what foods are on the top of the list when it comes to nutrients needed during pregnancy?

“Fortunately, there are many foods that are both delicious and nutritious for moms-to-be,” said Jillian Reece, RD, a dietician in the Weight and Wellness Center at Tufts Medical Center. “The best diet will be one with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains.”

Here are ten common foods that you might not think of as beneficial:

Oranges (	iStock / Getty Images Plus)

1. Oranges                                                

Packed with vitamins A and C, oranges can aid in the absorption of iron. Adequate iron stores during pregnancy help to deliver oxygen to a growing baby. Other options that have similar impact include carrots and sweet potatoes.

Eggs (	iStock / Getty Images Plus)

2. Eggs

 Eggs are a great source of Vitamin D and choline. Choline helps with brain development.

(	iStock / Getty Images Plus)

3. Beans

Legumes and beans are lean proteins that are also high in fiber. They also contain iron, folate and calcium.

Plain full-fat yogurt (Greek Yogurt) on slate background. (Credit: IGPhotography/iStock Getty Images Plus/Royalty-Free)

4. Non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt

Yogurt is high in calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Fresh Cut Avocado on Wooden Cutting Board (	iStock / Getty Images Plus)


This fruit, rich in healthy fats, is a great source of fiber and has more potassium than a banana.

Home made peanut butter and other kinds of nut butters on the old wooden plank (iStock / Getty Images Plus)

6. Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)

Peanut Butter (and Almond Butter) is rich in B vitamins which can reduce a baby’s risk of developing birth defects, help with development of the nervous system, and assist with metabolizing carbohydrates. And yes, unless you yourself are allergic to peanut butter, it is safe to eat during pregnancy.

Spinach (Credit: Vesna Jovanovic / EyeEm)

7. Spinach

It doesn’t just make Popeye strong! Spinach is high in potassium, vitamin K, calcium, iron and folate. Other veggies with similar benefits include kale, Brussel sprouts and broccoli.

Salmon (iStock / Getty Images Plus)

8. Salmon

Fatty fish like salmon support healthy skin and tissue development for the baby. Salmon is a great source of protein, vitamin D and provides Omega 3 fatty acids to help with the neural development of the baby.

Brown Rice (Credit:Seksak Kerdkanno / EyeEm/)

9. Brown Rice

Whole grains such as quinoa, barley and brown rice help to provide energy and can be a excellent source of fiber, B vitamins and magnesium.

Tofu Salad (Credit: Audi Santoso / EyeEm/Royalty Free)

10. Tofu

Lean proteins, like chicken, turkey, seafood and tofu help muscle health in a growing baby. Tofu has the added benefit of containing calcium.

Posted June 2018

The above content is provided for educational purposes by Tufts Medical Center. It is free for educational use. For information about your own health, contact your physician.

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