Superfoods = Super Mama = Super baby!
26 weeks pregnant and counting! A healthy diet has always been an interest of mine, but I have been extra inspired since pregnancy. Many of the current articles on appropriate food menus for pregnancy and weight gain seem to come with the warning “remember, you are not actually eating for two!” I do understand it’s not necessary double your food intake. However, we are eating for two in terms of nutrients needed. It takes extra vitamins, minerals and good fats to make a healthy baby. But we can’t forget about the mama! We want to feel radiant and vibrant during this miraculous time. There will be many crazy symptoms that are beyond our control, but we definitely have control of our food choices.
The following superfoods can support your body and your baby’s development. An added bonus? These favorites will also encourage glowing skin, healthy hair and strong nails!
So what exactly is a Superfood? A good way to define a superfood is one that has a wide range of nutritional benefits including immunity boosting, cancer fighting properties, beauty benefits and is deemed anti-inflammatory.
There are many incredible foods that are at your fingertips and can be found at your local grocery store. The goal is to incorporate more of these in your diet everyday.
Here are my personal top 5 Superfoods:
Lemons: Hot water with lemon is the best way to start your day because it is hydrating, detoxifying to the liver, reduces inflammation and helps retain your skin’s elasticity. Loaded with vitamin C, it promotes healing and cell growth. It also helps treat swollen feet by reducing uncomfortable edema.
Almonds: One of the most nutrient dense nuts, almonds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. The high amount of vitamin E in these beauties helps keep skin cells plump and moisturized. One of my favorite rituals is soaking 10 almonds overnight. In the morning the almond will pop right out of its skin. The soaking helps with digestion and eating at least 10 a day will help ward off hemorrhoids, which is a very (uncomfortable) and common side effect of pregnancy.
Sardines: I love sardines, always have, but admit they may be an acquired taste. However, it’s worth it! The essential fats, vitamins and minerals work on a cellular level in skin cells that give you a radiant glow and are crucial for baby’s eye and brain development. If the thought of sardines is still too much of a stretch, wild Alaskan salmon is a great alternative. My favorite way to eat either one? Mix with your favorite Dijon mustard and spread on a brown rice wrap.
Chia and Hemp Seeds: These two powerhouses have an impressive amount of protein which makes this a perfect beauty food for healthy hair! They are also a fantastic source of anti-inflammatory omega 3’s. A good supply of iron is a bonus! This mineral is essential when pregnant due to the increased blood volume. I find both of these so versatile and use them almost daily. Chia seeds are perfect for smoothies and “bowls” and you can sprinkle hemp seeds on your yogurt or salads.
Avocado: Avocados are creamy, luscious and loaded with Vitamin C which is essential for radiant skin. They also have an impressive amount of good fat. This type of fat will nourish hair, skin and nails, satiate your appetite and is very satisfying. I sprinkle these green beauties with turmeric which is a proven anti-inflammatory and powerhouse antioxidant. I also add nutritional yeast which boasts a high amount of B vitamins.
Mama Goddess “Cereal” Bowl
I eat this “cereal” almost everyday. The combination of healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals make this a nutrient rich powerhouse that will satisfy your appetite and make your body happy. Combine 2 TB chia seeds, 2 TB hemp hearts, about 10 almonds, 1 TB unsweetened shredded coconut and 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk. Optional ingredients are half banana, handful of blueberries or a sprinkle of goji berries. I usually make this the night before, but if you make it right before your meal it needs to sit for at least 10 minutes. When the chia seeds soak up the liquid, they form a gel around each seed. This gel “collects” toxins as it moves through your organs acting as a detoxifier. The healthy amounts of omega 3 fatty acids in these beauties will do wonders for your skin.
Sarah Brown is a certified yoga instructor, licensed esthetician, wellness columnist and Crossfit junkie. She is the wellness coordinator at Live Young Studio and lives in Thomasville, GA, with her husband Wesley, daughter Phoebe (and is expecting her second child this month!) Connect with Sarah on Instagram or www.thebeautybroad.com.