Top Healthy and Organic Foods for the First Trimester

by , 01/10/13

Image ©Flickr user little blue hen

Organic Sweet Potatoes

Organic sweet potatoes, in my opinion, are one of the world’s most perfect foods. Babies love pureed and mashed sweet potatoes, toddlers love sweet potatoes as finger food and yes, adults adore them as well. Sweet potatoes are ultra healthy and almost entirely fat-free. Just one cup of sweet potato has as much vitamin A as 16 cups of broccoli and is a great source of iron, vitamin E and dietary fiber.

Sweet potatoes are also perfect for pregnant women. Potatoes and related veggies are known to ease morning sickness symptoms. Additionally, sweet potatoes are chock full of potassium; an important mineral for pregnant women. Potassium helps your body maintain correct fluid and electrolyte balance. It also helps your muscles contract, keeps your blood pressure stable and allows your body to release the right amount of energy from protein, fat and carbs. In addition, potassium also helps reduce swelling and leg cramps – both typical problems for many pregnant women.

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Remember Organic Red Produce

Pregnant women should have at least 85mg of vitamin C daily. Vitamin C helps to strengthen your body’s membranes, including the amniotic membranes. Later on, having strong amniotic membranes means you’re more likely to avoid preterm labor. You don’t have to OD on oranges to get vitamin C either. Vitamin C is found in all sorts of foods, but if you need an easy way to remember which foods in particular are vitamin C-rich, go with red produce. Most red produce contains higher than average amounts of vitamin C, so stock up on delicious red strawberries, red bell peppers, ruby red and dark red citrus fruits, tomatoes and other red produce delights.

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Organic Whole Grains

Pregnancy is not the time for white, flavorless bread, especially if you’re experiencing morning sickness. Women with morning sickness should concentrate on the least offensive, most nutritious foods possible. Basically, if you can’t keep much food down, it makes sense to make every bite count, and white processed grains don’t count for much. An added benefit of eating whole grains is folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects and is available in whole grain food sources like fortified grains, pastas and breakfast cereals. The following whole grains aren’t too offensive if you have morning sickness, and pack a healthy punch, even in small amounts.

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Organic Spinach

Iron is vital for a healthy pregnancy but it’s hard for most women to get enough. In fact, iron-deficiency anemia affects about 20% of all pregnant women. Luckily, fresh organic spinach makes it easy to sneak in extra iron. Spinach is jam-packed with iron, but is also rich in calcium, folate, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin A. You can add spinach to spaghetti sauce, smoothies, homemade soup, salad or any casserole you choose. Spinach goes with so many things. My favorite spinach dish is Black Bean Chilaquile – everyone I’ve ever met loves it and you can add extra spinach to it, plus make it vegan or low-fat if you choose. You can also try a spinach frittata, quick spinach and tomato pasta, or easy sauteed spinach. That said, even though spinach is a top source of iron your body can’t absorb all of the iron it provides. So you’ll still need iron from other sources like beans, and when paired with a vitamin C source such as tomatoes, you’ll be able to get even more of the iron benefits.

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