The Perfect Pregnancy Food: The Benefits of Salmon for Pregnant Women

Contributor:Shawn Casadevall

Congratulations! Pregnancy is an exciting time. It’s also the start of a new life where you put someone else’s needs before your own: starting now, with your diet.

There are some foods that are absolutely unsafe for you and your baby while you are pregnant. It’s important you know what they are. And that you know the ones that keep you both nourished and healthy, like salmon.

To learn more about the benefits of salmon, and what else you should eat now that you’re pregnant, read on!

What Should I Eat Now That I’m Pregnant?

Your body is busy creating a whole new human! That’s a lot of work, so you want to make sure you’ve got the right nutrition to fuel it. That way you’ll feel better throughout the pregnancy, and you’ll give your baby the best possible start to life.

1. Dairy Products

While pregnant, you need extra protein and calcium to meet the baby’s needs. And growing babies need a lot of calcium: so much so that if you don’t eat enough your body will take it straight from your bones! Try greek yogurt, milk smoothies, and cheese to get calcium and high-quality proteins like whey and casein.

2. Eggs

Eat eggs while pregnant to get almost every nutrient you need! Low in calories, high in quality proteins and fats, and full of vitamins and minerals. What’s not to like about that?

They also have a gentle flavor which is a big help in the early months where anything too strong can trigger nausea. Make sure the yolk of the egg is fully cooked however, because of the salmonella risk. Salmonella is a bacterium that causes food poisoning.

While pregnant, you are more susceptible to the sorts of bacteria that cause food poisoning, so it’s best to keep those eggs well cooked.

3. Lean Meat

Lean meats like beef, pork, and chicken are fantastic sources of high-quality protein. Mixing them up means you’ll be getting a wide array of different sorts of protein for you and the baby. These meats also have essential nutrients like vitamin B, iron, and choline – all great for your growing family.

You’ll need to maintain healthy iron levels, too. Iron-deficiency anemia can happen if your diet is too low in iron. It’s definitely a problem you want to avoid since it is connected to premature delivery and low birthweight.

4. Leafy Greens

Eating leafy greens while pregnant will ensure you’ve got healthy levels of iron, folate, fiber, and lots of vitamins. Choose vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach. Since these foods are full of antioxidants, they’ll boost the immune system, too.

5. Legumes

Peas, beans, soybeans, and lentils are fantastic during pregnancy. They fill you with plant-based fiber, iron, folate, and calcium. Folate during pregnancy can reduce the chances of birth defects, part of what makes these foods so important.

Soups are a great way to incorporate these into your diet. You can keep the flavors simple and add some lemon juice if you’re still in the early-pregnancy nauseous stage.

6. Seafood

Seafood is a great source of protein, zinc, and iron. These are all nutrients that aid your baby’s development. Many fish also have omega-3 fatty acids.

Your doctor may have told you not to eat any fish while pregnant. This advice comes from the worry about mercury levels during pregnancy, but this is no reason to keep you from eating all fish. You should limit your servings of large, predatory fish like king mackerel, tilefish, swordfish, and shark.

These fish can have high levels of mercury. Too much mercury in the bloodstream can damage the baby’s developing nervous system and brain. So what fish should you eat?

Salmon is a great choice. Let’s take a look at why.

The Benefits of Salmon

While all types of fish have benefits to pregnant women, salmon is an especially good choice. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, something most of us aren’t getting enough of. Omega-3 fatty acids are important during pregnancy.

They keep your joints strong and healthy as you support your growing baby. They also help build the eyes and brain of your baby. Salmon is also a natural source of vitamin D.

A lack of vitamin D in the diet is a growing problem, as we all get better at being sun-smart. Research is finding more and more reasons why vitamin D is critical to many body processes, including bone health and immunity. Getting more of it in your diet is a great way to stay healthy without increasing your risk of sun exposure.

To make sure you’re getting healthy omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, aim to eat salmon 2-3 times a week. By doing so you’re boosting your immune system, strengthening your bones, and providing the building blocks for your baby’s brain and eyes.

What Foods to Avoid and Why

While you are pregnant, there are some foods it’s best to stay away from. Avoid raw or undercooked fish, fish with high levels of mercury, and undercooked eggs. It’s best to also avoid soft cheeses since they’re generally unpasteurized.

Avoid eating food from buffets or anywhere where food has been sitting at room temperature. It’s more likely to host bacteria that could make you sick. If you’re unsure what you can and can’t eat, it’s best to talk it over with your doctor or midwife.

Staying Healthy Throughout Your Pregnancy

Health is holistic. So yes – be mindful of your diet. But remember that sleep, exercise, and mental health all interact with general health.

Once the baby is born, you’ll need all your energy. Do your best now to exercise gently so you can better withstand those first few weeks with your precious newborn. Some women swear by meditation as a way of helping them get mental clarity and a general feeling of wellness while pregnant.

Social connection are a big help for overall health as well. If you haven’t yet, seek out local pregnant yoga or water aerobics classes online as a way to not only improve fitness but to connect with other new moms, too.

Your Health Has Never Been so Important

Staying healthy has never been this important. You’re now responsible for the healthy development of your baby. Exercise gently, stay hydrated and don’t forget to stock up on healthy foods.

Now you know the benefits of salmon during pregnancy. If you’d like to get some of the best quality salmon, look for a quality distributor. Marithyme Seafood Company controls where and how their salmon is caught, ensuring it’s always fresh, ethical, and sustainable.

For the best salmon for you and your baby, get some today!