Unity Beauty Essentials' 10 Superfoods of Pregnancy

Superfoods refer to a group of foods that are known for giving our bodies a health boost, thanks to a high nutrient-dense content. Certain benefits of introducing superfoods into your diet include a boosted vitamin and mineral intake, increased energy levels, and a better digestive health. This is great for anyone; however, it can be of particular benefit during pregnancy.

As an expectant mother, your body needs certain nutrients to boost your unborn child’s development, as well as helping you feel at your best throughout your pregnancy. If you are unsure as to what foods to introduce into your diet or ingredients to use on your skin, we recommend you speak to your midwife or GP for further advice.

Almonds
Over a third of your daily dose of vitamin E can be achieved through just a handful of almonds. This is key for your unborn baby’s brain development. If you prefer, this can also be gained from 2 tablespoons of almond butter. Sweet almond oil can also be a great product for your skin, with soothing and moisturising properties that can help improve the appearance of stretch marks.

Avocados
Rich in potassium, vitamins D, E, and amino acids, it is easy to see why avocados are a popular and well-known superfood choice. They are also packed full of folic acid which can help the growth and development of organs, with a rich vitamin C content helping you to feel better during those first few months when morning sickness can be common. As well as eating the fruit, you may wish to apply avocado oil to your skin. It is easily absorbed due to the high lipid content, with soothing and softening properties.

Broccoli
Iron is a key nutrient during pregnancy to help maintain a healthy haemoglobin level, however, there are certain ingredients you can add into your diet to help your body absorb it. Broccoli can be combined with iron-rich foods, such as brown rice, to aid with iron absorption. Broccoli also provides you with vitamin C and calcium, making it an ideal superfood for both you and your unborn baby.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an increasingly popular ingredient thanks to a wide list of health benefits. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, found in breast milk and many baby foods, making it beneficial for both mother and baby. Whilst it is suitable for use as an ingredient to use in cooking, it can also be massaged into your skin, moisturising and soothing even very dry skin.

Indian Gooseberry
With twenty times the amount of vitamin C compared to orange juice, the Indian gooseberry not only provides high levels of nutrition, it can also help relieve any fatigue and morning sickness that you may be suffering from. Also known as Amla, you will also find it boosts your overall energy and immunity too, making it a powerful superfood for you to have throughout your pregnancy.

Kale
Low in calories but high in nutrients, kale is a great superfood to add into your diet if you are expecting. Vitamins A and C will help to boost your immune system, with a high dose of vitamin K to keep blood vessels strong. The only downside to kale is that it can have an unappealing smell when cooked, which may put you off, however, when mixed in with other foods, it can give both you and your unborn child a powerful health boost.

Lentils
Many women may experience discomfort in their digestion during pregnancy, which is why fibre is a key nutrient to include as part of their diet. Lentils are an excellent source of fibre to help maintain a healthy digestive system. In addition to this, lentils are also rich in protein, with pregnant women needing an extra 10 grams of protein a day.

Mango Seed Butter
Mangoes are rich in both vitamins A and C, which makes them a great fruit to add to your diet during pregnancy. The seeds are also packed full of nutrients which are used to create mango seed butter. This can both moisturise and nourish your skin, whilst being an excellent source of multivitamins and essential amino acids.

Oatmeal
Having one bowl of oatmeal a day is a great way to give you and your unborn baby a healthy source of iron. Iron is important throughout pregnancy as it can help protect against conditions such as anemia, with symptoms ranging from extreme fatigue to depression. Oatmeal also contains B vitamins, such as folic acid, which will help maintain your energy levels. A fibre-rich content will also help you keep a good level of digestive health.

Rosehip Oil
This particular superfood ingredient makes a great addition to your skincare routine, with studies showing that it can help the prevention and appearance of stretch marks. Rosehip oil can even be used on very sensitive skin, as it is hypoallergenic and full of essential fatty acids and vitamins. Not only this, but rosehip can be made into a nutrient-rich tea that can be drunk throughout your pregnancy.