The Top 6 Foods You Should Eat During Your First Trimester Of Pregnancy
The Thought Of Food Makes Me Want To Hurl! What Should I Eat?
I had a feeling I was pregnant because I felt like crap. Food smells made me want to hurl, just thinking about food made me dizzy.
I peed on that stick and you bet - I was pregnant. Yayyyyyy......but OMG I can't eat, how am I going to get enough nourishment to support a little baby?
As a nutritionist I knew there had to be some foods I could eat that provided enough nourishment and didn't make me want to throw up.
So I started researching and experimenting. One of my favourite books during this research was The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare. This book has so much information that made sense for me, and fell into alignment with my believe in the Minimalist Diet & Lifestyle. I highly recommend new moms and experienced moms alike give this book a read through.
I found these top 6 foods to focus on in the first trimester and the best ways to include them in your diet.
The Top 6 Foods You Should Eat During The First Trimester (and Tips For Keeping Them Down!)
This is the number 1 most important food on my list, especially if you have morning sickness!
Including healthy high nutrient fats in your diet is the first step to overcoming morning sickness.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- These healthy fats are essential for fetal brain development, preventing "mommy brain", and preventing post partum depression
- This one little vitamin is super important for preventing birth defects like: absence of eyes; nose, dental arch, and lip defects; displacement of internal organs; deafness; kidney defects; and defects of the lungs
- Deficiency in vitamin A has been shown to produce spontaneous abortion, prolong labour, and lead to possible death of mother and offspring during labour
- The sunshine vitamin is important for proper absorption and utilization of vitamin A and minerals like calcium
- Vitamin D will protect your baby from tetany, convulsions, and heart failure
I recommend ONE brand of cod liver oil because it is nutrient dense and contains high amounts of the three nutrients above.
Take 2 tsp. per day throughout your entire pregnancy and beyond!
I am going to warn you, this oil taste like butt!
I've been taking it my entire pregnancy. During the first trimester I forced it down then followed with a lemon water chaser. There is a capsule version if you can't handle the liquid, but it will be a little pricier because you will be taking such a large amount.
Free range eggs are the world's perfect food! (Click to Tweet)
I write a lot about eggs, because I love love love them.
Eggs contain so many good nutrients that a pregnant woman needs and they are easy to stomach (for most people) in the first trimester. Personally I loved eggs - they were the one food I could eat daily.
I'm sure you know the different ways you can eat eggs: scrambled, omelette, poached, sunny side up, over easy, boiled, devilled, over toast with cheese...
If your nausea doesn't bother you when you smell, think of, or cook eggs have at 'er!
Eggs contain virtually everything a growing baby needs to be healthy and strong.
Saturated Fats & Cholesterol - yes these are good!
- These fats are integral to absorption of all the fat soluble vitamin and minerals
- Cholesterol provides the structural integrity to all cells in the body making them a necessary part of fetal growth
- These fats are also important for fetal brain development, cell to cell communication, and hormone production
High quality easily absorbable proteins
- Proteins provide energy for mom/baby and are the building blocks of tissue growth for both mother and child
Folate (Folic Acid)
- I'm sure your doctor told you to supplement with folic acid to avoid spinal bifida!
- Folate is necessary for the product of new DNA, which is required for growth of new cells
- Other folate rich foods are: liver, legumes, and dark leafy vegetables
- Just as important as folate in reducing neural tube defects (like spinal bifida)
- Critical for fetal development and integral for electrical transmission between cells
- We cannot reproduce without vitamin E
- It is essential for placenta development, the placenta is the transport system for all nutrients from mother to child
Eggs contain a host of other vitamins and minerals as well. If you can't eat much in the first trimester, eating 1 or 2 eggs per day will help ensure you are getting an adequate intake of nutrients.
3. Fermented Foods
I am a firm believer that our digestive health is the basis of total health. If our digestive systems are weak and sick, we will be weak and sick.
Fermented foods contain probiotics, because I wrote th very detailed article "The Shocking Truth About Probiotics During Pregnancy!" - I am not going to go into much detail about the importance of probiotics here.
I know fermented foods don't sound appetizing when you are nauseous. But give them a try, you may be surprised at what calms that need to hurl.
Personally I loved organic yogurt with fruit during my first trimester.
Smoothies were also a big part of my first trimester diet. I hid the things I didn't like in fruit smoothies.
And hey, fermented cucumbers do contain probiotics so
Just be sure you purchase fermented cucumbers, not pickled cucumbers. There is a difference.
A list of fermented foods:
- Organic unsweetened yogurt (goat/cow)
- Fermented vegetables - sauerkraut (fermented shredded veggies like cabbage) or fermented (not pickled) cucumbers
- Kefir - a fermented milk product
- Organic buttermilk
4. Raw Fresh Organic Fruits & Vegetables
Myself and the many pregnant women I've talked to all agree that raw fresh fruits and veggies were the best and our go to food during the first trimester of pregnancy.
If this is all you can stomach fine, eat as much as you can.
Fruit & veg contain a host of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, providing you and baby with strong healthy immunity!
They also contain enzymes. Enzymes are protein based little chemistry guys that are necessary for all chemical reactions in the body. During pregnancy, there are a lot of chemical reactions!
5. Organic Whole Grains
Whole grains are high in b-vitamins that will help you manage nausea. If you can stomach them, go to town!
I'm going to tell you a little secret! Nausea isn't the only "fun" side effect you will deal with in the first trimester, there is also....du du duuuuuuu!
When we become pregnant our digestion slows waaaaay down. This is so our digestive systems have time to absorb the maximum amount of minerals from our food. The slow digestive process also causes many pregnant women to become "backed up!"
Whole grains (as well as the fresh fruit/veg and probiotics) are full of extra fibre to help you "go more regularly!"
I loved cereal during my first trimester (and now!). I eat a mixed muesli cereal with no added sugar and organic nut/coconut milk almost daily. Topped with fresh berries/fruit - yuuummmm. You can also toss in some ground flax or soaked chia seeds for added fibre benefits.
I also love love love oatmeal with cinnamon fresh fruit and organic nut/coconut milk.
Suggested Whole Grains
- Ancient grain wheat
- Brown rice
- Bulgar wheat
- Wheat germ
As a note, I am not a proponent of a gluten free diet unless you truly have a diagnosed gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Feel free to ask why!
6. Organic Raw Nuts & Seeds
These are an easy on the go snack and usually palatable during the first trimester. Nuts & seeds are full of good oils and minerals for fetal development.
I loved organic raw almond butter during my first trimester. I added it to my cereal or oatmeal, and tossed some in a smoothie.
Seeds like soaked chia and ground flax are high in soluble fibre as well as omega 3 fatty acids. They will support good brain development for your little baby and help you... er... be more regular ;)
It is very important to choose organic whenever possible during pregnancy, especially if eating animal products. The less exposure to toxins in the diet, the healthier our babies will be!
Remember to drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated throughout pregnancy. This will also help with constipation.
I didn't include meat or protein on this list because if you have morning sickness during pregnancy you probably will be turned off by meat. If you can eat meat, than by all means do. Animal proteins are extremely important during pregnancy. But please don't force yourself, your appetite will come back in the second trimester, and trust me, you will make up for it!
To give you a little push in the right direction I created Simply Food: The Minimalist 6 Week Program. This is a very inexpensive and simple way to get your healthy diet on track. By signing up you can start today to ensure you and your baby are as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy.