May 15, 2024 2 min read

A balanced diet is crucial during pregnancy to ensure both the mother and baby receive all essential nutrients. Whole grains, in particular, are a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that can support a healthy pregnancy. Here are the top seven pregnancy-friendly grains that can help expectant mothers maintain a nutritious diet.

1. Quinoa

Known as a "super grain," quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. It’s also high in fiber, magnesium, iron, and folate. Folate is particularly important during pregnancy as it helps prevent neural tube defects. Quinoa is gluten-free and can be enjoyed in salads, soups, and breakfast bowls.

  • Best Ways to Include: Quinoa salad with vegetables, breakfast quinoa porridge, or quinoa-stuffed bell peppers.

2. Oats

Oats are rich in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They are also a good source of iron, which is essential during pregnancy to prevent anemia. Plus, oats contain B vitamins that aid in fetal development.

  • Best Ways to Include: Overnight oats, oatmeal topped with fresh fruit, or oat-based energy bars.

3. Barley

Barley is high in fiber and selenium, supporting digestion and boosting immunity. The fiber in barley helps prevent constipation, which is common during pregnancy. It also contains magnesium and vitamin B6, which can aid in relieving morning sickness.

  • Best Ways to Include: Barley and vegetable soup, barley risotto, or a barley grain bowl.

4. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain rich in fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins. It's also a low-glycemic-index food, which means it helps regulate blood sugar levels, a critical factor for women at risk of gestational diabetes.

  • Best Ways to Include: Brown rice stir-fry, brown rice and beans, or as a base for grain bowls.

5. Millet

Millet is a gluten-free grain that is high in magnesium and phosphorus. It's also rich in antioxidants and helps maintain healthy digestion. Magnesium is particularly important during pregnancy to reduce muscle cramps and aid in relaxation.

  • Best Ways to Include: Millet porridge, millet-stuffed vegetables, or millet salad with herbs.

6. Amaranth

Amaranth is another gluten-free grain that's rich in protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It’s also a great source of lysine, an amino acid that helps with calcium absorption and protein synthesis.

  • Best Ways to Include: Amaranth porridge, popped amaranth snacks, or added to soups.

7. Teff

Teff, a tiny gluten-free grain, is a nutritional powerhouse. It's high in iron, calcium, and resistant starch, which supports gut health. Teff can also help prevent gestational diabetes due to its low glycemic index.

  • Best Ways to Include: Teff porridge, teff flour pancakes, or teff as a base for grain bowls.

Conclusion

Incorporating these seven pregnancy-friendly grains into your diet can help you achieve a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are crucial for both mother and baby. Whether you enjoy them in salads, soups, or breakfast bowls, these grains will support your nutritional needs throughout your pregnancy journey.

 Try our USDA certified Amaranth GrainHulled Millet, Hulled Barley and Buckwheat

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Tesa Smith
Tesa Smith


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