Can You Eat Kale While Pregnant?

When you're pregnant, the foods in your diet mean everything. Your food isn't just nourishing you anymore — it's nourishing your baby-to-be. In fact, the foods that you eat during your pregnancy could affect your baby for the rest of their life, from cognitive abilities to how they're affected by stress and even birth defects (via The Guardian). 

When you think of healthy foods, kale is probably one of the first veggies that comes to mind. Even so, what's healthy for you when you're not pregnant isn't always safe when you have a bun in the oven. With good reason, expectant parents are always in search of what's best to eat when you're eating for two. So, what is it that happens to your body when you eat kale? What happens to your baby's body? Should you eat kale when you're pregnant, or is there another veggie you should expect to eat a lot of when you're expecting?

What makes kale a pregnancy superfood?

Good news for parents-to-be: Kale isn't just good for you when you're baby free, it's also a great food for your unborn baby, too. Kale is low in calories and high in nutrients, which means you can eat a lot of it to maximize its benefits (via Parents). In her book, "Kale: The Complete Guide to the World's Most Powerful Superfood," author and nutritionist, Stephanie Pedersen, wrote, "I increased my own kale intake to rid myself of metals I'd acquired while pregnant. Today, we're both clean and healthy, in large part to this ancient superfood's super healing abilities." Super healing abilities for mom and baby, alike, sounds like the makings of a perfect pregnancy food. So, what does it have that makes it so special? 

Kale contains vitamins A, C, and K (via BabyCenter). It also has nutrients like folate and iron to help your little one grow big and strong. Only one cup has 10% of your daily calcium requirement. Kale is also loaded with fiber and antioxidants, which will keep your trips to the bathroom regular. And, if you've been pregnant before, you know a food like that is worth its weight in leafy green gold. So, if you're a parent-to-be, now's the time to put your feet up and grab a bowl of kale chips; your body and your baby will thank you.

How kale can benefit everyone

With all those amazing nutrients, it's really no surprise that kale should be a diet staple for everyone — not just pregnant folks. Kale contains properties that are great for your eyesight. Kale's lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and beta-carotene all help to prevent macular-degeneration (via Medical News Today). This veggie also promotes bone health and digestion. Kale even contains properties that help to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Beyond all of these health benefits, kale can also benefit your beauty routine. Eating kale is great for helping dry skin stay hydrated and keeping blemishes at bay (via Treehugger). You can even make face masks, eye creams, and nail conditioners using kale to revamp your beauty routine. So, if kale is your go-to pregnancy food, you're on the right track. Just be sure to keep adding kale to your grocery list even after your baby is born. Whether you're eating for two or feeding your family, a diet with kale benefits everyone.