We had one of our favorite Health and Nutrition coaches, Karina Heinrich, join us for our Summer Baby Shower Event. Why? Because she helped to create a menu full of what she calls, “Happy Foods” for pregnancy!

Karina shared her favorite mood-boosting foods that are proven to help reduce anxiety and increase calm, brain health and our overall moods - especially during the hormonal ups and downs of pregnancy and post-pregnancy. These are important and easy foods that have great sources of vitamin D, folate, B-12 and fiber. These nutrient-dense foods help lower stress levels due to their brain-boosting properties.

Here are a few main things to make sure you are including in your pregnancy diet:


I love starting the day with BANANAS because they may help turn a frown upside down. Like turkey, bananas contain tryptophan PLUS bananas can actually help release feel-good feelings. Even one banana a day can make a difference. AND if you eat a banana a few hours before bed it can help with a better night’s sleep which makes us all happy! 

I also love BERRIES because they’ve been shown to possibly help elevate your mood and lower your risk of depression. 1-2 cups per day is an amazing way to add in extra antioxidants. Add them to smoothies, parfaits or on their own. Other fruits like apples are incredible too! EGGS are extra special because their yoke is also high in vitamin D known as the “sunshine vitamin” 1-2 full eggs a day may be able to do the trick. 


Folic acid is something you’re taking a lot of during pregnancy - not only incredible for baby but mama too!! It has been shown to help boost our moods and possibly calm our bodies. Easy examples are  ½ a cup of HIGH FIBER OATS, a few handfuls of leafy greens like KALE in your salads, or ORANGES which you can take on the go that are all happy mood boosters.


Studies have shown that including omega 3 fatty acids in your diet can actually help boost happy endorphins and have been linked to lower levels of depression. FLAX SEEDS, PINE NUTS, WALNUTS, AVOCADOS, and SALMON are all high in omega 3 fatty acids. 


Many whole grains are naturally rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which your body needs to produce serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin, the “feel-good hormone,” improves mood and relaxes brain and body, while melatonin helps establish and maintain steady sleep cycles. Including grains like QUINOA, COUSCOUS, and WHOLE WHEAT are clean options. 


Sugar may give you a little happy boost at first, but research has suggested that too much sugar can possibly functionally change your brain and actually slow it down. BUT the good news is there is an amazing exception: Hello DARK CHOCOLATE. Chocolate may significantly improve mood. You should still stick to 1–2 small squares and make sure it has at least 70% cocoa counts which is the number you see on the front of the chocolate bar - the higher the number, the darker the chocolate.


Nutritional Information provided by Celebrity Healthy Coach: Karina Heinrich