Whether you prefer the convenience of canned or affordability of dried, load up on a variety of beans. They’re one of the best sources of protein, which helps your body repair the constantly changing muscles surrounding your belly. Pregnant women need around 60 grams of protein—and a cup of black beans or lentils delivers about a quarter of this daily quota.
You can incorporate beans into nearly any dish: Toss cannellini beans with whole-wheat pasta, tomato sauce, and frozen veggies for a quick meal. Or mix black beans or chickpeas with spices, eggs, and ground oats for an easy veggie burger.
“If you’re using canned beans, remember to drain and rinse them first,” says Shelley. A study from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville found that this process washes away 41 percent of the sodium, and too much of the salty stuff can lead to bloating and an increased risk for high blood pressure.