During your surrogate pregnancy, eating the right foods is crucial. First, everything you take in impacts the baby, and as the little one develops, having essential nutrients available can set him or her up for a lifetime of optimal health. It’s also important for your health, because eating wholesome foods will help you feel good during pregnancy, and will enable you bounce back quicker after the baby is born. However, there is a lot of conflicting information available about what foods are best to eat during a surrogate pregnancy. These are the top five choices to integrate into your diet today.

  1. Lean Meat

Meat contains many things that you and the baby need in one package, which is why it tops the list. The obvious benefit is protein, which gives you energy and helps build muscle. It’s also a good source of iron, which can boost your energy as well, and of amino acids, commonly referred to as “the building blocks of life.” Beef and pork are sources of choline, too, which is an essential nutrient that benefits everything from the brain to muscles and nerves. Experts suggest that you should target meats that are between 95 and 98 percent fat-free, and avoid things like hot dogs and deli meats, which sometimes have listeria and other unhealthy bacteria.

  1. Salmon

Even though fish have been debated because of potential mercury contamination, salmon poses a particularly low risk, and is an excellent choice if you limit yourself to 12 ounces per week. It’s a good source of B-vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, like DHA. This is especially important to have as the baby’s brain and eyes develop.

  1. Berries

Generally-speaking, the more naturally vibrant colors you can work into your diet, the better. Blueberries are a prime example, and are one of the most well-known super foods. Blackberries and raspberries also provide health benefits, and they’re all easy to include, whether you snack on them alone, add them to a smoothie, or top cereal and yogurt with them. Blueberries, in particular, are loaded with antioxidants, Vitamins K and C, and manganese, plus are an excellent source of fiber.

  1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens, particularly dark green ones, like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard, contain lots of things you need during a surrogate pregnancy. The most notable is folate, which benefits the baby’s brain and nervous system, but they also pack a fair amount of Vitamins A, C, and K. Kale tends to be a favorite nowadays, as it’s readily available and can be added to a berry smoothie for surprisingly delicious results.

  1. Beans and Lentils

Most people take advantage lentils and beans, like navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, because they provide protein and fiber. Eating plenty of fiber can help your digestive system immensely, and may prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. Moreover, you’ll also receive folate, iron, calcium, and zinc, which is good for you and the baby.

Maintaining a wholesome diet during your surrogate pregnancy is simple, and these five foods will make it even easier to help you get the nutrients you need. Although water technically isn’t a “food,” it provides a lot of benefits, like aiding in digestion, and helping you absorb all these wonderful nutrients. Be sure to drink plenty of it, so you can have a healthy surrogate pregnancy.