Pregnancy Nutrition: High Protein Diet for Expectant Mothers

Everybody knows that it’s important to establish healthy eating habits in childhood and follow them throughout the whole life. For a pregnant woman the question of proper nutrition becomes vital, as she is now responsible not only for her own body but also for the organism growing inside her. A correct high protein diet during pregnancy will be highly beneficial for the health of both the expectant mother and her child (if agreed by the doctor). This guide is intended to help pregnant women get a deeper insight into protein consumption during their condition.

The Importance of Protein for Pregnant Women

a pregnant woman eating fruitsProtein is one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy since it’s the integral participant in the cell building process of all the tissues and organs, especially your baby’s brain. During the second and the third trimesters, sticking to a high protein diet becomes even more essential for a pregnant woman because the fetus starts to grow faster and the development of all the vital organs and systems of the child’s organism is intensified.

Beside the importance of protein for your baby, there are also some benefits that you will have taking protein while pregnant. First, it helps pregnant women mitigate the consequences of hormonal changes that result in bad fats and empty calories consumption. For example, a tasty protein shake will be a good alternative to a piece of cake late at night. Thus, the protein diet will prevent you from gaining more weight than expected, which guarantees you will feel healthier in the process. Additionally, it will be much easier for you to return your best shape after the child is born.

Protein Foods for Pregnancy: Healthy Recommendations

Now that it’s clear that consuming protein rich food during pregnancy will allow women to stay healthy and deliver healthy children, it’s time to find out where they can get the best proteins from. The sources of different types of proteins are quite well known – meat and fish, eggs and dairy, nuts and seeds, beans and grains, fruits and vegetables. Yet, some kinds of food are more preferred while pregnant. Here are several recommendations on the best protein food options for expectant mothers:

  • Eat bone broth.
    The gelatin in chicken bones is a protein-dense food. It contains glycine for the liver, helps to reduce digestive disorders, and can be effective for pregnant women dealing with stretch marks after the delivery of the baby.
    When stewing the broth, you should add the vinegar as it helps you take out all the healthy nutrients. This dish can be cooked from poultry as well as from fish so be sure to choose either a grass-fed chicken or a wild-caught fish, as they are the natural products you need.
  • Drink fermented dairy products.a pregnant woman with a glass of milk
    Kefir is one of the sources of the best protein for pregnancy since it has good fats and is rich in protein. This product along with all the other fermented dairy food is extremely low in lactose or milk sugar, which is great if you can’t tolerate it. Also, fermentation makes it easier to digest and absorb the casein protein from milk products.
  • Take spirulina.
    Spirulina is a microalga that is by more than half made up of proteins and contains all the eight essential amino acids. Besides, it has some antioxidants, fatty acids, chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals necessary for your pregnant body and for the fetus. For example, calcium supports formation of the placenta and aids the correct development of your baby’s skeleton and bones. A benefit is that spirulina supplements mostly have no side effects and can’t be overdosed on, which makes them one of the best and the safest foods for pregnant women.

Smart Tips for Your Protein Intake During Pregnancy

There are hundreds of different opinions on what should pregnant women eat and what should avoid as well as hundreds of various diet plans and other recommendations for pregnancy. The key point is that when you’re expecting a baby, you should keep everything in balance in your organism – it’s best to take all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients according to their daily intake plus some extra amounts in proportion to your weight growth.

For the baby’s utmost health, a pregnant woman needs 70 gram of protein every day. The lack of protein results in muscle fatigue, metabolic disorder, and fluid retention. It also leads to the low vitamin A in the woman’s organism, which will result in poor skin, hair, and nails.

Taking protein during pregnancy is very important be it plant-based or animal-based. The following are few more tips for you to follow in order to make the best out of your protein diet:

  • Exclude products containing chemicals, artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavorings, and colorings from your diet. That especially refers to milk products, canned beans, tinned fish and seafood, etc.
  • a pregnant woman eating nutsAdd nuts to your protein diet as a snack within a day – they are very nourishing and high in proteins. The best options are walnuts, pine nuts, filberts, and almonds.
  • Eat small fish instead of bigger ones as the latter accumulate many toxins in their lifetime. Palm size fish is the best for a pregnant woman to get enough proteins and be sure about the safety at the same time.
  • Avoid eating raw or poorly processed meat and fish as such products are very dangerous for the pregnant woman and the fetus. For instance, sushi rolls are not safe because they may contain parasites and bacteria. Raw eggs are unsafe too since they can be tainted with salmonella.

Final Word

Eating natural food like nuts and beans, dairy products, lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, eggs, and other products containing proteins is highly recommended for women during pregnancy. However, protein supplements and shakes can be a reasonable option to add to your pregnancy diet as well.

When choosing the protein supplements or shakes, make sure they are free of artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and other ingredients that can be harmful to you and your child. Before you’ve made a decision to buy any, professional consultation is advised. That is especially important if you’re taking any medications, drugs, or herbs prescribed by your doctor to support your health during pregnancy.