Healthy Foods, Healthy Pregnancy
Ever wish a brownie a day kept the doctor away? You’re not alone. But healthy eating has huge benefits that can’t be ignored. A regular intake of healthy foods can lead to a longer lifespan, better skin, teeth, eyes, and bones. It can also provide protection against chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, healthy food choices will also have a direct impact on your child. Making healthier choices doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 4 simple ways to incorporate healthy foods into your day that pack a nutritional punch and are also delicious!
1. Enjoy a Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to get nutrients from several food groups into one quick, easy to digest snack or meal. This can be especially helpful if you’re experiencing that first trimester morning sickness. Pack your smoothies with leafy greens, protein, fruits, yogurt, and more for a delicious pick me up throughout the day. Smoothies can fill you up and also satisfy your sweet tooth! Click here for some great pregnancy smoothie recipes to get you started.
2. Make Breakfast a Priority
You might be tempted to skip breakfast, especially if you’re feeling nauseous, but research suggests that skipping that first meal leads to snacking and higher intake of fatty foods throughout the day. And while mainstream media might make carbs into the enemy, you actually need good carbohydrates first thing in order to have energy and fuel throughout the day.
Carbohydrates can also be a great source of fiber, which is beneficial for your gut health. One simple way to gain these benefits is grabbing some whole-grain toast and a smoothie, or making a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries.
3. Make Healthy Snacks Easily Accessible
It’s easier to say “no” to an unhealthy snack when it’s not in the house in the first place. Bypass the bag of chips or cookies and instead stick some healthier snacks in the fridge and pantry. If you’re craving the crunchy texture of chips, consider swapping out carrot or celery sticks instead. Grab some hummus for dipping and you’ll have a super satisfying substitution that’s also boosting your body! Some other healthy and yummy snack ideas are: Greek yogurt and berries; apple slices and nut butter (throw in some dark chocolate chips for that sweet tooth!); almonds; granola bars; string cheese; bananas, and more.
4. Hit up the Superfoods
Make plans to add small amounts of superfoods to your meals here and there. A little can go a long way, and you’ll find that adding an ingredient or two to your meals can majorly enhance your eating experience while also equipping your body with extra strength and energy. Here are a few simple (and affordable) foods you can add to your meals, along with their benefits:
- Sweet potatoes: packed with vitamin A and fiber, this delicious vegetable can be a great side or even main dish. They make you feel full, balance your blood sugar level, and assist with digestion. Slice one up and bake as chips or fries; bake one whole and add cinnamon or grilled chicken or avocado.
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale, broccoli – all these are great sources of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. They assist with constipation, help with digestion, and also reduce the risk of low birth weight.
- Eggs: Scramble for a healthy breakfast, or hardboil for a snack throughout the day or to chop up over a salad. An excellent source of protein, eggs also promote brain development in your unborn child as well as stabilize your own blood sugar.
- Bananas: Cheap and portable, bananas are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. They can help prevent muscle cramps, and are super easy to add to snacks and meals.
- Red Bell Peppers: Red bell peppers contain three times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. Slice up and eat raw as a snack, or add them to your stir fry or bake in the oven sprinkled with olive oil and some seasoning. These peppers have a ton of antioxidants and also support the brain development of your baby.
- Berries: Packed with antioxidants, carbohydrates, vitamin C, and fiber, these are great snack foods that are great to enjoy by themselves or added to yogurt or oatmeal, or alongside a sandwich.
Taking Care of You and Your Baby
Take one small step today to make healthy eating part of your lifestyle. You’ll feel empowered knowing you’ve made a smart decision to strengthen your own body as well as the body of the baby growing inside you.
If you are pregnant and would like some extra support and guidance along the way, we’re here for you. Call us to make a free appointment for a pregnancy test or ultrasound. You’ll meet with a registered nurse who will walk you through your options, talk with you about our Pregnancy 101 and Parenting 101 classes, and share further information and resources about having a healthy pregnancy.