Boost Your Energy the Natural Way
Have you found yourself lacking in energy on some days during your pregnancy? If so, the following should list of foods and beverages should provide a natural boost to help get you through some of those tiring days.
Water is the most important tool you have to combat a number of ailments you may experience during pregnancy, especially fatigue and lack of energy. If you are meeting the six to eight glasses of water recommended per day for the average woman, that’s great! But, guess what? Pregnant women require even more water than that. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is the goal for pregnant women, with an additional 8 ounces for each hour of light activity. Apps like Waterlogged and Carbodroid allow you to set a goal, track how much water you’ve already consumed, and remind you to continue drinking throughout the day. Up your water intake and you will feel a difference!
Eggs are what we call a “nutrient dense food.” Low in calories, just 75 calories per egg, with 7 grams of protein and a ton of other nutrients. Eggs boast carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthin, and 250 mg of choline, which contributes to fetal brain development, and helps to prevent birth defects. Be sure to not leave out the yolks because this is where a majority of the nutrients are housed. The high quality protein present in eggs will help to sustain your appetite and stay energized.
Lentils are a healthy addition to any meal. Add them to soups, toss them with a salad, or pile them in a pita with spinach and feta cheese. They are a good plant based source of protein, and have a low glycemic index, meaning they provide slow burning, long lasting energy. They are also a great source of iron. Anemia, which is a deficiency of iron often present in pregnancy, results in tiredness. Increase your intake of iron rich foods like lentils to avoid these low energy levels.
Nuts are high in calories, which provide a healthy dose of energy. Their high protein and fiber content keep you full, preventing a splurge later in the day. They are an easy snack to travel with and help you to avoid the mid afternoon slump. Just be sure to watch portion sizes. A handful of nuts, about one ounce, is the average serving size.
Mangoes are a great source of folate, key in preventing birth defects, and vitamin C which increases absorption of iron from iron rich foods. The natural sugars provided by fruit will give you a boost in energy.
Another iron rich food is spinach, which contributes to prevention of anemia and the tiredness which results from it. Not only this, but spinach is also a dairy free source of calcium, which is another essential pregnancy nutrient.
7. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great meat-free source of protein that is easy to grab on the go. We suggest trying plain Greek yogurt and flavoring it with a bit of honey, chopped nuts, and fresh fruit. Doing this helps you to avoid the crash induced from quick digesting simple sugars present in artificially flavored, fruit yogurts.
8. Sweet Potatoes
The high fiber, slow burning carbohydrates in sweet potatoes provide long lasting energy, along with potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Make a southwestern sweet potato by baking it and stuffing with quinoa, black beans, some grated cheddar cheese and salsa for a complete and satisfying meal.
Another easy, on-the-go snack is apples. Combine them with some peanut butter for a hunger taming balance of protein and fiber which will provide you with sustained energy.
10. Baked Potatoes
Baked potatoes are a nutrient dense powerhouse which provide 26 grams of complex carbohydrates that burn slowly, along with five grams of protein to fuel your energy needs. And, don’t ditch those skins! This is where a majority of the appetite suppressing fiber lives. Top with plain Greek yogurt for an extra protein punch, and you won’t even miss the sour cream.
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- Why Your Diet is Important to Your Baby, Even During the First Trimester