Now chances are if you are reading this you don’t need me to tell you being pregnant is tiring, exhausting and wears you out both physically and mentally (have you suffered baby brain yet?). But if you eat the right kinds of food you will reduce the levels of fatigue, give the right sort of nutrition to you and your baby and generally better prepared while your little gift from God arrives.
Eating foods called superfoods you’ll find you are far more energized, feel more alert and even the worse days will feel just that little bit easier when you are eating healthy. Now I have to say I was sceptical it would make any difference after all most moms when I was expecting were stuffing their faces full of ice cream. chocolates and eating at MD’s and Pizza Hut. But I decided with my husband I would stick to healthy eating and pretty much stay on the same exercise program I had before I got pregnant and then change things around a bit when I got bigger.
Part of the plan was I was going to eat plenty of superfoods and I have to say although the Pizza and Ice cream option appealed a lot I don’t regret the discipline it took to stick to my guns. Just a few days after Rosie was born I was feeling as good as before the birth and I also really quickly lost the baby weight. I have to say has my midwife Sally not been a great friend and so persuasive I probably would have struggled more than I did.
The Superfoods That Turn Us In To Super Moms
Although maybe not not that appealing if your usual diet consists of burgers and fried beans and legumes are great for you and baby. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, thiamine, and niacin. It took my midwife’s advice and made up batches of beans and put them in tupperware containers and put them in the freezer. That meant when I wanted some I just used a single portion made it so much easier then having to cook every time I needed them. I tried not to use the tinned beans as they are usually not nutritionally as good and most are soaked in salty water which not only doesn’t taste that good it’s also not healthy for you or baby. Soybeans provide more protein than any other bean or legume, making them a staple either the vegan or non-vegan (incidently I love meat but I always try and buy lean cuts and the best quality I can afford). Soybeans are rich in many nutrients, including calcium and iron.
Before you all write and tell me I know they don’t taste as good as burgers and fries but I managed to incorporate beans and pulses in to most main meals but still had plenty of tasty food. A nice lean fillet of pork or a breast of chicken go great as does a vegetable curry and other spicy food. Easy on the spices if you suffer from indigestion fortunately I didn’t.
Other pulses which are worthy of including in your diet are whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, and oats as they’re a great source of fiber, minerals, protein and B complex vitamins. Buy the least processed grain types you can find, since many of the commercially prepared grains have had the nutritional and beneficial germ and bran removed. I was actually suprised when started looking on the net how many really tasty dishes use quinoa (pronounced Kin wa incidently).
What more veggies?
Yes I know but what’s more important having to eat your greens or your babies health. If you said the former shame on you. If the latter go to the top of the class.
Generally speaking the darker green the leaf the better it is for you. This means kale, collard greens (hate em) watercress and spinach are the ones to try and eat. They are packed full of goodness including Vitamins A and C and of course Iron. They alos have loads of phytochemicals like beta carotene and lutein which are supposed to reduce your risks of cancer. When cooking these vegetables and other greens like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage don’t cook it within an inch of it’s life. Either steam it (get one of those electric steamers) or cook really quickly in olive oil. Most people overcook greens and this takes away most of the flavour all of the goodness and also gives you gas. If you cook them the way I suggest not only do they taste a whole lot better they also don’t give you problems with gas anywhere near as much.
Even More Superfoods
Nuts and seeds are fantastic sources of fiber, protein, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Be sure to eat flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts to get omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for baby’s brain and nervous system development as well as your own health. Nuts and seeds can be eaten raw or toasted, and work great in a salad made of dark leafy green vegetables. See it’s not all bad. Avoid peanuts that are cooked in alot of oil and salt as they aren’t good for you.
Finally when you aren’t eating make sure you are drinking loads of cold fresh water. Keeping hydrated means your body works more effectively in addition it will stop your skin drying out, help reduce stretch marks and give you greater levels of energy. I strongly recommend if you don’t have one get a water bottle and make sure you drink it empty at least 4-5 times a day. Yes I know you can hardly stop making trips to the bathroom now but after a while drinking more water will actually reduce your need to pee as often
Aside from all that make having your baby fun you don’t have to stick religiously to any diet just try and incorporate as much healthy stuff in there as possible. Good luck and enjoy your baby.