- Greek yogurt
- Chia Seeds
- Orange juice
But why these specific five? Read on!
Pregnant women often end up deficient in iron. While mango doesn’t contain iron itself, it does contain a healthy dose of vitamin C, which is needed to help you absorb more iron. Plus, it also has other important vitamins like vitamin A and some of the B family, along with potassium. The other big plus from mango is its high fiber content. This helps prevent constipation which can be a big concern during a pregnancy.
Greek yogurt is better than regular yogurt because it has a higher protein content and usually less sugar. Protein keeps you feeling fuller longer, so there is less of a tendency to snack between meals. Snacking less translates to eating fewer empty calories which do nothing but add weight to you; as you know avoiding excessive weight gain is a major concern when pregnant.
But Greek yogurt is also beneficial due to its high calcium content. That is important not so much for your baby, but for you. A developing fetus uses a lot of calcium for bone development and if it doesn’t get it through the food you are eating, it will take it from your bones. Greek yogurt helps keep your bones strong.
Chia seeds assist the mango and Greek yogurt by supplying even more protein, fiber, calcium and other minerals. But it also is a great source of Omega-3. When pregnant, the essential fatty acids found in Omega-3 are important for baby brain and eye development. While fatty fish could fill this requirement, many women don’t like to eat fish when pregnant due to the mercury content, so chia seeds make a great alternative.
Spinach is a good source of iron and calcium. But it also has folate in it – a necessary vitamin to prevent spina bifida and neural tube defects in babies. You really can’t get too much iron and calcium when carrying an unborn baby.
Orange juice wraps up the list by boosting vitamin C and folate. The vitamin C helps absorb iron and reduces inflammation so that collagen can form strong bones, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels in your baby.
So, when you put it all together into one smoothie, you have almost the perfect pregnant smoothie.
- 10 fl. oz. – orange juice
- 1/2 cup – Greek yogurt, plain
- 2 tablespoon – chia seeds
- 1 1/2 cup – mango cubes, frozen
- 2 cup – spinach
- Blend the O.J, yogurt and mango together to form a base.
- Add in the chia seeds and spinach and blend until smooth.
- Adjust the texture and consistency with a few cubes of ice or water, depending on if you need to thicken or thin, respectively.
Now you (and your baby) are ready to enjoy a smoothie that will support both your nutritional needs during this very special time. NOTE: The above recipe makes 2 servings, but only eat one at a time.
Things to watch out for
When using fruits and vegetables in your smoothies, be sure to wash them thoroughly first with a brush made for scrubbing produce to reduce the risk of getting toxoplasmosis caused by the parasite toxoplasma.
With any juices or dairy products you use in your smoothies, make sure either you squeezed it yourself from freshly washed fruit or that it has been pasteurized which kills any germs that could make you sick.
Combating pregnancy issues
As you know, or will find out once pregnant, certain foods will trigger morning sickness more than others. For most women, cold or chilled foods agrees with them more than hot foods. Another reason why smoothies work well.
Another food that helps with morning sickness is the scent or taste of lemon. It calms that nausea feeling, so adding some lemon juice to a smoothie can help, along with inhibiting oxidation in that second serving of smoothie you have in the refrigerator for later.
As the baby grows, and the weight of it shifts forward, the sciatica nerve in your back can act up by shooting pain from your lower back down through your legs. An increase of Omega-3 can help reduce muscle tissue and nerve inflammation that causes it. Spinach, kale, bananas, walnuts are all good sources of Omega-3 and mixes well with other ingredients in smoothies.
Finally, constipation happens in many pregnancies. One method of prevention is upping your intake of fiber. Fruits, vegetables, dairy and even honey have proven themselves to help the digestive system work better when pregnant. At least one or more are usually found in most smoothie recipes.
Drinking smoothies while pregnant can stave off, or at least reduce, many of the issues common when carrying a developing fetus. Not only do smoothies have medicinal value, but they are a good source of calories and should be part of your healthy eating plan while pregnant.