The Importance of Protein When Pregnant

The Importance of Protein When Pregnant

Once you have finally made it out of the first trimester.  Your morning sickness should be declining, and your energy should be coming back.  With the increase of the baby bump and finally feeling better you still need to do things to help the proper growth of fetal tissue stay on course. 

When the second trimester hits you may start to feel hungrier. You should be increasing your calorie intake by 300 calories a day. With that increase your protein increase should increase as well.  It is suggested to eat protein three times a day. Shooting for about 75-100 grams of protein a day. The increase in protein helps the fetal tissue grow healthy, helps the baby’s brain development, and helps increase blood supply.  The increase in blood supply makes it easier for more blood to go to your growing baby. How do you get 100 grams of protein a day? 

Start with protein high foods.  There are some easy ways to start getting extra grams of protein by not doing much extra. 

Cook with Greek yogurt.  Greek yogurt is high in protein, in some brands you can get 12-14 grams of protein from just 6oz of yogurt.  This means you can eat it plain with some nuts or berries, or use it in a smoothie.  

Whole grains such as whole oats, quinoa or wild rice can have between 6-11 grams of protein.  Eat whole grain cereal like cornflakes. Brown rice is healthier than white rice and use whole grain pastas.  Adding wheat germ to your bread, muffins, pies or cookies can help increase the vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorous, thiamin, zinc, magnesium, and a great source of fiber. 

Plant proteins are a great source of protein.  Such as seeds, nuts, nut butter or legumes. Plant based proteins are a good source for vegetarians.  And a good way to switch up your protein intake to something different.  

Drink smoothies.  This is a great way to combat morning sickness in the early months of pregnancy but still get your body a lot of needed nutrients.  Now that you are in your second trimester and hopefully the morning sickness has gone away this can still be a good way to pack in the nutrients.  Adding a protein powder can help the protein increase as well on top of other nutrients.  

Eat Eggs.  Make sure your eggs are thoroughly cooked. Having them scrambled or boiled.  There are lots of ways to eat eggs, alone, on a salad, on a sandwich, or in a casserole.  The nice thing about a scrambled egg or omelet is it is a quick and easy to whip up for yourself. 

Chicken or turkey is a great source of protein too.  Make sauces with turkey instead of brown meat. Chicken can be added to fruit to make a nice chicken salad, or on top of a green leafy salad.  A 3oz serving of turkey can give you 23 grams of protein, chicken has even more grams of protein.  

Another easy source of protein is milk.  One cup of milk can give you about 8 grams of protein.  

75-100 grams of protein can seem like a lot.  But when you start to see how much protein is packed in some of these foods it is a lot easier to achieve.  Be conscious about what food choices you are making for your baby and you. Try to do different variations of foods so you don’t get sick of anything.  Mix up your recipes and try something new. Even in a smoothie you can add in greek yogurt and some protein powder and have about 25 grams of protein from one smoothie depending on the protein powder and how much yogurt you use.  Remember one helping of 6oz of some greek yogurts can give you 12-14 grams of protein. Three helpings of protein with so many different ways to achieve it should be able to keep a lot of variation in your diet that you can stay healthy and not get sick of foods.  Make sure that if you feel as though you aren’t reaching the amount of protein you need daily to speak with your doctor. They may have other ideas on how to get protein in your diet. 



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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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