pregnancy tips: nutrients you need!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor.  Everything that I write about has been researched by me for my own pregnancy.  Please consult a doctor for health advice.

We all know how important vitamins and nutrients are to our health, right?!  You should always try to consume a variety and balance of foods and nutrients to keep your body healthy and thriving.  However, when you are pregnant, it is even more important to eat those nutrients because your baby needs them to grow!

At first, I was worried that I was not getting enough nutrients for my growing baby because all I was eating were saltines, cheerios and white bread, but I was told that they baby will take all of the nutrients first, then they get distributed into your system!  Plus, at the beginning of any pregnancy, the baby is so small, that it barely needs anything at all.  I have done a lot of research to make sure that I am consuming the nutrients that my baby needs, so I wanted to share my knowledge with all of you. 🙂

Some of the most important categories to think about are listed below:

Healthy Fats

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Despite what many woman think, fat is good for you!  And, is necessary for energy production and to stay healthy.  There are different types of fat, so try to stick with the good fats, especially while pregnant.  About 20 to 35 % of your daily calories should come from healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, organic nut butters, etc.

Omega-3’s

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DHA is essential for your baby’s brain development.  It is recommended to eat fish, such as salmon or shrimp, once a week to get the necessary DHA requirement.  You can also get omega-3’s from eating flaxseed and other nuts.

Fiber

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Fiber does not contribute any calories to your diet, but it does do 2 wonderful things!  It helps you to feel fuller longer and it aids in digestion (which is definitely important while pregnant, since your digestive system works much slower than normal…).  Women need about 25 grams per day, Pregnant women need about 28 grams.

Protein

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Protein is very important!  It helps to keep your baby growing and developing, and it also helps you to produce new cells and regulate your hormones.  Protein is important for anyone and everyone.  Athletes need protein to repair muscles, as well.  On average, a 150-pound woman needs 50-60 grams of protein, but while pregnant you need at least 25 grams more per day.

Fluids

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Our bodies are made up of mostly water.  It regulates your body temperature (and your baby’s, since they cannot sweat), and helps to transport nutrients throughout your body.  Everyone should drink a lot of water everyday, but pregnant women are told to consume about 80-100 oz daily!

Vitamins – Vitamins basically help your body function.  They all perform different tasks, therefore, including a variety in your diet will help you get everything that you need.

Minerals – Minerals help to support life!  Iron is extremely important while pregnant, as well as, Calcium!  Your baby will be born with enough iron stores for about 4-6 months.  Calcium builds strong and healthy bones.  While pregnant, your baby will continue to take your calcium supply.  Therefore, it is important to get ample amounts of calcium for your baby, and to replenish your own calcium supply.

Another important topic is calories!  Many women are constantly counting calories, something that I have never done.  But, today, I decided to count them up just for fun.  An average weight woman who moderately works out most days of the week, should consume roughly 2,000 – 2,400 calories per day (much more than many women think they should eat…).  I put myself into that category.  In your second trimester (which I am in now), you should consume on average, 350 calories more per day.

I decided to calculate some of the nutrients in all of my meals today, just to see how I was doing.  I seem to be doing very well!

Breakfast

2 scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and toast

Calories ~400, Protein ~ 23g, Fat ~ 20g, Fiber ~ 4g

Mid-morning Snack

Blueberry Banana Smoothie (1 cup greek yogurt, 1 cup water, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 banana, 2 tbsp flaxseeds, 1 scoop protein powder)

Calories ~415, Protein ~ 35g, Fat ~ 9g, Fiber ~ 8g

Lunch

Orchard Chicken Salad from Panera Bread (info taken from website) + whole wheat baguette + 8 oz. Chocolate Milk

Calories ~ 580, Protein ~ 41g, Fat ~ 10g, Fiber ~ 6g

Afternoon Snack

Homemade Trail Mix (coconut, apricots, almonds)

Calories ~330, Protein ~ 2g, Fat ~ 6g, Fiber ~ 3g

Dinner

Mung Bean Pasta with tomatoes, peppers and nutritional yeast (mixed with 1/2 tbsp butter, 1/8 cup tomato sauce, salt, pepper and pepper) + veggie burger

Calories ~430, Protein ~ 30g, Fat ~ 9g, Fiber ~ 12g

Dessert

Gingerbread muffin with 8 oz. milk

Calories ~330, Protein ~ 8g, Fat ~ 17g, Fiber ~ 2g

Workout

45 minutes on the elliptical

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Total Calories ~2485

Total Protein ~ 139 grams

Total Fat ~ 71 grams

Total Fiber ~ 35 grams

I have also been drinking a lot of water, especially before, during and after I work out.

All in all, it was a great day!  I definitely do feel like I eat a little more now, especially on days that I work out (which is most days of the week).  That baby must be growing!  I try to make every meal and snack well balanced, but treat myself as well. 🙂

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