Does protein matter in pregnancy?
Any body builder knows that to build a healthy body he or she must get adequate protein, and the same is true for a woman building a baby body.
Many women report that when they get adequate daily protein in pregnancy (about 80 or 90 grams), they feel much better. This includes decreased nausea, increased energy, fewer or no headaches, less sugar cravings, and healthy but not excessive weight gain.
80-90 grams of protein is more than the average person is used to eating, and it can be hard at first to figure out how to get that many grams in a day. Because the body doesn’t store protein the way it does other nutrients, it’s important to get 80-90 grams of protein every day. Here are some tips for increasing your daily protein intake.
- Healthy Snacks– Healthy nuts, trail mix, celery and nut butter, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, and dairy in any form are easy ways you can increase your protein consumption.
- Start a Food Journal– Most people simply have no idea what they eat in a day. Often a good birth class will incorporate a dietary journal into the curriculum because they know that how you eat while pregnant can greatly influence your pregnancy and birth outcomes. Start recording your food and your protein intake to see where your baseline is and what you can improve on.
- Start Your Day With Protein– Starting your day with a protein rich breakfast can make all the difference in how you feel and how you eat for the rest of the day. A boiled egg, a small bowl of oatmeal with some raw sunflower seeds and fresh berries and a small glass of milk is a healthy, tasty, and protein-rich way to start your day.
RELATED: 20 Healthy Pregnancy Snacks
It can seem overwhelming at first to try to get 80-90 grams every day. Start small and work up to it! Making a daily, conscience effort will help you have a more comfortable pregnancy. You and your baby are worth taking care of!