Have you lately felt that you just don’t have the drive to indulge in things that you’ve enjoyed in the past? Of course… you are pregnant. Whilst, there’s not much physical evidence of it in the first trimester, one still has to realise that you are making that little person inside you. It is solid hard work. Probably the hardest work that your body has done so far.
Just to keep powering the baby making venture round the clock, remember that your body is producing more blood with increased heart rates. Even if you choose to rest, your body metabolism tends go on an energy burning overload. Additionally, with your body still in the process of forming the baby’s placenta, especially in the first 9 weeks of pregnancy, it uses up more nutrients and water.
No wonder you feel tired and exhausted all the time! Thinking of opening the refrigerator and munching on that chocolate you’ve been saving… or maybe that Red Bull your partner has left behind? Think again. Pregnancy is a very delicate time for your body and choosing a temporary quick fix with canned energy boosters is not ideal. Infact, the sugar and caffeine combination actually makes your blood sugar go a quick rise and then goes on a severe dip leaving you feeling more fatigued.
So, here’s a list of energy bursting food group that should definitely be a part of your pregnancy diet:
1. Proteins: It is the greatest natural “lift-me-up” especially since the amino acids present in protein rich foods assist in the growth of your baby’s reproducing cells.
· Beans or Lentils
· Milk, cheese and yogurt (for those who can tolerate dairy)
2. Complex Carbohydrates: Lowers you cholesterol levels as well as keeps proving nourishment for your baby.
· Oatmeal, Whole grain bread, crackers and low sugar cereal
· Fresh fruit
· Fresh veggies, Baked potato with skin
3. Calcium: Great at making the heart, nerves, muscles, teeth and bones healthy.
· Yogurt and milk
· Green beans
4. Iron: If tiredness is the cause of keeping a fairly active pregnant woman indoors, then iron-deficiency anaemia may be a probable cause especially with the over demand of blood as the pregnancy progresses. Supplement your diet with iron-rich foods that will push up your energy levels.
· Spinach, Chickpeas, Broccoli, Beans
· Fortified cereal
· Pumpkin seeds
· Lean red meat
· Raisins and dried apricots
5. Vitamins: Ideal for protecting your immune system and helps you fight tiredness. Additionally, vitamins help to keep your baby healthy during the pregnancy period.
· Pumpkins, Carrots, Broccoli
6. Potassium: Important with nerve impulses along with help in lessening leg cramps. Potassium is necessary as it controls your fluids and electrolyte balance in you and your baby’s cells.
· Pumpkin, Potatoes, Spinach, Leafy greens, Baked potato
7. Magnesium: Essential addition for your baby’s growth and assists in breaking down sugars into usable energy.
· Almonds, hazelnuts, cashews
· Bran cereal or whole grains
· Fish (avoid types with high levels of mercury)
8. Folate or Folic Acid: Gives strength and energy and helps in fetal development, the spine and the brain.
· Spinach, Broccoli
· Fortified cereal
9. Fibre: Best for those who are glucose intolerant. Supplement with tons of water.
· Whole grain bread, Oatmeal, Cereal
· Beans, Broccoli, Pumpkins
· Oranges, Bananas, Apples
Do keep in mind that eating healthy and getting that magic number in terms of calories will not just ensure your nutritional well-being but will also make sure of your baby’s nourishment and health.