Getting enough nutrition during pregnancy can be overwhelming! You need more protein, iron is important for your increased blood volume, fiber becomes a necessity if constipation strikes, magnesium helps prevent leg cramps, and the list goes on and on!
As I was teaching Birth Boot Camp Class tonight the topic included nutrition, and we went wrote down as many foods for a few different colors as we could think of. I brought up a few surprising sources of nutrition that my students didn't even consider, so I figured I'd share them with you!
1. Blackstrap Molasses(unsulphured) - Okay, this doesn't sound very appetizing, and maybe it isn't. (Unless you're a molasses fan maybe!) But one spoonful of this and you get a good dose of iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and calcium. Isn't that amazing?! All in one little spoonful of this that you can chase down with some juice. If you are one of those women who just cannot get the horse pill down(aka iron supplement) this is life changing! Plus, no icky side effects like stomach upset that can accompany taking an iron pill.
2. Chia Seeds - These little seeds are so easy to add to whatever meal you are having. Throw them in a smoothie, on rice, in a salad, mixed in with sauce, etc. When mixed with water they start to absorb it quickly to form almost a gel which makes them a great healthy substitute for when you run out of eggs. They are packed with fiber(your bowels will thank you!), and also include protein, iron, and some calcium. They are loaded with antioxidants too! I love to have some on hand to easily incorporate into my meals.
3. Nutritional Yeast - Yeah, I know. I thought this sounded disgusting too. I first learned about nutritional yeast when I ran into issues nursing my babies when they couldn't handle diary in my diet. I had to scramble to figure out how to get enough food and nutrients while cutting dairy out of my diet, and I stumbled upon nutritional yeast. It is a fine flaky powder that has a nutty/cheesy taste. Many people used it to make substitute sauces and such. All I know is it was a source of protein(complete protein!), magnesium, B12, B6(fight nausea!), folate, fiber, zinc, and more. A great addition to sauces, grains, or whatever else you want to shake some on.
There are lots of creative ways to get the nutrients you need during pregnancy, you just have to look around and find them! Next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a few things you haven't heard of before. You may just find another great addition to your diet.
Callie teaches Birth Boot Camp Childbirth Classes and serves clients as a Birth Doula in Flower Mound and Denton County, TX. Some of her favorite things are birth, Brene Brown, her three precocious little girls, making new creations for her Etsy shop, and stashing treats in her closet for a rainy day. You can read more of her posts on her blog or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.