Getting a healthy balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals is always important but during pregnancy many women find themselves even more in tune to what they should consume. It’s natural to want to fuel you body with the best diet to help create a healthy and happy environment for baby to grow and develop.
Smoothies are brilliant as they can be adapted to meet all increased fluid and nutrient needs, prevent any unwanted symptoms and cure a sweet craving all at the same time!
But not just any ingredients will do the trick and what you put into your smoothie to get the correct balance is so important! We all know that vegetable smoothies are brilliant but which vegetables have the most benefits and how to get the taste just right? Below are top tips on the best smoothie ingredients and a few of our favourite recipes for you to try this Spring.
Vitamins & Minerals
IMPORTANT PRENATAL VITAMINS & MINERALS
During pregnancy your body’s need for Iron increases. Failing to meet these demands can lead to feelings of weakness, nausea, fatigue and even anemia. In addition to consuming Iron, it’s important to intake enough Vitamin C to help the iron to be absorbed into your system.
Vitamin C is an important component to your pregnancy diet for many reasons. Vitamin C assists your body in making collagen, a structural protein that's a component of cartilage, tendons, bones and skin. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, helping your body to to fight infections and protect from cell damage.
As outlined above, Vitamin C is also important as it’s presence helps you body to absorb Iron which helps to keep your energy levels balanced.
Calcium is very important for the bone growth of your baby. It can also help to build a health heart, nerves and muscles.. Calcium is found in milk products alongside Plant-based food sources, including broccoli, collards, kale, sesame seeds, almonds, and soy products.
Vitamin D helps to regulate the amount of calcium in your system which assist with bone formation and cell devision. It’s important to increase your Vitamin D intake to ensure you baby receives enough calcium and phosphate.
Electrolytes are required for many of the bodies functions, including maintaining fluid balance. Staying hydrated is key during pregnancy and as such keeping a good balance of electrolytes in the body is very important.
Folate and it’s synthetic form Folic Acid, are often talked about in relation to pregnancy. Folate is important to prevent neural tube defects in baby. It assists with healthy brain and spine development.
Protein is made up of amino acids which are the main componants to build a healthy human body. This makes the intake of Protein absolutely vital during pregnancy! Unlike the above micro-nutrients, Protein in a Macro-nutrient and is needed in large amount.
Fiber is useful to relive discomfort of certain pregnancy symptoms, such as constipation, bloating and haemorrhoids. In addition by slowing down how fast sugars are absorbed, Fiber helps to manage blood sugar levels.
Fibre also helps to keep you fuller for longer.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important to help with the development of baby’s nervous system as well as vision and cognition. Fish oil supplements can be taken during pregnancy, however the quality of the fish oil is important as this can determine the efficiently of the product.
5 Top PRENATAL SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
5 Top Ingredients
5 TOP PRENATAL SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
There are soooooo many smoothie ingredients out there which help to balance nutritious content AND delicious taste. The 5 top ingredients below are all brilliant and if possible including ONE or TWO in any smoothie you make is ideal! The following recipes include these alongside other ingredients with many health benefits, making them taste great and fuel the body with healthy pregnancy ingredients.
Dark green Leafy vegetables
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables are crucial during pregnancy however don’t confuse them with other green vegetables ( such a celery, green beans or iceberg letteuce). DARK GREEN LEAFY VEG include Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Mustard greens and Red Leaf Lettuce. Full of quality prenatal vitamins such as Calcium, Magnesium, Folate, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Most B Vitamins ( except B12) and many many more.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great way to consume Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins, Minerals and Protein alonsgdie lots of fibre. Seeds such as Chia, Sunflower and Flax seeds are popular for adding to smoothies. Nuts are also excellent additions. with peanut butter, or even the powder form a popular choice by many.
Personally I prefer to consume a mixture of dairy and non-dairy milk products. Consuming calcium can also be achieved in other ways ( such as dark green leafy vegetables). Personally, alongside the occasional dairy milk smoothie, I also often consume cheese and dairy yogurts to support a healthy diet. When choosing dairy opt for organic products.
Known to help ease nausea during the first trimester Ginger is also a great natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. For smoothies, I prefer to use the whole root form, grated or chopped before adding to the blender. The powered form ( as used in tea) is also a good addition.
Banans are often used in smoothies and for good reason. Alongside helping to create a good texture, Bananas are rich in potassium, which helps to maintain balanced blood pressure. Bananas are also high in B6, which helps the body with creating red blood cells and serotonin.
4 PRENATAL SMOOTHIE RECIPES
Lemon & Ginger
The light refreshing taste of this smoothie is great for sunny days and the combination of sweet and sour can help to combat morning sickness and nausea.
- 1 sweet red apple
- 1 green apple
- 1 cup of coconut water (or water)
- Half a squeezed lemon
- 1 inch piece of ginger, (grated or chopped)
- ½ cup frozen mango
Prenatal Uplifting Smoothie
Boosting energy in pregnancy is crucial for many and with these naturally uplifting ingredients you’ll get the energy support you need.
- Half cup almond milk
- Half cup of orange juice
- ½ cup frozen mixed berries
- ½ cup spinach
- 1 small red apple
- ½ an avocado
- ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt
The presence of papaya makes this smoothie a great way to combat nausea whilst also aiding an efficient digestion. Suggested to me by a friend this smoothie has been a personal favourite during this pregnancy.
- Half a cup of Almond milk
- Half a cup of Coconut water
- 1 Papaya
- 1 Banana
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Option ( 1 x 2cm slice of pineapple)
Get Things Going
Get Things Moving Smoothie
The combination of high fibre from the banana and natural laxative affect of the prunes makes this smoothie a great way to get things moving!
- 1 cup Almond milk ( or coconut coconut)
- Half cup coconut water ( or water)
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 cup prunes
- 1 banana
Hopefully you enjoy these recipes! Don't forget there are more Prenatal nutrition tips in our FREE Downloadable 1st Trimester Survival Guide here. And the Second trimester guide will be live in a week!
Happy Juicing Mama's!
Shakira & Korin x The StrongLikeMum Team
Pictures courtesy of Unsplash.com