40 Healthy Recipes For Pregnancy
Something that I find really disappointing is the lack of education around prenatal nutrition. When you get pregnant, you’re asked if you’re taking a prenatal vitamin and then told the foods you need to stay away from. And if you’re lucky and your health practitioner cares, they will ask you what your diet looks like. But from my own experience, I have known more about nutrition than many of the OBs or midwives I’ve met with. And that’s scary since I’m no where close to a nutrition expert in any capacity. I went to school for health and exercise science in hopes of becoming a trainer…not for helping a woman bring a HEALTHY human being into the world. That’s a big fucking deal! It’s a bummer that our health professionals are not given more schooling or education around prenatal nutrition and how to get those nutrients through FOOD instead of by simply popping a prenatal vitamin. Now I’m not talking badly about prenatals whatsoever, I simply believe food is so powerful and women should be educated on this even before they decide to conceive. Knowledge is power. And women deserve to hold that power, especially during an incredibly life shifting experience.
When we were trying to conceive, I got really serious about my nutrition. I started reading books like Deep Nutrition and Real Food For Pregnancy to learn more about nutrition from a completely different lens compared to paleo. And because of those books, I began eating things like liver, raw dairy and other full fat dairy products like greek yogurt and butter, lots of pastured eggs, meat on the bone, bone broth, cold water fish, and leafy greens. I wanted to not only get my body in the best shape possible for pregnancy, but I wanted to be ready to fuel the little babe when her time came. I started eating things I never ate before, like smoked oysters for zinc, sardines for selenium and vitamin D, and LIVER for pretty much any vitamin and mineral you can think of. And since I’ve been eating these foods, my skin has never looked better and I FEEL awesome (minus the sciatica that is trying to take me down during this pregnancy).
Today I wanted to share a handful of different recipes that are great options during pregnancy and fall under those main categories I touched on. I tried to create a variety of different options so your palate is never bored and you can find some comfort in some meals while they load you (and your little babe) up with nutrients. The more variety, the more nutrients, and the more flavor…the better! Enjoy!!
Oats are one of those foods that I personally think are a good choice overall, but not completely essential like some of the foods out there. BUT they are super helpful when you’re having trouble keeping other foods down. Oats are known to help with a mother’s milk supply, but they are also rich in fiber along with tons of minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, calcium, selenium, and magnesium.
Full Fat Yogurt & Dairy
Full fat dairy contains vitamin K2 which helps with building strong bones and teeth in utero. K2 can also help with regulating your blood sugar, which is very helpful in pregnancy! I love drinking raw milk, eating raw grassfed cheese, adding grassfed greek yogurt to different dishes and smoothies, and using grassfed butter for most of my cooking!
I truly believe pasture raised eggs are an absolute must during pregnancy. Eggs contain choline (only in the egg yolk, not the whites) which will help with proper brain development in utero. Eggs also have DHA which has shown to help with high IQ’s in infants!
Meat, especially meat on the bone, contains zinc, iron, and vitamin b12. B12 is super important for baby’s neural tube formation, brain and spine development while zinc may lower the risk of preterm birth. And when you’re eating meat on the bone, you’re getting glycine which is essential for the synthesis of fetal DNA and collagen!
Like I mentioned above when I talked about meat on the bone, bones contain the amino acid glycine which will support the growth of the uterus as well as the skin of the pregnant woman as she grows. Plus it may protect against preeclampsia!
Leafy greens contain all kinds of vitamins and minerals, including folate and b vitamins. Both folate and b vitamins will help prevent neural tube defects.
Fish contains selenium, DHA, and vitamin D. DHA is essential for fetal brain development and vitamin D (which most people are lacking) is critical for many body processes, including bone health and immunity. Eating more than 12oz per week is linked to higher childhood IQ. Yes please! The main fish you want to stay away from during pregnancy are high mercury fish like shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.
Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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