Foods for Energy During Pregnancy

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Exhaustion and pregnancy go hand-in-hand for many expecting moms. If you are looking for an energy boost, step away from that candy bar. It might give you a quick boost, but healthier food choices give you longer-lasting energy to make it through the day — or at least until nap time. Keep the high-energy snacks on hand wherever you go so you always have a healthy boost available. An extra 300 calories per day helps keep up with the demands of growing a baby.


Carbohydrates

Counting carbs during pregnancy might leave you feeling drained. Carbohydrates provide your body with fuel to keep you going. Complex carbohydrates are the healthiest option, which will take longer to digest for longer-lasting satisfaction. Whole grain products fall under the complex carbohydrate category. Try whole-grain bread, oatmeal, quinoa, barley or whole-grain crackers. A baked potato with the skin still on is another source of carbs. This option works well for lunch, dinner or a snack. Add some chili on top for additional carbohydrates from the beans. Fruits and vegetables are other healthy options for increasing your carbohydrate intake.

Protein

Protein is another reliable source of energy that can give you a pick-me-up during your pregnancy. Don’t worry if a big slab of red meat doesn’t appeal to you. There are plenty of other sources of protein, which also aids in the baby’s development. Poultry, fish, seafood and tofu are common alternatives if you don’t eat red meat. Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, provide protein, as do eggs. Beans and lentils contain protein and work well in soups, salads and main dishes. Nuts, nut butters and seeds are another option for protein. Peanut butter spread on whole wheat toast is an option for snacks or meals. Add a sliced banana for even more energy.

Iron

Iron-deficiency anemia is a possible cause of exhaustion during pregnancy. Blood production increases during pregnancy, requiring more iron from your body. If the iron supply in your body becomes too low, anemia is a possibility. Add a daily dose of food-based iron into your diet to avoid iron-deficiency anemia. Lean cuts of red meat add protein to meal time. Shellfish, duck, soy, spinach, beans and dried fruit are also sources of iron in the diet. Iron-fortified foods are another option for boosting your iron intake. Read the label of products like bread, pasta and cereals to determine if they are fortified with iron.

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