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How To Get A Pregnancy Energy Boost (with food!)

Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience for a lot of women, whether it is their first child or their third. But with pregnancy comes changes, and that includes changes to your body, routines, diet, and overall lifestyle. A common side effect pregnant women encounter throughout their term is a decrease in energy, which can be […]

Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience for a lot of women, whether it is their first child or their third. But with pregnancy comes changes, and that includes changes to your body, routines, diet, and overall lifestyle. A common side effect pregnant women encounter throughout their term is a decrease in energy, which can be the result of appetite fluctuations and the extra demand for energy the body needs to supply the developing baby with essential nutrients to grow. Because of this, alongside the many other typical pregnancy symptoms, most women feel very low on energy while pregnant, especially when they are near the third trimester. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get a pregnancy energy boost with food and how to do so effectively.

Protein

Protein is an essential component of a pregnant woman’s diet, but it also helps keep energy levels up as well. While a baby is developing, its cells are constantly reproducing and consuming large amounts of energy provided by protein, so having an ample amount of servings a day, around 70 grams, is beneficial for both.

Foods that are great sources of protein include milk, cheese, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, and lean meats. Meals like chicken and fish are also great suppliers of protein, just be sure they are cooked thoroughly and steer away from fish known to contain high traces of mercury.

Iron-rich Foods

During pregnancy, a woman has to create more blood to supply oxygen to the developing baby. Women are already more likely to be iron deficient by the time they are of childbearing age, and it’s quite common for them to become anemic during pregnancy. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue and lack of energy as well as dizziness and shortness of breath. Consuming foods rich in iron will help elevate low levels and produce enough red blood cells to supply oxygen to the organs and thus generate more energy.

If you are feeling low energy during pregnancy, iron-rich foods like spinach, red meats, soy products, egg yolks, cereals, shellfish, and dried fruits are excellent ways to supplement low iron levels.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbs are the main provider of energy, but they can be a scary word for some people when they think about food, especially when trying to maintain a clean diet. Oftentimes, they are usually thinking of simple carbs, which are not entirely terrible on their own, but can be when they are heavily consumed in the form of refined sugar and processed foods. These kinds of carbs are easily and quickly digested but offer very little nutritional value and energy.

Complex carbs on the other hand, also called “whole” or “healthy” carbs, are ones that take longer to digest and have more to give in terms of nutrients. The body takes these long, complex sugar molecules and breaks them down into glucose, which the body then uses for energy. By simply redefining your meals and choosing healthier carbs to consume, you can maintain a clean diet whilst also keeping up with the demand for energy both your body and your child’s requires. In order to get proper energy during pregnancy, look to foods such as fresh vegetables, whole grain bread, fresh fruit, dried beans, baked potatoes with skins, and pasta.

Foods to Avoid

Just as the right kind of food can supply energy, the wrong kind can also lead to more fatigue. These are food groups to avoid or limit while pregnant to keep your energy levels going.

  • Sugars- Items like packaged desserts and snacks, frosted breakfast cereals, sodas, fruit juices, and foods with added sweeteners.
  • Caffeine– While pregnant women are allowed up to 200mg of caffeine a day, the boost of energy from drinks like coffee and energy drinks are short-lived as they enter and leave the body rather quickly, leaving you feeling drowsy not long after. More so, the additives in most commercial energy drinks do more harm than good.
  • Refined carbs- Foods like white bread, bagels, pizza, and hamburgers are all carbs that spike blood sugar levels quickly and then drop back down, causing a “crash” that leaves people feeling drowsy and can increase inflammation.

For pregnant women feeling low energy, being proactive in the foods you eat can contribute to overall boost in mood and energy levels throughout your entire pregnancy. It is important to find the right kind of diet that works for you and your caloric needs and before long, you should see the results in action.

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Closeup of a couple embracing the mother’s pregnant belly.