Protein is the building block of every cell and tissue. It also plays a key role in metabolism, muscle growth, fat loss, and brain function. Your unborn child needs protein to grow in the uterus. Meeting your daily protein requirements is extremely important, especially in the third trimester, when your child’s brain is developing at a fast pace.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, future mums should consume up to 100 grams of protein per day. Those with an active lifestyle need even more protein in their diet. This nutrient is found in meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, and vegetables. Here are the best high-protein foods for mums to be:
One large egg boasts six grams of protein and only 78 calories. It also contains large amounts of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. Packed with nutrients, the humble egg should be a staple in your diet. Contrary to popular belief, the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels. This means it’s no need to remove the yolk. Just make sure you cook the eggs before eating them to prevent food poisoning.
Chicken and turkey deliver up to 30 grams of protein per serving. Additionally, they are low in fat and have zero carbs. The protein in poultry supports muscle growth and repair, aids in weight management, and increases satiety. Chicken is a favorite choice due to its low price and high nutritional value. Rich in B vitamins, it boosts immunity, regulates blood sugar, and protects eyesight.
Loaded with protein and amino acids, lean beef is one of the healthiest pregnancy foods. It’s also a staple in any athlete’s diet. Commonly referred to as “nature’s multivitamin,” it provides massive amounts of B vitamins, zinc, iron, and potassium. Beef contains heme iron, which is easily absorbed into your body. When consumed regularly, it helps prevent anemia, curbs hunger, and preserves lean muscle.
High in protein and fatty acids, fish supports a healthy pregnancy. Studies have found that children whose mothers ate at least three servings of fish a week while pregnant had higher IQ scores that their peers. They also had lower rates of autism-spectrum disorders. To stay safe, avoid high-mercury fish, such as tuna and shark. Stick to salmon, tilapia, cod, and shrimps.
Almonds are one of the best protein sources for pregnant women. Thy also provide essential fats that promote healthy brain development in the fetus. The fiber in almonds keeps you regular and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Contrary to what you may have heard, these nuts don’t cause allergies in your unborn child.