Protein is a vital nutrient for the human body. It is needed to build cells and repair damaged tissues. This is important for everybody, but is extra important for expecting mothers, as they are now providing nutrients to construct a human body. The developing fetus will need as much protein as you can provide, so it is important to include multiple sources of protein in your diet. Below are some of the best sources of protein for pregnant mothers to eat.
There is a big reason why eggs sit at the top of this list. They are hands down some of the best sources of protein available. A singular large egg contains a little bit more than 5 g of protein; there is 2.7 g in the yolk and 3.6 g in the whites. Not only are eggs great sources of protein, but they also won’t raise your cholesterol like some other sources might. But most importantly, you can make a wide variety of different egg dishes, so you never have to grow bored eating them.
Seafood is one of the best sources of protein available because they come with very crucial omega-3 vitamins. Omega-3s are important for the fetus’ neurological development. They also help to regulate the hormones of the mother, which can make the pregnancy smoother.
Legumes are the seeds and fruits of certain members of the Fabaceae plant family. They include all types of beans, such as, white beans, kidney beans, black bean, pinto beans, etc. Each one is an amazing source of proteins and dietary fiber. Since there are so many types of beans available, you can easily include them in your diet.
Milk is great for pregnant women. It contains many nutrients that a developing fetus needs to grow up properly, such as calcium, certain enzymes, and protein. Make sure that any milk you drink is pasteurized so as to avoid coming into contact with Listeria bacteria. It is rare, but if contracted, it can cause harm to both the mother and unborn child.
Yogurt is another great dairy protein source. The protein it contains isn’t its most important feature, though. It is actually very great for pregnant women because it is a natural probiotic. Probiotics can help to soothe stomach issues, combat nausea, and improve digestion. It’s also the basis for the much-celebrated parfait, which may be all an expecting mother needs to keep calm and carry on.
Chicken is one of the most versatile sources of protein available. You can prepare it in all matter of different ways: fry it, grill it, bake it, shred it. Do whatever you have to do to get it into your system. It is also the easiest meat to season, meaning you can boost its nutrition profile by making it taste better.
7. Red Meat
Lamb and beef are huge sources of protein. They also contain lots of zinc and iron, two nutrients that help with red blood cell production, a major necessity for pregnant women. Make sure to not overindulge on red meat though and try to always have it prepared lean.
8. Nuts & Seeds
You won’t find a more convenient source of protein than nuts and seeds. They are some of the only protein sources that can be eaten raw and uncooked, and they are also bite sized to boot. Each variation of seeds and nuts has its own unique set of nutrients, so find out the best ones for your condition.
Most people are surprised to learn that whole grains and some other grains contain a significant amount of protein. It is not as much as some other sources of protein, but it is substantial in its own right. They are also great because they pair well with other sources. Think eggs in a blanket or eating chicken and toast.
It is of vital importance that you include as much protein as you can in your diet while also making sure it is part of a balanced diet. Protein is important, but you shouldn’t sacrifice other nutrients for the sake of eating more protein. Try to make protein a part of every meal though.