Meeting Nutrition Needs with Green Smoothies during Pregnancy - dummies

Meeting Nutrition Needs with Green Smoothies during Pregnancy

By Jennifer Thompson

Green smoothies are a healthy choice for mom and baby, so you can consume them regularly throughout your entire pregnancy. Of course, your smoothies should supplement a well-balanced diet full of nutrients, fiber, added protein, and healthy fats.

Green smoothies make a perfect food during pregnancy because their liquid form is easy to digest. The fiber in the fruits and greens helps keep you regular. The fruits are high in vitamins that keep you and your baby strong. Leafy greens are a natural source of folate, and that nutrient is critical for preventing certain birth defects.

Greens are also a good source of calcium and magnesium. Consuming healthy fats — especially omega-3 fatty acids, found in flaxseed, chia seeds, and flaxseed oil — is good for your baby’s brain health. Selenium (found in walnuts) is also important for your baby’s brain development.

Enjoy your smoothie as a snack or with a meal — whatever works best for you — but keep in mind that you should definitely be eating more often while pregnant. Have a green smoothie on-hand when you’re shopping, working, visiting friends, or traveling. As soon as you feel hungry, sip your smoothie to keep you hydrated, minimize hunger spells, and stabilize blood sugars.

If you’re suffering from morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy, try drinking small amounts of green smoothie containing 1/2 -inch piece of peeled fresh ginger to calm your stomach.

If you’re most unwell in the morning hours, drink your green smoothie at night — even before going to bed. Leave a little extra at your bedside and have a few sips every time you get up to use the toilet throughout the night. Waking up hydrated can make an easier to start your day and hopefully reduce any queasiness.

Outstanding Coco-Blueberry and Walnut

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1-1/2 cups blueberries

1 ripe banana, peeled

2 tablespoons coconut oil

6 walnut halves, or 10 walnut pieces (raw, unsalted)

1-1/2 cups water

2 cups baby spinach, loosely packed

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the spinach in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.

  3. Add the spinach and blend again at medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  4. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 343 (From Fat 216); Fat 24g (Saturated 13g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 29mg; Carbohydrate 32g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 2g.

If you don’t have walnuts, use 6 raw, unsalted almonds instead. Instead of blueberries, try 1-1/2 cups of fresh raspberries.

Magnificent Raspberry and Almond Milk

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup raspberries

1 ripe banana, peeled

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 cups homemade almond milk

1/2 cup water

1 cup baby bok choy leaves, loosely packed

1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed

  1. Combine the raspberries, banana, molasses, coconut oil, almond milk, and water in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  3. Add the bok choy and spinach and blend again at medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  4. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 214 (From Fat 90); Fat 10g (Saturated 6g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 222mg; Carbohydrate 30g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 3g.

Add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes for a more tropical flavor.

Incredible Apricot, Cherry, and Tahini

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 ripe apricots

1 cup cherries (pitted)

2 tablespoons sesame tahini

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

2 cups water

4 baby kale leaves

  1. Cut the apricots and remove the stones, keeping the skin intact. Cut the flesh into quarters.

  2. Combine all the ingredients except the kale in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  4. Add the kale and blend again at medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 168 (From Fat 99); Fat 11g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 29mg; Carbohydrate 16g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 6g.

You can substitute 4 dried organic apricots (soaked for 20 minutes) or 2 tablespoons of organic dried cherries (soaked for 20 minutes) for the fresh versions of those fruits.

Add 1 ripe banana for a creamier texture and taste.