Why Protein and Fibre are So Important for Mums-to-Be
So baby is already on the way, and you’ve trawled through the pages of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, hoping that it would answer all your burning questions. Now what?
Good Hemp has a track record of helping mums feed their children nutritious and delicious snacks, as you can see in this blog post on kids who love hemp. As you prepare for the arrival of your adorable bundle of joy, you probably have some specific queries about the type of food you should be eating before it happens.
Now that you’re eating for two, a healthy, balanced diet has pretty much never been more important. Protein and fibre are two important parts of a pregnancy diet, and we’ve got some advice to ensure you get enough of both over the next nine months, and beyond.
Protein in Pregnancy: How Much Should You Have?
Protein is an essential nutrient that is a building block of healthy body tissue. It is important for regulating your body as a mum-to-be, as well as facilitating the healthy growth of the baby you’re carrying.
While the precise amount you will need may vary based on personal factors (and don’t be shy to ask your doctor about this to be sure), generally the average daily requirement if you’re pregnant is around 90 grams, which should be split across three or four different servings. If you’re following a plant-based diet, you can make this happen through all kinds of sources like tofu, legumes, nuts and more.
Protein powders are a great way to reach your daily amount in the form of a smoothie, shake or even in a baking recipe. Products like our 75% hemp protein, or new 85% hemp protein should do the trick if you want to make sure you always get the correct daily amount.
Why Is Fibre Important in the Diet During Pregnancy?
Fibre is commonly associated with those cereal ads about “keeping regular” and it has a key role to play in digestive health – yet nine out of 10 people in the UK don’t get enough in their diets
Constipation is an all-too-common pregnancy symptom (if you didn’t know before… now you do!) that can affect your overall mood, stress and anxiety levels. Fibre is found in plant-based foods, and consists of the part of the plant that the body can’t absorb. It essentially acts as a carrier to help waste to pass through the body more effectively.
Your overall digestive and gut health – aka the balance of the microorganisms that live in your digestive tract – is something to keep in mind, especially during pregnancy, as it’s imperative to the health and immune systems of both you and your baby. There are lots of ways to improve your gut health and, unsurprisingly, all of them have to do with your diet. According to experts, a gut-friendly diet includes lots of – you guessed it – fibres (such as whole grains, potatoes, peas and apples). In short, fibre equals good gut health for you and for your baby.
Aside from a generally more comfortable pregnancy from eating enough fibre, it also has other health benefits that will help you be the picture of health as you go through the transformation towards child birth. It can reduce blood cholesterol for one, which lowers the risk of heart disease (hooray!). Research also suggests that it also helps with type 2 diabetes management, and is useful for weight maintenance after you’ve given birth.
We almost forgot to tell you how much of it you should be aiming for! Aim for around 25 to 30 grams of fibre per day, once you’ve gotten the a-ok from your doc first.
The Best Fibre and Protein Powder for Pregnancy
If you need some help with finding ways to get the right amount of either protein or fibre in your diet between now and your due date, you don’t have to start crawling mummy forums right away for ideas.
A powder substitute can be an easy solution, especially if you like making porridge, pancakes, or smoothies. Our Hemp Protein Fibre Boost is a natural source of protein and fibre, as well as iron and magnesium. It’s pretty much a four-in-one deal. In case you’re wondering, yes, the powder is also gluten, wheat and nut free. Whoop!
If your pregnancy cravings include a hankering for something sweet, a protein powder can help you with that too – and we’ve got the recipes to prove it. You deserve it – you’re literally growing another person inside of you. Why not get your protein, fibre AND chocolate fixes in the form of a dark chocolate, macadamia and hemp protein loaf or one of our other delicious recipes?
More Ways To Increase Protein and Fibre In Your Diet
In case pregnancy brain sets in at any point, and you forget all about what we’ve taught you so far, you can also bank on the following quick tips to help you add more protein and fibre to your diet:
- Go with wholegrain versions of foods like bread, pasta and rice to dial up the fibre in a subtle way that doesn’t disrupt your cooking routine.
- Snack on raw fruit and veggies between meals. Celery is fibre rich and delicious. Chew extra loudly and help your partner practice patience before parenthood kicks in.
- Add a handful of nuts to your cereal in the morning, or sprinkle hemp or pumpkin seeds into your salad. Your gut will thank you for the extra fibre and you may even enjoy it so much that you keep doing it after the baby has arrived.
Here’s To You and Baby-To-Be
We’re not going to lie to you. Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful, terrifying, confusing and exciting things you can go through in your life.
Looking after your own health (and making sure your partner gives you ample foot massages at the snap of a finger) is a good way to go through the process, which involves a lot of learning, a lot of growing (literally!) and had an outcome that is something most people only dream about experiencing during the course of their lives.
Own it, and trust your (healthy, fibre-friendly) gut along the way. Before you know it, you’ll be getting your (not so) little one ready for their first year at uni and wondering where the hell all the years have gone.
If at any point it feels like it’s all a bit much, you can always turn to good ol’ Friends. “The One With The Baby Shower” is a winner, especially if you’re losing sleep from wondering what the hell a diaper genie is.
Good luck, and enjoy the ride.