The process of ‘baking’ a human being is a lot of work on its own. Add hormonal fluctuations, increased metabolism, the non-stop process of building the placenta, reduced blood pressure, lowered blood sugar, and you have the perfect recipe for fatigue during pregnancy.
You will find this especially so in the first trimester.
Then there’s the extra weight that you are carrying, mental overload, and emotional changes that accompany the little bundle of joy. And honestly, none of these is helping to conserve your energy.
Results? You just want to rest and sleep more.
But let’s face it, pregnant or not, life has its demands, and you will do more and can only wish that your pregnancy is one without fatigue getting in the way.
And even if you are among the lucky ones who don’t feel tired all the time during pregnancy, I bet you’d still want to know how to increase your energy the healthy way.
So how do you “bypass” the fatigue? Thankfully, Mother Nature is filled with healthy energy-boosting foods that will have you moving around like pregnancy has nothing on you.
You already know coffee, sugary treats and junk food aren’t right for you.
But what is? Foods that are rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, Iron, and fibre are perfect for you.
Anytime you see these in foods, just know you have an energy powerhouse, and you are allowed to indulge.
In this article, we will explore the energy-boosting foods that you need to eat during pregnancy and how they affect your body.
This green vegetable is an excellent source of energy-promoting nutrients. It’s highly rich in iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins (A, C, E, and K).
It’s also packed with fibre, antioxidants, and folic acid.
Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iIron into the body, and the iron helps in the production of red blood cells.
Potassium, on the other hand, helps to improve blood flow, which results in an efficient supply of oxygen to body cells.
Both of these processes relax the tension and stress of blood vessels and veins, thereby fighting fatigue.
2. Low-fat Yoghurt
Yoghurt is an excellent snack to replenish your energy levels when you are active. It contains simple carbohydrates, which, when broken down, produce ready-to-use energy.
It also contains proteins that help slow down the release of sugars into the blood system, making it a good option for sustainable energy in the body.
Additionally, yoghurt is rich in vitamins B2 and B12, which are used in cellular functions to form molecule ATP, which your body cells use for fuel.
Your calorie intake increases during pregnancy. If you consume less than your body needs, your energy levels will dip.
A large egg contains 78 calories and 8 grams of proteins- the perfect recipe for energy.
The best thing about proteins is that they provide energy continuously for an extended period compared to carbohydrates.
This is because their digestion doesn’t affect the levels of sugar and insulin in the blood. That is why you should take advantage of the egg protein if you want a steady supply of lasting energy.
Not only that, eggs also have Leucine and B vitamins, which help in the production of energy in the body by facilitating the breakdown of fat and food to produce energy.
Eggs contain high-quality fats, minerals, and vitamins and they will keep you full for longer and more energized than other snacks.
These include lentils, beans, peas, soya beans, chickpeas, and peanuts.
They are excellent plant-based sources of protein, iron, and fibre – everything your body needs to be energetic during pregnancy.
They also have calcium, folate, and fats, which are necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Apart from carrying oxygen through the body, iron helps to build resistance to stress and diseases. It prevents weakness, tiredness, irritability, and depression.
The soluble fibre in legumes assists in the slow-burning of energy, managing your energy to sustainable levels. It also increases metabolism rate, thus eliminating constipation.
Salmons contain omega-3 fatty acids- nutrients that supply the brain with sufficient energy. They also help in protecting your heart by lowering blood pressure.
The high protein count boosts your energy and can make a perfect option for dinner.
Salmons also have vitamin B12, which helps in the production of red blood cells. It also boosts the functions of iron in the body.
The result will be more red blood cells and better blood flow, which means more energy.
You need to eat 2 – 3 meals of fatty fish per week to achieve the right intake of omega-3.
This yummy spread is an energy powerhouse.
It is an excellent source of protein, iron, vitamin C, folate, and fibre. Its ingredients are sesame seeds, pureed garbanzo beans chickpeas, olive oil, and lemon juice – foods packed with nutrients that contribute to energy.
The fibre and protein help stabilize blood sugar while eradicating hunger and boosting your energy.
You can use it as a dip for carrots, whole wheat pita strips, and pepper to make an excellent mid-afternoon snack.
What’s more, it can also be used as a sandwich spread.
Start your day with a bowl of this great source of soluble dietary fibre and your body will thank you for the rest of the day.
Oatmeal keeps you full for longer and energized without making you feel nauseous.
It contains a complex carbohydrate that has both cholesterol-lowering and anti-diabetic effects.
The complex carbohydrates take time to digest and are, therefore, the best sources of longer-lasting energy in the body.
Cooking it up plain will be more nutritious than buying a high-sugar flavoured one. Top it up with a spoon or two of nutrient-rich berries to improve the taste.
8. Lean meat
Beef, chicken, and pork provide proteins, iron, choline, and B vitamins.
You already know that iron requirement doubles during pregnancy, so you need to eat foods that are high-rich in Iron.
Insufficient Iron can cause anaemia, which is a contributing factor to feeling exhausted all the time.
Eating red meat regularly will provide you with sufficient iron and proteins.
Accompany them with foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges to increase the absorption of Iron.
Beetroots have high antioxidant properties that help in boosting your immunity. Studies note that the antioxidants and other nutrients contained in beetroots improve blood flow making your body more energy-filled.
This is because better blood flow means your cells are well-oxygenated and are functioning at their best.
You can use it as blended juice, dried chips, or cooked beets. Or it can also be combined with other fruits for salad.
Avocado is a fruit packed with a monounsaturated fatty acid – the fatty acid that supports health. The high content of healthy fats can be stored in the body as energy sources.
Also, the fats enhance the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients that become valuable energy sources too.
Avocados also have fibre which helps in providing a steady supply of energy.
Not to forget the B vitamins that boost energy production at the cellular level.
11. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of energy. They contain carbohydrates and fibre that provide energy to the body.
The high fibre content provides the filling power as it slows down the absorption of carbohydrates so that your body remains energetic for longer periods.
Sweet potatoes also regulate blood sugars. Stable blood sugar levels make you feel energized and focused while reducing the urge to indulge in unhealthy energy boosters such as coffee.
Goodbye Sleepy Head and Sluggish Afternoons…
Let’s face it, when your body is operating optimally, your physical stamina will be high. For your body to function at its best during pregnancy, it needs calories, nutrients, fibre, and minerals in the right quantity to keep up with the body’s increasing needs.
The good news is, pregnancy doesn’t have to make your life dull. You only need to replenish your energy stocks daily with these energy boosters, and you will be at the top of your game.
You may not consume them all at once, but you can devise a program to manage how you alternate them for the best results.
If you still feel sluggish, do consult your gynaecologist for a check-up.