How to Hack Your Smoothie for a Healthy Pregnancy
Posted on 01 May 2017
If you've spent any amount of time exploring The Mum Blog, you know we love a good healthy, delicious smoothie for a healthy pregnancy meal!
Smoothies are the perfect way to pack a LOT of nutrients and fresh foods into one meal. They quick and easy and the only thing they dirty up is the blender and your glass. It doesn't get much better than that.
If you are strategic with the ingredients you use, you can turn your smoothie into a healing concoction that reduces inflammation, calms your stressed body, and provides essential nutrients you and your baby need for optimal health.
Here are a few of our favorite ingredients to hack your smoothie for a healthy pregnancy.
Avocad-OHMYGOODNESS, avocados are the perfect way to make your smoothie creamier, healthier, and more nutrient-dense. The good fats found in avocados boost brain development, while the Vitamin B6 is great for morning sickness too.
Try it: Our Cinnamon Spice Pear Smoothie is light and refreshing with a creamy taste.
CacAO is cocOA's cuter and healthier little sis. It's made by pressing raw cocoa beans into a powder, whereas cocoa powder is roasted cocoa beans into a less nutrient-dense powder that we often use in baked goods. Raw Cacao however is extremely nutrient-dense with the same good chocolatey flavor! It is high in iron and potassium which are both essential for a healthy, comfortable pregnancy.
Try it: Blend almond butter, cashew milk, banana, cacao, and greens
Chia seeds have been used for years now, but we had to mention them! Chia seeds are a great source of clean energy, essential fats, and fiber. They will thicken up your smoothie and are excellent for digestive health, acting like little sponges to clean off those possibly gunky intestinal walls. (We know, gross.)
Try it: Add it to any smoothie you already make! The flavor is masked by pretty much anything.
Photo via @ House of Mouti
Another tasteless ingredient (arguably the best kind), chlorophyll is the equivalent of blood for plants. It has similar function as hemoglobin, which oxygenates the blood! It helps normal blood clotting, hormonal balance, and even detoxifies and deodorizes the body. It can also help with digestive function by easing constipation (a must for pregnant women.) If you are prone to anemia or slow wound healing, chlorophyll would be a great addition to your smoothies to help your healing after birth.
Try it: Add it to your favorite green smoothie. Or you can just add it to plain old water!
Coconut butter/Coconut oil
We've long been told the benefits of coconut oil, which has healthy fats that give us more energy, better skin, and more brain power among other things (when used in moderation of course.) But have you tried coconut butter?? Coconut butter is the dried flesh of coconut that has been pureed to make a thick, creamy butter, making it the perfect smoothie add-in. It boosts immunity and destroys harmful bacteria and since it still contains the coconut oils, it's packed with healthy fats that nourish you and your baby, and keeps you feel full longer.
Try it: The Pina Colada Smoothie is a healthy spin on the pina colada that will pair perfectly with a tablespoon of coconut butter!
Collagen is the building block of all the proteins in our body. It's responsible for youthful looking skin, thick, healthy hair and nails, and even good joint health (all of which are associated with YOUTH!) Your body rapidly decreases how much collagen it produces after you enter your thirties. Pregnancy zaps nutrients from the body (this is no news to us.) Supplementing with a high-quality collagen peptide can help improve your digestion, strengthen aching bones and joints, boost your energy, and even aid in preventing stretch marks. YES PLEASE! Vital Proteins makes a wonderful peptide that dissolves in both hot and cold liquids, and is virtually tasteless.
Try it: Check out the Vital Proteins Blog for many recipes...but here's a great one we love! Vital Proteins Green Smoothie
Full of fiber and healthy fats, ground flaxseeds keep your digestion regular, promote healthy blood sugar levels (reducing risk of gestational diabetes), and aid in your baby's brain development. They're also good for blood pressure which helps prevent pre-eclampsia during your pregnancy.
Try it: Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your nutty or creamy smoothie. If you're a sucker for a classic fruity smoothie, we like this recipe from Fit Foodie Finds!
Photo via @ Whole Food Republic
Rich in mood-boosting B vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids, maca is a root powder that has been used in ancient civilizations for centuries to help balance hormones and promote optimal fertility. While there have not been any studies on the safety of maca during pregnancy, it seems to be safe for consumption and compared to many approved dietary supplements it is far higher in nutritional value. Maca helps to promote a good mood, improves hormone balance, gives you energy, and even promotes good skin health. SUPERfood indeed!
Try it: Try this Peanut Butter Maca Smoothie from Blissful Basil. YUM!
Pregnant women have an increased need for protein since it is literally the building block of your baby's body. Some people even recommend pregnant women get up to 100 grams of protein a day! Even if you're not getting that much, the recommendation is at least 70 grams/day. Some women can't stomach the thought of that much meat (or that much food for that matter) so a healthy protein powder can help supplement. We love BabyBooster protein powder! But whatever brand you decide, be sure that you pick one that has no added or artificial sugars, preservatives or soy.
Try it: This Banana Cream Smoothie is a perfect sweet and healthy treat for a day when you need some added protein.
Image via @ Naturya.com
Spirulina is a green powder (it's actually algae!) that is an extremely potent source of vitamins and minerals. It is high in protein, antioxidants, and iron and has some amazing health-boosting qualities like reduced risk of anemia, increased energy, promoting the detoxification process and more. And unlike many iron supplements that make you constipated, the iron (and all of the nutrients) in spirulina is very easy to digest!
Try it: If you don't want to mix the spirulina powder in your water, add it to any smoothie since the flavor isn't very overpowering. Naturya has a great smoothie recipe here.