Pregnancy is a time of change — it’s a time when your family is preparing for a new member and your body is undergoing a massive transition. Many women underestimate the toll that pregnancy will have on the body. They also underestimate how much planning and thought will need to go into supporting both the body and the growing baby throughout pregnancy. That’s why we’ve decided to do some research into smoothies for pregnancy. We’ll cover everything from why smoothies are beneficial for pregnant women, to how you can make your own smoothie at home.
How Smoothies Can Be Part of a Healthy Pregnancy
Most people know that smoothies are wonderfully healthy drinks to include in any diet. However, for pregnant women, some specific smoothies can be especially beneficial.
This is because smoothies tend to contain a wide range of nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, electrolytes, and healthy fats. These types of nutrients are crucial for pregnant women, as they need to support another life that is growing inside them. By eating a healthy, varied diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, you’ll support your own body and your child’s growing body.
Smoothies vs Juices for Pregnancy
Compared to juices, smoothies are actually slightly more beneficial in most cases.
Firstly, smoothies tend to retain much more fiber than juice. Fiber is the part of a fruit or vegetable that passes through the body without ever being broken down. Fiber is important as it helps to keep the digestive system functioning in a clean and efficient way. Eating a sufficient amount of fiber can prevent both constipation and diarrhea. Fiber can also prevent diabetes, promote skin health, and heart health.
During pregnancy, constipation can become a difficulty for around 50% of women. It’s usually caused by a change in the hormones that relax the intestine muscles and cause the uterus to expand, putting pressure on the intestines. Many health professionals recommend that pregnant women are careful to eat a high fiber diet, with at least 25 to 30 grams a day.
Smoothies are also a great way to include other elements in your drink, including oats, seeds, and nut butters. These types of ingredients can give you even more nutritional benefits and support during your pregnancy, compared to juices, which only contain fruits and vegetables.
Finally, some juices are actually harmful especially while pregnant. Raw, cold-pressed juices have become a huge health trend over the years, but for pregnant women, the bacteria in these juices can be extremely dangerous, leading to life-threatening consequences for unborn babies.
About the Pregnancy Diet
A healthy diet is always important, but especially so during pregnancy. Contrary to what some believe, there is no need to go on a ‘special’ diet while you are pregnant. There is also no need to eat for two — so don’t start doubling your portions. Remember, the fetus inside you is pretty tiny.
Nevertheless, it is crucial that you start making sure you get a good balance of nutrients. Many professionals recommend that pregnant women start taking a folic acid supplement.
The Best Ingredients for Smoothies for Pregnancies
Certain ingredients can be incredibly useful for women making their own smoothies for pregnancy:
- Milk or yoghurt - During pregnancy, it’s important to eat extra protein and calcium to support your growing foetus. Milk and yoghurt are excellent dairy products to eat or drink during pregnancy, as they provide two types of protein called casein and whey. They also provide calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.
- Spinach or kale - Dark, leafy vegetables are excellent for pregnant women, as they contain plenty of nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate, and potassium. These vegetables have been linked to a reduced risk of low birth weight, meaning they are especially beneficial for helping your little one to grow.
- Berries - Berries are excellent for pregnant women, as they contain water, carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. These fruits will keep you hydrated, energized, and healthy throughout your pregnancy.
- Oats - Oats are a whole grain that can help pregnant women to consume enough calories during the second and third trimesters. They also contain vitamins and plant compounds, as well as B vitamins and fiber, which are often lacking in pregnant women’s diets.
- Avocados - These creamy fruits are packed with folate and vitamin B6, which helps the fetus brain to grow and the development of healthy tissue. Some studies have suggested that it could even ease your morning sickness.
- Dates - Dates and other dried fruits can reduce the risk of anemia by regulating blood pressure and blood sugar. They can also help you to maintain a healthy level of calcium.
- Ginger - Ginger has been shown to help alleviate pain, nausea, and vomiting during pregnancy.
- Bananas - Thanks to their high potassium content, bananas provide a quick boost of energy when you start to experience fatigue or tiredness during pregnancy.
- Oranges - With their vitamin C, folate, and fiber content, oranges are a real superfood. Plus, they are 90% water, so you’ll get some hydration from them too!
- Nuts and seeds - Nuts and seeds contain protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly beneficial for pregnant women, especially during the first few weeks.
- Soy products - Soy milk or tofu can be a great (if a little bizarre) ingredient to throw in a smoothie. If you’re a vegetarian, these products can give you a much-needed protein boost.
- Fresh basil - While it may not sound like the easiest ingredient to work into a smoothie, basil can taste refreshing with some fruits. Plus, with its protein, vitamin E, riboflavin, and fiber, it’s actually incredibly healthy for you during pregnancy. It also has folate, which is necessary for the cell growth of the fetus.
- Water - Hydration is just as important, if not more so, for pregnant women. Apparently, you should aim for urine that is pale and colorless. If you’re struggling to get enough water each day, smoothies can help!
The Ingredients to Avoid
- Raw eggs - While you’re unlikely to put raw eggs in your smoothies, we’ve added this dangerous food to the list just in case. Raw eggs should be avoided as they may cause salmonella.
- Caffeine - Avoid putting any caffeinated foods or drinks in your smoothie — no mochas during pregnancy! Caffeine is dangerous for growing babies as it can cause a low birth weight or even a miscarriage.
- Cocoa - As cocoa contains caffeine, it should also be avoided.
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables - It’s imperative that you wash all of your produce before tossing them in the blender to get rid of any harmful bacteria or viruses.
- Unpasteurized fruit juice - As we’ve already mentioned in this article, juices need to be pasteurized in order to be safe for pregnant women, as unpasteurized juices are prone to developing dangerous bacteria.
- Sugary treats - Avoid snacking on unhealthy treats like chocolate, chips, or cookies.
8 Amazing Smoothies for Pregnancies to Make at Home
Try making these smoothies for breakfast, or for a super healthy afternoon snack.
Mango, Ginger, and Kale
- Mango cubes
- Frozen peaches
- Fresh ginger
- Lemons and limes
- Filtered water
- Agave nectar
This tasty smoothie is filled with amazing ingredients to support you through your pregnancy. With added ice and water, it will leave you feeling super hydrated. With the kale, you’ll get a dose of leafy green goodness, filled with fiber. Thanks to the ginger, you may find this smoothie helps you to feel a little more settled if you tend to struggle with morning sickness.
Kale, Avocado, and Nectar
- Filtered water
This quick and easy creamy smoothie is the perfect mix of bitterness and sweetness. With loads of leafy greens, you’ll get plenty of nutrients you need to help your baby to grow at a healthy rate. Plus, the avocado provides vitamin B6 and folate, helping your baby to develop a healthy brain and healthy tissue.
Peanut Butter Protein
- Soya milk
- Peanut butter
- Spinach leaves
- Frozen banana
This tasty, filling smoothie is more of a snack than a drink. As a pregnant woman, you need to make sure you’re getting plenty of protein, and this smoothie can help. Peanuts are packed with protein, meaning they’re great to include in your diet in the second and third trimesters particularly. Plus, you’ll get lots of folates, vitamin E, fiber, and healthy fats.
Raspberry and Blueberry
This delicious berry smoothie is super healthy and will give you and your baby tons of amazing nutrients so that you feel energetic and your baby can grow. Because this smoothie contains milk, you’ll be getting some calcium and protein, which many pregnant women fail to get in their regular diet.
Yogurt and Berry
- Mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
This ultra-hydrating, healthy smoothie is great for you and your little one. Yogurt is exceptionally beneficial for women who are pregnant, as it will give you a huge calcium boost. Plus, by adding water or ice into this smoothie, you’ll get a great hydrating boost.
Apple, Orange, and Strawberry
- Orange juice
- Apple juice
This delicious option is pretty simple to make. With its high vitamin C content, it will help to boost you and your baby’s immunity, helping to prevent you both from becoming sick. Plus, the yogurt is always a positive ingredient to work into your smoothie recipes!
Blueberry, Banana, and Yoghurt
This is one of our favorite smoothies for pregnancy. So simple and so good — this smoothie contains three tasty ingredients that just happen to be super beneficial for you during pregnancy. This is a great smoothie to whip up when you’re low on ingredients, or you just need a quick snack during the day.
Spinach, Pineapple, and Avocados
- Pineapple chunks
With loads of fiber and nutrients coming from the spinach, plus some healthy fats from the avocado, this filling smoothie will see you through an afternoon where you’d usually experience some hunger pangs. Plus, with the pineapple chunks, this smoothie has a delicious sweetness that you’ll find hard to resist.
Where to Buy Smoothies for Pregnancy
Here are a couple of excellent brands for pregnancy smoothies.
Nokia Organic Smoothies - These delicious smoothies are high in protein, and tend to use nut butter and healthy fruits, without adding any of the bad stuff. If you’re ever low on time, pick up one of these smoothies as the next best thing.
Daily Harvest Ready-to-Blend Smoothies - This innovative company has created an easy ready-to-blend option, for people who may not have the time or money to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables all of the time. Simply toss everything in the packet into the blender and you’ll be good to go in just a few short minutes.
Suja Smoothies - Suja is a wonderful company that makes pressed juices (which aren’t recommended for pregnant women) and tasty smoothies. They use healthy fruits and vegetables and make some of the most pleasant green smoothies on the market.
Smoothies are an amazing, healthy drink to include in your daily routine throughout your pregnancy. They will keep you nourished and strong, while they will also help your baby to grow and develop at the right rate.
Do you have a favorite smoothie for pregnancy that we’ve missed? Let us know!