Protein and Protein Rich Foods
Protein is essential for health, in and out of pregnancy. Carbohydrates and fats are fuel, but protein is used in building and maintaining tissue such as muscle. It is also used for all the growth of a baby in pregnancy.
Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 21 amino acids in all, including 9 which we cannot manufacture. These nine are considered be essential amino acids. Animal derived proteins such as meat poultry and dairy are complete, meaning they contain all the essential amnio acids, which we need. Vegetable proteins are not complete and must be combined to be complete. Combining a grain or seed with a legume provides complete protein. Learn more here.
Proteins also help buffer the entry of carbohydrates into the system. In other words, they buffer sugar highs and hunger lows. Try to include some protein in every meal and every snack. Here is a chart which might help.
We have made a handout of some common sources of protein and how much they provide. Pregnant women need roughly 70 grams of protein per day. That is up from 50 grams before pregnancy. Click below to get your handout on the protein content of common foods.
What about Protein Powders ?
Click here to learn more detailed information about protein types, protein requirements and protein powders.
Click HERE to find Protein Rich Snack Ideas.