“Protein is crucial for your baby’s growth throughout pregnancy.” by Mayo Clinic
It cannot be stressed enough that an adequate intake of protein is especially crucial in pregnancy. This is because protein intake is a core element of nourishing a growing baby inside your body. Protein is necessary for the formation of the baby’s muscles, tissues and organs. And protein is also necessary as the mother’s own body grows to accommodate the baby. Since our body cannot really store protein efficiently, a steady diet of protein is of paramount importance during pregnancy.
For the mother, eating a diet rich in protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help to stabilize your mood during the period of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, protein performs an important task in cell-building, forming the baby’s muscles, tissues and organs. By the time it comes to baby’s third semester, proteins high in Omega-3 fatty acids are essential because baby’s brain will be developing during this period. A good protein intake during your pregnancy assures the healthy functioning of your baby’s cognitive abilities in the future.
When you eat protein, your kidney has to do the work of filtering the nitrogen byproducts out of your blood. Excess protein forces your kidney to work overtime, which might cause kidney damage in the long run.
A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet can also mean less fiber, causing constipation and worse gastrointestinal health overall.
Moreover, be careful to differentiate a high-protein diet from a diet high in animal fats. The latter of course hardens the arteries and causes coronary heart disease, also increasing the risk of stroke.
Before, during or after pregnancy, pregnant women at the age 18-50 should aim for between 70-100 grams of protein daily , meanwhile pregnant women at the below 18 and younger need around 130 grams of protein daily.
Food Sources for Protein
- Lean meat poultry
- Low-fat dairy (Milk & Cheese)
- Lean beef
- Nuts and Seeds
- Green peas