How to Get More Protein Into Your Pregnancy Diet

How to Get More Protein Into Your Pregnancy Diet

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I am currently 27 weeks pregnant with my second baby, and my doctor says that I need to incorporate more protein into my diet. I kind of had a feeling I was low on protein. This pregnancy I am so focused on getting Iron that I fill my diet with more carbohydrates, fruits and veggies rather than great protein sources.

How do you know how much protein you’re eating?

So, over the past week I used the MyFitnessPal app to track how many grams of protein I was getting, and to figure out ways to add more. I also used the app while I was preparing my body for my second frozen embryo transfer. The MyFitnessPal App is a great tool to help track your fertility and pregnancy nutrients and how many Carbs you’re getting compared to Protein and Healthy Fats. You can even set daily goals for how many calories, percentage of protein, etc that you would like to meet. I also look at how much Iron I am getting with the foods I eat, because Iron deficiency was a huge problem for me in my first pregnancy.

How to Increase Your Protein Intake

So, how have I been able to increase my protein intake in a healthy way? I didn’t have to just eat more meat! I found a variety of ways to get more protein in my pregnancy diet on a daily basis, most of which don’t increase my calorie intake by a ton, AND a lot of them are pregnancy superfoods! Here are a few of them:

  1. Greek Yogurt – Greek Yogurt is a great way to get more protein into your diet. As breakfast or a snack, Greek Yogurt adds an extra 18 g of protein to your day! That’s as much as most protein bars, but way healthier for you and chock full of calcium to help grow baby’s bones and prevent osteoporosis for mama. Aim for Greek or Skyr yogurt with the least amount of sugar and ingredients in it. I prefer plain with some fresh berries and chia seeds or granola on top. Siggi’s is fantastic!
  2. Eggs – Eggs are so versatile, and each contain about 6 g of protein. I usually do a few hardboiled eggs on Sundays. That way they’re ready as a quick snack during the week. They’re also great to throw on avocado toast for a quick lunch. Eggs are an easy (and affordable) way to add a healthy, whole source of protein to any meal. They’re also a wonderful source of choline! Choline is necessary for baby’s brain development. You can even add egg whites to oatmeal for an added protein boost!
  3. RX Bars – RX Bars have been with me since I was trying to increase my uterine lining before my frozen embryo transfer. I love that they have limited ingredients, and all of those ingredients are Pregnancy Superfoods and IVF Superfoods! Plus, they taste great. When preparing for IVF, my doctor told me to stay away from Whey and Pea Protein, so I found RX Bars to be a clean way to add protein while also getting those important superfoods into my diet. They’re a perfect, quick and easy pregnancy snack!
  4. Collagen – Collagen is all the rage right now for its skin and hair benefits, but it is also a great source of protein at 10 g per cup. I take collagen daily for protein. Collagen should also help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. It will also help with my C-section scar recovery after birth. When shopping for a Collagen, look for Grass-fed (preferably Non-GMO) with as few ingredients as possible, and check for certification. Because the FDA doesn’t regulate many supplements, check if a credible group (like NSFor USP) has tested the product before and as always, check with your doctor before taking any supplements. 
  5. Bone Broth – Bone Broth is a Pregnancy Superfood packed with 6-10 g of protein per cup. Sip a cup of this savory broth before bed. Or, add it to soups and other recipes! It helps add that extra protein boost you need during pregnancy. If you add flavorless Collagen Peptides to your bone broth it instantly adds another 10g of protein!
  6. Quinoa – Swapping your usual rice for quinoa is a great way to get extra protein. Quinoa is another Pregnancy Superfood, and just one cup of quinoa has about 8 g of protein. This superfood is great in salads, as a rice or pasta alternative, and I love Quinoa Flakes for breakfast with berries, walnuts, and a little bit of maple syrup. Or, add them to some overnight oats with your collagen powder for a power-packed breakfast that will keep you full for hours!
  7. More Meat! – Last, but not least, just try to incorporate more organic, lean meats into your diet. I try to have at least one meal a day where I get a really good source of protein. Like, a chicken breast, piece of salmon or some lean red meat. Lean meat is by far the best source of protein. Try to fit it in on a salad for lunch or with veggies and a side of quinoa for dinner. You can’t go wrong. 

I hope these suggestions help you meet your protein needs! Once again, always consult your doctor first before changing your diet or adding supplements while pregnant. For a list of Pregnancy Superfoods, CLICK HERE. And, most of these foods can be found on Amazon and Amazon Fresh.

Good luck on your journey!

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