Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle are important for a healthy pregnancy. There are many essential nutrients for pregnancy such as folate and iron to help your baby grow. In continuation with the Healthy Pregnancy Series here, we will be talking about another important nutrient for expecting mothers today: Calcium.
Why is calcium important during pregnancy?
Calcium is important during pregnancy in the same way it is important for kids. Calcium helps to build your baby’s teeth and bones and also helps the heart, nerves and muscles develop. It is important to have enough calcium to meet your needs as well as your baby’s needs.
If there is not enough calcium from your diet, calcium from your bones is used to support your baby which can harm your health. Calcium is also important while you are pregnant because it can help prevent high blood pressure during pregnancy.
How can you get enough calcium?
It is always good to try and get calcium from food sources before trying a supplement. You should consider taking a supplement if your calcium intake is low.
Foods that are high in calcium are:
1 cup of milk or a fortified soy beverage
50g of cheese (select a variety that you enjoy)
¾ cup of yogurt
½ cup of cooked collards or spinach
2 ½ ounces of canned sardines or mackerel
You should aim to eat at least 2 servings of these foods every day to ensure you are getting enough calcium.
Dietitian Approved Recipes High in Calcium
For a recipe high in calcium, you should try this High Protein Smoothie with Vanilla Bean by Amy Gorin Nutrition. Smoothies are a perfect option for an on-the-go breakfast, especially if you don't feel like eating during your pregnancy. This recipe is made with low fat milk for calcium and is packed with protein from edamame to make the smoothie filling especially if you are on the go.
If you want to try something different for a drink, you can also try this Pistachio Coconut Milk With A Royal Pinch by Desi-licious RD. This recipe uses coconut milk instead of regular milk and is flavoured with pistachios, saffron and cardamom powder which makes it more delicious than a glass of plain milk.
If you are looking for a breakfast recipe that is easy to make and high in calcium, you should try my favourite Strawberry Chocolate Overnight Oats. This is a healthy, wholesome breakfast that you can make the night before and have ready to go in the morning. It is high in calcium and protein, filled with fibre and free of refined sugar.
To ready Part 1 and Part 2 of the Healthy Pregnancy Series: