Pregnancy is a beautiful, life-changing event. It’s a time of rapid growth and development for both mother and baby and there are so many extra nutrients your body needs to support this change. It can definitely be overwhelming with all the information available to think about trying to reach each and every level required. In this blog, we make it a little easier for you. We’ve gotten our nutritionist to take us through protein, to break down some facts and walk us through why exactly it is so important during pregnancy.
Firstly, what is protein?
Proteins are the building blocks of life and are present in every cell in our body. They are vital in providing structure and allowing our bodies to function by building and maintaining tissues, bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. Proteins act as chemical messengers sending important information between our cells, tissues and organs and help with storage and transport of nutrients. They also play an essential role in boosting immunity and are a great source of sustainable energy. Incredible? We certainly think so!
Why do I need Protein during Pregnancy?
Protein is essential for supporting this time of rapid change and growth! After we eat protein our body breaks it down into individual amino acids, which are then used to build cells, tissues, muscles and organs. During pregnancy many of these amino acids are also used to develop the cells, tissues, muscles and organs of the baby. For the mother, protein is also used to help support the increased growth of breast tissue and organs that are required to accommodate and nourish a growing baby.
During pregnancy, the body dramatically increases blood volume and supply to support the growing baby. By the time a woman gives birth her red blood cell mass has increased by 20-30%. Protein is essential in facilitating the transport of blood around the body and to the baby.
It is possible that higher protein meals during the first trimester of pregnancy may help with relieving the feelings of nausea and morning sickness. The research behind this is still emerging however several studies have shown that women who consumed a diet high in protein experienced less nausea and vomiting. It’s worth a try!
How much do I need?
According to the Australian Nutrient Reference Values protein requirements during pregnancy increase by 30% from 46g per day for non-pregnant women to 60g for pregnant women.
Protein is most important in the second and third trimesters as ⅓ of pregnancy weight gain and fetal growth occurs during trimester 2 and ⅔ during trimester 3.
How can I increase my protein intake during Pregnancy?
Meeting protein requirements during pregnancy can be a little tough, especially if you find yourself having strong reactions to smell and taste of cooked meats, tofu or meat alternatives. A good way to combat this is high quality, plant-based protein powder. Super convenient, an on-the-go no-hassle option to boost your protein intake while getting extra vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Simply mix with water! Or if you wish, liquid of your choice, smoothies, bowls and even protein balls or baking.
At Amazonia, we have a variety of different ranges of plant-based proteins available in multiple delicious flavour options, you will be sure to find a protein perfect for you. When choosing Raw you know you are getting nature’s best nutrients the way nature intended to support you and baby during this precious time and together we can Shine Brighter for many generations to come.