Quinoa, The Pregnancy Superfood?

One little grain could change everything. Whether you’re expecting your first child or your fifth, quinoa is a great way to add the nutrients your body–and  your baby–need.

During pregnancy, your nutritional needs are at an all time high.

1st and 2nd Trimester

In the early months, taking in more calories, more protein, more iron, and more folic acid help your growing baby. Eating a diet high in nutritious foods  throughout all nine months can make for a healthier pregnancy and a much easier labor.

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3rd Trimester

As your bump grows, you’ll need 37 grams (3 servings) of protein a day. During the last trimester, protein and omega 3 fatty acids, like DHA, help your baby’s brain develop the skills he’ll need to walk, talk, and breathe. Adding more vegetables, grains, proteins and legumes (like chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts) can help give your baby a healthy start.


After Baby

After your baby arrives, eating right is even more important. Healthy foods will help boost your energy, especially after middle of the night feedings. Breastfeeding moms need to take in about 3,000 more calories a day. “Our bodies burn almost 20 calories to make just an ounce of breast milk,” says Joy Kosak, co-founder of the hands free pumping bra Simple Wishes.

Gluten free, mineral rich, and full of protein, quinoa is a superfood that meets all of your needs. The Incas first discovered quinoa (keen-wah) in South America, and the ancient grain became popular in the U.S. a few years ago. Quinoa contains all nine of the essential amino acids found in meat, which means it’s vegan friendly.

Plus the superfood has tons of protein, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, folate and omega 3 fatty acids per cup.

The three main types of quinoa–red, white, and black–are easy to find and make. You don’t have to go to a special health store or order online. Just head to your local grocery store. You can make quinoa at home in the same way you’d make a rice

, or you can check store shelves for quinoa in chocolate, chips, cereal, and pasta. From hearty breakfast bowls to crumbly cookies, you can add quinoa to your diet with Greatist’s 50 Creative Ways to Eat Quinoa or Buzz Feed’s 32 Ways to East Quinoa and Succeed at Life.

Have you ever tried this pregnancy superfood?

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Tiffani is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, co-creator of The Mommy Conference, and co-founder of the digital collective Sisterhued. Her writing and parenting tips have been seen on The Washington Post, Mommy Noire, Yahoo Parenting, and Fit Pregnancy.
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