magnesium

Green coconut water smoothie

green coconut water smoothie

This is a great smoothie to get an additional serving of greens throughout your day. You can easily sub kale for spinach, but I prefer spinach because it has a “smoother” taste to raw kale.

Coconut water is rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium. In fact, one cup of coconut water has more potassium than a banana, which is especially important for pregnant mamas suffering from muscle cramps. Potassium and magnesium in both the banana and coconut water will help restore electrolytes and mineral imbalances and reduce the severity of cramps.

I got so many leg cramps in my second trimester because it was summer in NYC and I was sweating (a lot!). To help replenish my electrolyte levels, I started drinking a coconut water almost every day – or I would make a green smoothie with coconut water and banana in it. It worked wonders and I got a lot less muscle cramps.

Coconut water also has lots of electrolytes so it’s great to rehydrate after a workout – and it's a healthier option to sports drinks because you get a natural source of electrolytes without added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

What you need

1 cup coconut water

1 (large) handful of spinach

1 handful frozen mango

½ frozen banana

½ cup ice cubes

1 tbsp chia seeds

What to do

1.     Place one handful of spinach, frozen mango and ½ frozen banana into a blender.

2.     Pour in the coconut water and ½ cup of ice cubes. Blend until smooth.

3.     Add 1 tbsp chia seeds to the blender and blend it again to let the chia seeds move around evenly.

4.     Pour smoothie out into your favorite glass and enjoy! 

Pregnancy superfood trail mix

healthysuperfoodtrailmix

Each ingredient in this trail mix is a pregnancy superfood because they're packed with vitamins and minerals beneficial for both you and your baby.

And you get to avoid the added sugars in the store-bought mixes with chocolate chips or yoghurt-covered raisins in them. The added sugars in the chocolate and yoghurt don't make those trail mixes a healthier option at all.

If you want to make this mix sweeter, add more dried fruit. You can add bits of chopped up dates, apples, figs or mangoes (just make sure they're unsweetened). If you want to make this mix saltier, add some roasted almonds or walnuts instead.

Make this mix with more of what you like and keep out the unnecessary sugars by avoiding chocolate and candy pieces. And, when you buy these ingredients in bulk off Amazon or at Whole Foods, it works out to be a lot cheaper too.

Pregnancy superfoods

Almonds

Almonds are higher in fiber, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6, than any other nut. That's great news for pregnant mamas because fiber helps keep you regular. Hormones during pregnancy slow down your digestion so a lot of pregnant women battle with constipation. If you're one of those mamas, look for ways to up your fiber intake by eating more fruit, veggies, beans, nuts and seeds. 

Walnuts

Walnuts are a rich source of DHA Omega 3 fatty acids so they help improve your baby’s brain development and your cognitive function too. Plus, they’re rich in calcium, fiber, potassium and magnesium – the last two minerals being especially helpful during pregnancy to help reduce muscle cramps.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, a mineral needed for immune function – for both you and your baby. They’re also rich in protein, magnesium and potassium – another win for pregnant mamas battling muscle cramps in the second and third trimester.

Coconut flakes

Coconut flakes are a great source of protein, fiber and iron – three things all pregnant need more of. Iron is necessary to prevent anemia during pregnancy while protein will keep you full for longer, which makes this a great addition to a snack that will tie you over to your next meal. 

Raisins

Raisins, like other dried fruit, are a healthier, whole food alternative when you feel like something sweet. However, like most dried fruit, I wouldn’t go crazy and eat multiple servings in one sitting because of its high-sugar content. However, paired with the protein found in the nuts and seeds, they’re great for a bit of a sweet kick.

What you need

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw walnut pieces

1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup golden raisins

What to do

1. In a mixing bowl, add the almonds, walnuts, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds and raisins together.

2. Mix ingredients around with your hands.

3. Put the mix in a glass jar or small zip lock bags for you to snack on during the week. Enjoy!