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Veggies For A Healthy Pregnancy

By By Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos, RD

Veggies For A Healthy Pregnancy

You are your baby’s home for the next nine months, so you need nutrients that not only create a healthy environment for the baby to live in, but that also aid baby’s growth and development. So go veggies for a healthy pregnancy.

You need look no further than the produce aisle. Consuming veggies like asparagus, soybeans, sweet potato, spinach and lettuce helps you meet your needs for folic acid (folate) and other B vitamins, calcium, iron, vitamin A, fiber and antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E.

Did you know getting enough folic acid helps your placenta grow properly and it also protects against common birth defects? Other B vitamins are critical for the healthy development of baby’s skin, eyes and nerves.

Iron helps your baby and your placenta grow, and helps deliver oxygen to baby. Calcium helps your baby have strong teeth and bones; build a healthy heart, nerves and muscles; and to develop a normal heart beat and blood-clotting abilities.  If you don’t get enough, you draw on your own calcium stores in your bones, putting them at risk for osteoporosis.

Vitamin A is also needed for strong bones and teeth. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E protect you and your baby against free radical damage and help to keep you both healthy.  Fiber is your friend when it comes to combating constipation.

Need help getting extra veggies in? Try our Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers or Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach, and Feta Portobello Burgers and feel great about what you’re feeding yourself and your baby!

Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach, and Feta Portobello Burger

This burger is to die for!  It’s bursting with flavor.  If there is a burger ‘heaven’, you’ll feel as if your taste buds are there… oh and so is your happy waistline, since this burger is just 53 delicious calories!

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper

2 cups spinach

4 portobello caps

Olive oil in a spray can or bottle

4 tablespoons low-fat or fat-free feta cheese

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat grill to a medium-high
  • Wash pepper, spinach, and Portobello caps
  • Cut pepper into 4 even pieces
  • Spray Portobello cap and pepper slices with olive oil (about 3 burst sprays per item) for a light dusting of oil
  • Place on grill with the open side of the mushrooms facing down.  Grill for 15-20 minutes, flipping the peppers and mushrooms halfway through.  When you flip the mushroom, top with spinach
  • Once grilled, place one grilled pepper piece on top of each mushroom.  Sprinkle with feta cheese and drizzle with balsamic.  Salt and pepper to taste
  • If you don’t have a grill, this recipe works just by broiling the veggies!  Broil on high and the cooking times will be the same
  • Per serving (with fat-free feta cheese and no salt to taste): Calories 53; total fat 2g; saturated fat 0g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 25 mg; carbohydrate 8g; fiber 2g; sugars 4 g; protein 3g. Percent Daily Value: Vitamin A 47 perent; Vitamin C 70%; Calcium 3%; Iron 6%

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Delicious and easy!

This juicy burger is so scrumptious and simple to cook that you will wonder why you haven’t discovered this before. All of the tantalizing spices add just the right pizzazz to this veggie burger.

Ingredients:

1 (15.5-ounce) can candied sweet potatoes, or 1 and 34 cups cooked yams

2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed

2 tablespoons tahini

1 teaspoon lemon pepper or cayenne pepper (optional)

14 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Canola oil spray

Directions:

  • Place drained sweet potatoes and beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork until mixed.
  • Add tahini, pepper, flour and mix again; the mixture will be moist and sticky. Then add the panko crumbs, and with your hands mix them in until you can form patties about the size of your palms. Add more panko if the mixture is too sticky
  • Spray a pan or skillet over medium heat with canola oil, and cook patties for two minutes on each side until lightly browned
  • Per burger: calories 205, total fat 3g, saturated fat 0g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 25mg, carbohydrates 36g, dietary fiber 6.5g, sugars 5g, protein 9g.
  • Percent Daily Value: vitamin A 6 percent, vitamin C 2%, calcium 9%, iron 19%

On the subject of food make sure you read avoid these foods and eating habits during pregnancy and What to eat and avoid in pregnancy and 3 Key supplements you should have in pregnancy

 

Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos, The Nutrition Twins®, are twin sisters and nationally recognized registered dietitians, trainers and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.


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