I'm currently pregnant and wanted to know what kind of food or drinks can I take to get more energy?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! This is a perfect time to make sure your diet is providing you and your baby with all the nutrients to provide energy and to promote growth and development. Be sure to choose a balanced diet and eat from a variety of food groups. Make sure you are consuming plenty of foods high in folic acid (beans, broccoli, spinach, okra, nuts and seeds), iron (meat, beans, kale, spinach) and calcium (dairy products and fortified juices and cereals). You specifically asked about foods/drinks to increase your energy levels. First I would ask you to evaluate your diet and see if there are any potential “energy zappers”. For example, foods that are very high in added sugar (soda, fruit punch, sweets) tend to quickly increase our blood sugar levels but then have a rebound “crash” which leaves us feeling tired. If your diet is high in these foods, try to substitute healthier options. Replace soda with lemon infused water or Old Orchard’s 100% fruit juice. Replace a sugary afternoon treat with a snack that is still sweet but healthy and high in fiber. Try Greek yogurt topped with colorful berries or make your own trail mix by combining almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit and some dark chocolate. In addition to sugar, another example of an energy zapper would be foods that are high in trans-fat or saturated fat. These snacks can take a long time to digest which can make us feel sluggish and lethargic. Skip the French Fries that would normally accompany your sandwich and add a veggie filled salad topped with light vinaigrette instead. Instead of grabbing potato chips, buttery popcorn or cheese curls from the work vending machine, pack a delicious and healthy snack such as: whole grain crackers topped with nut butter, air popped popcorn sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese, rice cakes topped with a roasted pepper dip, half of a pita filled with spinach, chopped olives, some feta cheese and hummus, or grab a handful of almonds as you are heading out the door. Being prepared with healthy snacks can prevent you from driving through a fast food establishment or grabbing a slice of pizza when faced with hunger.

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