Let me first start by saying how much I love smoothies. They’re delicious, simple to make and so nutritious! I don’t have a smoothie every day, but when I do this recipe is generally my go-to.
To be honest, this recipe is suitable for anyone – pregnant or not, male or female. It’s very nutritious and the benefits are powerful. I am going to dedicate this blog to why it is so beneficial for pregnancy, but please feel free to share this recipe with the whole family.
Growing up, the only good thing I knew about bananas was that they are high in potassium. While this is true, there are so many other wonderful benefits that they have. Bananas are loaded with vitamin B6, which is crucial for your baby’s central nervous system development. Bananas also help to stimulate the body to create hemoglobin, which is the molecule that helps transmit oxygen from your lungs to your tissues, therefore, helping with your blood supply.
Ever get morning sickness? Try eating more bananas. It can reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, which also helps to relieve heartburn.
This is one of the best sources of folate – the natural occurring form of folic acid. As many pregnant women are told, folic acid is crucial during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester while the baby is developing all of its organs, tissues and bones. Folic acid is also proven to help prevent miscarriages, which is why it is recommended to start taking folic acid supplements (or prenatal vitamins) at least 3-4 months before you start trying for a baby.
Spinach is also a good source for iron, which unfortunately many women lack. If you want to increase your iron, try eating spinach with vitamin C, whether it is oranges, orange juice or green peppers. The interaction of iron and vitamin C help to greatly increase your body’s iron absorption.
Another great source of folate, avocados are a recommended staple for pregnant women. Along with it providing much of the folic acid the fetus needs, it also provides a great dose of healthy fats, which is crucial for brain development. I would like to add that any adult – actually scratch that – any HUMAN of any age should be eating healthy fats on a daily basis. Our brains need to be fed regularly, and this is what healthy fats do. Will write another blog on healthy fats another time before I get too carried away here!
I added this in this smoothie recipe simply because I like the taste of almond butter. Normally I wouldn’t add too many forms of healthy fats in one smoothie, but almond butter really makes my taste buds thrive – yum!
Almond butter not only provides healthy fats for your brain and the baby’s, but it also provides a generous dose of calcium, which our little babies tend to completely suck away from us while pregnant. Much of our calcium goes to the baby, so it’s important that we try to consume even higher doses, if possible, so we are also receiving the benefits that our adult female bodies need.
I will just say this – this is best form of protein our bodies can digest. Yep. Better than animal protein and better than any other form of plant protein. Our bodies love it. It’s a bland taste, so I don’t like to add too much to my smoothie, but I sure feel good about myself knowing that I’m getting the best form of protein my body can take. Not to mention that hemp seeds provide many other various vitamins and minerals – magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and yep, folate (folic acid).
Last but not least, I like to add in maple syrup as a sweetener. I generally use maple syrup more than honey because it is higher in antioxidants, and to me I just love the taste! Please be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup so that you receive all of the benefits. However, if you wish to substitute this with honey, please feel free. Just be careful on the type of honey you use, as some can be more damaging, especially for pregnant women.
Recipe – Simple Nutritious Pregnancy Green Smoothie
Handful of spinach
½ an avocado
1 heaping tbsp of almond butter
2 tbsps of hemp seeds
1-2 tsps of maple syrup (depends how sweet you like it)
3 cubes of ice
- Add all ingredients to a blender.
- Blend until desired consistency.
*You can substitute the water for orange juice to help increase your iron absorption. I do not suggest milk (dairy or non-dairy) as the calcium will decrease your iron absorption.