The last trimester of pregnancy can be enervating. At a minimum, you’re carrying an additional 20 to 30 lbs of combined baby and body weight. By the time you near the end of your third trimester, you will need an additional 300 calories a day. How you eat them can help give you the energy to get through the home stretch to delivery.
Trail mix can provide a healthy mix of two things you need to keep your energy up: protein from the nuts and complex carbohydrates. The body burns carbs for energy and they help to regulate your blood sugar to prevent fatigue. Look for a mix that contains plenty of dried fruits.
Fruit can bolster your energy because it’s rich in the good kind of carbohydrates. It also carries a lot of vitamin C, which is good for your overall health. For an extra boost, combine apples with something that contains protein, such as cheese or peanut butter.
Cheese -- string or chunks or slices -- is an excellent source of protein. Increased protein gives pregnant women energy, though it has negligible effects on the overall health of women or their fetuses. Other good sources of protein are low-fat milk, cottage cheese and yogurt.
Peanut butter is a very good source of protein and it contains essential fat. You don’t want a lot of fat -- that would weigh you down -- but the fat contained in peanut butter is just about right if you buy the right brand. PregnancyToday recommends Smuckers or Krema. Peanut butter also contains folic acid, which is vital to a healthy pregnancy.
In addition to eating for energy, don’t neglect to hydrate yourself. Dehydration can lead to fatigue as surely as insufficient protein and carbohydrates. Aim for 64 oz of water a day. It doesn’t always have to be tap water or bottled water. Decaffeinated coffee or tea can substitute for some of the ounces you should be drinking as you near your delivery date.
Eating for Optimal Energy
How you eat can affect your energy level as much as what you eat. If you consume a large meal toward the end of your pregnancy, when your baby isn’t leaving you a lot of room to begin with, you fill up quickly and easily. The result is a sluggish feeling while your body struggles to digest everything. Eat small, frequent meals instead that don’t push you to the point of discomfort, and try to make them an even balance between protein and healthy carbohydrates.
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