Pregnancy is a period in a woman’s life during which her eating habits are revised based on the needs of the new life she is going to bring into the world. The truth is that the soon-to-be mother should not “eat for two”, as in the first trimester no extra calories are needed and during the next months no more than 450 calories are required (unless she is underweight or receives special instructions from her doctor). However, the intake of a sufficient amount of quality proteins is crucial for the health of the fetus, the development of its brain and healthy tissues and the proper development of the breast and cervical tissues of the mother, which normally grow during pregnancy. The question that arises here is how much organic protein does a woman need during pregnancy?
How much organic protein does a pregnant woman need?
The average protein needs range between 70 and 100 grams, depending on the woman’s weight. For personalized numbers, it is always best to consult a clinical nutritionist or a doctor. Clinical studies have shown that the low ratio of protein to carbohydrates in the mother’s diet can affect the child’s systolic blood pressure by the age of four. A diet that does not contain all the necessary nutrients in the right amounts, can also affect the cardiovascular development and function of the child and create a fertile ground for obesity and hypertension during adulthood. However, according to scientific research, the lack of protein in the diet of a pregnant woman is as harmful to the development of the fetus as the excess, with a safe ratio ranging between 10-12% of the total calories received per day.
How can I add more organic protein to my diet?
A balanced diet with the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats is the first great gift a mom can give to her baby! Meat, fish, legumes, nuts, dairy, whole grains (such as oats, raw rice, barley), soy beans and their derivatives (such as tofu and tempeh) are all great sources of protein.
It is important for the pregnant woman to keep track of her diet by filling a diet diary. By doing so, she will know whether her daily protein intake is sufficient or not, especially in the following cases:
- Not receiving enough calories due to nausea or vomiting or lack of time
- Following a vegan or vegetarian diet
- Having intense sports activity
In all the above cases, the solution would be organic protein powders, provided they are clinically tested and SAFE for pregnant women. Please check that they do not contain synthetics and chemical additives, genetically modified ingredients, fragrances, artificial sweeteners and sugar, and in case of intolerance, gluten. You can add the organic protein powder of your choice to your coffee, smoothie, yogurt or water, for a quick “dose” of 15-20 grams of protein.
- Morisaki, N., Nagata, C., Yasuo, S., Morokuma, S., Kato, K., Samefuji, M., Shibata, E., Tsuji, M., Senju, A., Kawamoto, T., Ohga, S., Kusuhara, K., Japan Environment and Children’Study Group. (2018). Optimal protein intake during pregnancy for reducing the risk of fetal growth restriction: the Japan Environment and Children’s Study. British Journal of Nutrition, 120 (12), 1432–1440.
- Blumfield, M.L., Nowson, C., Hure, A.J., Smith, R., Simpson, S.J., Raubenheimer, D., MacDonald-Wicks, L., Collins, C.E. (2015). Lower Protein-to-Carbohydrate Ratio in Maternal Diet is Associated with Higher Childhood Systolic Blood Pressure up to Age Four Years. Nutrients, 7 (5), 3078–3093.
- American Pregnancy Association. (2012). Pregnancy Nutrition. [Online]. [Accessed 12 March 2020]. Available from: https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-health-wellness/pregnancy-nutrition-1008/