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Apr 17, 2011

Pregnancy and Putting Protein on the Table

154017705_083d825445_mThis is a guest post by George Tempa of
Pregnancy is a very amazing experience for the woman, but it is also very hard on her body.
Though the female of almost every species has been built to accommodate forming new life, the body can use a little help during these times in order to keep mum and baby healthy throughout the whole process.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, the baby is going through rapid changes; morphing from a small egg into millions of tiny cells.
Each one of these cells uses simple and complex proteins to build the structures it needs to continue growing, expanding, and dividing.
The woman’s body has many sources of protein that can be cannibalized to provide the proteins for baby’s needs, but mum needs those proteins too.
Naturally, the baby will take whatever it needs leaving the pregnant women’s body to fend for itself. In order to have a safe and healthy pregnancy, and increase in protein intake is in order.
That doesn’t mean you have to suck down protein shakes every mealtime, but it does mean you may need to increase the amount of protein consumed in a day. You can enhance your protein intake by consuming protein bars. Drinking protein shakes, or eating foods rich in proteins, like well cooked red meats, and poultry.
Though fish is an excellent source of protein, consuming fish isn’t recommended during pregnancy.
Protein is one of the most important building blocks of life, so make sure your body has enough to build baby, and to keep mummy healthy, strong, and active.
Post pregnancy and onwards is equally as important with healthy and balanced meals providing the right nutrients that can help stave off colds, infections and helps develop the child.
Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. In addition it is used to make enzymes, hormones, and a plethora of other body chemicals. Protein is a fundamental building block of bones, muscles, cartilage and skin.
So what should the balance of protein be at this stage? For children aged two to six, most women, and elderly people, the experts recommend two daily servings for a total of 5-6 ounces.
For the active family, especially those with small and school aged children, meals high in protein should be an important part of each day. There are many TV adverts that praise the amount of protein in a specific brand of chicken nuggets, or the amount of protein in a certain brand of breakfast cereal or snack bar.
Protein has become the new super supplement, and there are real benefits to consuming healthy proteins regularly.
So how do you get more protein into the family diet without creating protein overkill? Why not get creative in the kitchen?
Before setting out on your bi-monthly grocery trip, you should sit down and do a little research on the common foods that contain high levels of protein. These foods include; meats, fish, some grains, and soy.
In order to create a menu high in protein, you should make protein the main part of each dish. Grilled chicken, pan seared fish, roast pork, braised steaks, and scrambled tofu are great main dishes that are easy to make and remarkably inexpensive (if you know where to shop, and stay away from the more expensive cuts).
After the protein rich main dish, you can add a side with a moderate amount of protein like brown rice. Every balanced meal should have a vegetable or fruit as a side, so adding a side of broccoli, mixed veggies, grilled veggies, or a fruit salad (especially tasty with fish), will balance the meal and add another tasty part to the meal.
You can increase your active family’s protein intake in simple and tasty ways. Get creative, and stay healthy!

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