Healthy Recipes for Pregnant Women

There are no special diets for pregnant women, but following a well-balanced, healthy diet is always recommended. Take a look at some healthy recipes for pregnant women that are beneficial for the growing baby, as well as the mother.

Staying healthy during pregnancy is not just a doctor’s recommendation, but a necessity. The choice of foods a mother-to-be makes affects her health and the health of her unborn baby. There are many people who advice mothers on what you should and shouldn’t eat, the exercises you should follow, and the kind of lifestyle changes you’ll require to implement. Every expecting mother searches for healthy and nutritional recipes that is favorable for her baby and herself. And we all know that at times, they get irresistible and strange cravings for certain kinds of food. When you’re pregnant, it is possible that you might start liking the foods you once used to hate. The recipes for pregnant women mentioned below have staying power, as they are adaptable to all types of foods you may want to consume, at any given time of the day. These recipes will aid you in staying on track to eat wholesome foods that are nourishing for you and your baby.

Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean you should eat for two. Consuming adequate nutrients for you and your baby is what is essential. So if your balanced diet is lacking crucial sustenance, you may be left depleted. The gynecologist will recommend you include lots of protein, iron, folate, carbs, and calcium in your regular diet. Along with that, you will require to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and also drink lots of fluids (water and milk). You will have to cut down on aerated and caffeine drinks. Following a proper diet chart for these nine months and after that are very crucial. Which is why, if you wish to find some healthy recipes, then you’ve come to the right place.

Healthy and Delicious Recipes
Breakfast Recipes

Lunch Recipes
Snack Recipes
Dinner Recipes
Dessert Recipes

The recipes which are mentioned below, are categorized for an entire day ~ breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert. There are times when the entire table will be filled with delicious treats and you must be having a hard time deciding if you should or shouldn’t eat them. No matter what your dilemma is, these recipes can be balanced in all the stages.

Breakfast Recipes

Start your day with a hearty and nutritious breakfast or brunch. With these recipes, you will satisfy yourself and the little one inside you. Also, the most wonderful part about breakfast is that you avoid munching on unnecessary snacks during the day. You will have more energy and will have the right balance of nutrients too.

Bulgur Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients
20 dried figs, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup 2% milk
¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
¾ cup coarse bulgur cereal

Directions
Take a pan and fill it with water. Boil it over high heat. Add the bulgur and cook it till it turns tender. This will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Take another small bowl of hot water and soak the figs so that it gets soft. Drain the bulgur and keep the pan back on the stove. Take the figs, squeeze the water out, and whisk it into the cereal. Pour the milk and sugar in it, and keep stirring. Cook it till the sugar melts and pour the hot cereal out in a bowl. Add walnuts on top and serve hot.

Strawberry French Toast

Ingredients
6 slices whole wheat bread
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup milk

Salt for taste
Sliced strawberries and confectioner’s sugar, for serving

Directions
Warm the jam and mix it till it gets loose. Add the milk, eggs, and salt in it as you keep stirring everything in. Take a deep, large pan and place 2 – 3 slices of bread dipped in the egg mixture. Make each sides moist and place them in the pan. Cook both the sides of the French toast till it turns golden brown. Finish making all the French toast and cut them into triangles. Serve with sliced strawberries on top and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar.

Lunch Recipes

If you’re not going to be home in order to cook your lunch, prepare lunches beforehand. You can even try some packaged lunch (only if your gynecologist agrees) and fix your hunger pangs. However, if you do have time to cook lunch at home, help yourself with nice, crunchy salads, sandwiches, and burgers for lunch.

Crunchy Pear Salad

Ingredients
4 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ripe pear, peeled and thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup walnut, chopped

Directions
Take a salad bowl and mix the spinach and slices of pear together. Take another small bowl and whisk in vinegar, mustard, olive oil, shallot, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing in the spinach-pear mixture and coat evenly. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and walnuts on top. Serve immediately.

Lemon-Basil Turkey Burger

Ingredients
3 scallions, chopped
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
Lemon zest

Directions
Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients together. Mix it properly and divide into 4 even parts. Make thick patties according to your liking. Take a nonstick pan and cook the patties over medium heat for about 10 – 15 minutes. Cook all the sides completely and season with salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup of water in the pan, cover it, and let the patties cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Place them between the hamburger buns and serve it with mustard and ketchup.

Snack Recipes

Take a look at these two delectable and irresistible smoothies that will make your mouth water. Both the recipes have good amounts of proteins, fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, carbohydrate, and around 320 and 346 calories, respectively.

Ginger-Peach Passion

Ingredients
1 cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ cup peaches, peeled
¼ cup mango juice

Directions
Cut the peaches into small slices. Add all the ingredients into a blender and mix it until it turns smooth. Have the smoothie while it’s fresh. You can also opt to refrigerate the leftover and have it later in the day.

Banana-Berry Smoothie

Ingredients
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 small banana, peeled
1 cup frozen mixed berries
½ cup vanilla soy milk
½ cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt

Directions
Cut the bananas into small slices. Add all the ingredients into a blender and mix it until it turns smooth. Have the smoothie while it’s fresh. You can also opt to refrigerate the leftover and have it later in the day.

Dinner Recipes

Dinners shouldn’t be too heavy. However, once in a while indulgence is fine. But do remember to take a nice walk around the block. And who says you can’t have pasta when you’re pregnant? You sure can and a delicious recipe awaits you. Here’s a quick way to enjoy some fettuccine with Parmesan cheese.

Fettuccine with Turkey and Wild Mushrooms

Ingredients
3 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
3 cups shiitake or Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ lb whole-wheat fettuccine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ lb boneless, skinless turkey breast, thinly sliced
½ cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper for taste

Directions
Cook the fettuccine as per the directions on the box. In a large pan, heat olive oil, add turkey to it and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes. Incorporate the mushrooms, shallots, and thyme and cool for another 5 minutes. Add the yogurt and dill in it. Once the fettuccine is ready, drain it and toss it with the turkey-mushroom mix. Add the Parmesan cheese to it and mix properly. Season the fettuccine with salt and pepper, and sprinkle some pine nuts on top.

Lentils Salad

Ingredients
1 cup lentils
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons shallot, diced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup scallions, sliced
Salt and black pepper, for taste

Directions
Rinse lentils and place them in a bowl with clean water. Bring them to a boil on high heat. After 5 minutes, turn down the heat to a simmer and cook till lentils turn tender. Drain them and keep the water for later use. Next, place lentils in a bowl. Add in red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Mix properly and leave the lentils to soak. After a few minutes, do a taste test to check if you need more salt or vinegar. Take another small bowl to mix extra-virgin olive oil, shallots, scallions, and parsley together. Add this mixture to the lentils and toss properly. Add a little bit of lentil water, which we reserved earlier, if needed. Serve immediately. You can even add diced cucumber, carrot, celery, feta cheese, and sweet peppers in.

Dessert Recipes

My favorite time in the day, as I get to eat yummy treats to satisfy my sweet tooth. You can do so as well with these simple and tasty recipes. But remember, everything in moderation.

Fruit Salad

Ingredients
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
1 ripe pineapple, cored and peeled
1 ripe pear, cored
1 banana, peeled
1 pink grapefruit, skin and pit removed
1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions
Cut the pineapple, pear, banana, and grapefruit into small bite-size pieces. Take a bowl and add all the ingredients in it. Mix the jam properly and refrigerate it for an hour or so before having it. The fruit salad can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Rice Pudding

Ingredients
1 quart whole or reduced fat milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar to taste
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup white rice, steamed
Ground cinnamon
Your choice of chopped fresh fruit

Directions
Take a heavy pan and warm the milk, steamed rice, cinnamon stick, and sugar. Keep the heat at medium and when the mixture starts to boil, reduce it to low, and keep stirring from time to time. Do this for half an hour and then take the cinnamon stick out. Whisk the beaten egg in and stir for another 5 minutes over low heat. Add the vanilla, salt, and sugar if needed. Let the mixture cool down and then refrigerate it. Serve the rice pudding chilled with dusted ground cinnamon on it and your choice of fresh fruits.

You can also read the article on high protein recipes for more information. Here is a detailed chart of an entire day on what can be some healthy recipes for pregnant women. Apart from that, you should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid eating junk food and fast food as they don’t offer any proteins, vitamins, and other important nutrients for your baby. Engage in non-impact exercises daily to help keep the muscles strong during the birthing stage. May you have a hassle-free pregnancy and birth time.

Healthy Diet for Athletes

A healthy diet is essential for an athlete. It’s not the quantity of food intake, but the quality and selection of food that matters, and there are some basic nutrients to be taken regularly. Read on to know more.

Athletes are people with tough physique. We consider them strong, but seldom realize the hard work that has been put, to build those biceps and muscles. Athletes can endure through tough situations. A.C. Green, a former American NBA basketball player, rightly said, “Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”

What matters most to athletes is a careful and planned intake of various nutrients like vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates. An intelligent athlete should know the importance of balanced workouts with proper stretching exercises, and of course, the intake of right nutrients. The reason why athletes need a good diet is that they burn and lose sweat more than any normal person.

Diet of athletes differ according to the sports they are involved in. A diet for sprinter is different from the diet of a weightlifter. An athlete should know what food and drink items he needs to avoid, as wrong intake of nutrients restricts the growth of body tissues. During a workout, there is wear and tear of cells in muscles. To build these muscles, adequate nutrients in the diet are required. Some important nutrients for athletes are:

Proteins
Protein is very vital for athletes, however, the focus should not be on protein alone. Excess protein in the form of complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables must be avoided, because it puts more pressure on kidneys and may also lead to dehydration. Proteins help in building muscle tissues. The main source of proteins should ideally come from lean meat. 15-20% of protein intake in a day is sufficient for an athlete.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide quick and long-lasting energy, but too much of the same can slow you down. 40-50% of carbohydrate calories should come from whole grain pasta, cereals, and breads. This type of diet is rich in fiber. Carbohydrates also increase the stamina and ability to work.

Fats
Active young athletes require fat in their diet. Their body needs unsaturated fat, e.g., nuts. When the body runs out of energy from carbohydrates, it relies on long term energy provided by fats. Fish is a very good source of fat.

Vitamins
Exercising produces some free radicals which can damage our cells. Hence, to minimize this damage, we need to take Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. These vitamins are antioxidants and neutralize the free radicals.

Minerals
Minerals like calcium and iron are good for health. Calcium strengthens the bones, thus, preventing stress fractures that are common in athletes. Skimmed milk, milk products, and eggs are rich in calcium. Iron produces oxygen in the body. Deficiency of iron leads to fatigue, and hinders the ability to perform for longer periods.

A basic table for the amount of nutrients to be taken is given below.

Nutrients Amount, (of total calories), Source
Carbohydrates, 50-60%, Whole grains, whole wheat pasta, potatoes and beans
Proteins, 15-20%, Fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds
Fats, 25-30%, Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, meat and eggs

Dos and Don’ts for Athletes

  • One of the biggest nutritional concerns for athletes is water depletion, which occurs due to heavy strenuous training, and causes dehydration. Dehydration leads to weakness. Drinking lots of water is the only remedy.
  • Athletes need more calories than people who do not exercise. Intake of healthy snacks before a workout will provide the required energy. Some people feel very hungry after a workout, and hence, eating a good snack will not only provide necessary nutrients but also keep you from overeating during the main meal. Some healthy snacks are apple and banana slices, peanut butter, dry cereals with dry fruit, vegetable juice, whole grain and low-fat milk. Junk foods and fast foods are a strict “NO”.
  • Eating regularly is very important. Athletes should take 5 small meals rather than 2 or 3 heavy meals. They should avoid snacking during day time, especially during an event or a workout. First two meals of the day are very crucial and should be large as compared to other meals of the day.
  • Meal planning, for example, timing of meals should be taken care of. If one is having a heavy meal, then it should be ensured that the meal is taken at least 4 hours before the workout. And if the meal is a lighter one, it can be taken 2 or 3 hours before the workout.
  • Vary your diet every week. Never stick to a particular diet. Sometimes, the athletes prefer a particular food and stick to it. This has two demerits: Firstly, you get bored of the diet, and secondly, eating the same diet will devoid your body of the various nutrients it needs.
  • Last and one of the biggest concerns of athletes today is alcohol consumption. Nancy Clark, founder and CEO of WomensMedia, says “You can’t be sharp, quick and drunk.” Alcohol, a depressant, contributes about twice as many calories as equal amount of carbohydrates and proteins. It is needless to say, that calories in beer are fattening. If taken in large amount, alcohol can drastically decrease the level of serum testosterone, which results in decrease in muscle recovery and athletic performance. It can cause testicular shrinkage and reduce the sperm count in males. In female athletes, it may raise the production of estradiol, a form of estrogen, which can increase the chances of breast cancer.

Athletes require more nutrients than any other person. They lose a lot of nutrients when they sweat. Taking food which has empty calories can deprive the organs of vital vitamins and minerals. This can increase the risk of heart attacks in athletes. Hence, just as crude oil is to motor vehicles, good diet is for athletes. A good diet should never be underestimated.

How to Eat Healthy in College Dining Halls

Students do not always make the correct choice when it comes to having their meals at college dining halls. Let us look at what you should, or should not eat to remain fit and healthy once you are at college, away from home.

Starting college opens up a new chapter in a teenager’s life. With a whole range of new things to adjust to, from signing up for new classes to finding the ideal roommate, it can seem a bit overwhelming. What you eat in the college dining hall is of utmost importance. The right choice of food will give you the energy you need to pull through the day and to sustain you during those extra hours of study. Parents must often be wondering what their children are eating once they are at college. With no one to monitor mealtime, no access to home-cooked meals, and a packed schedule, students are bound to resort to munching on prepackaged food. It’s very easy to form unhealthy food habits. Parents must counsel their children on the risks of unhealthy eating habits before they leave home for college. Food served in college dining halls can be a source of concern for most parents.

Eating Healthy in the College Dining Hall

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Do not skip it. It gives you the energy to kick-start your metabolism. A dish piled with hash browns, bacon, and pancakes and a glass of smoothie can seem very tempting, but try to avoid it. Instead opt for egg whites, a bowl of oatmeal liberally sprinkled with fresh fruit pieces, and a glass of milk. This will give you all the carbohydrates and proteins you need as part of the first meal of the day. This does not mean never having your favorite pancakes drizzled with maple syrup on top. But do not get into the habit of eating it every day.

Cut down on too much cheese and avoid generous use of creamy salad dressings high in fat content. If you prefer a grab-and-go meal, opt for whole grain sandwiches filled with vegetables and grilled chicken breast, instead of a bacon and mayo sandwich. If the dining hall has a salad bar, visit it often! Eat loads of veggies. If you are averse to the taste of raw vegetables, use seasonings and low-fat dressings like vinaigrette. You may not always get time to enjoy a lazy lunch if you have classes lined up in the afternoon; so be all the more careful what you eat. Picking up a plate of fries and chicken nuggets can be so alluring, and it’s alright if you eat it every once in a while, but do not over-indulge. If you love mac-n-cheese, eat a healthy portion of steamed or stir-fried vegetables along with it.

Dinner time? Opt for brown rice or pasta instead of white rice or white bread. Check if the dining hall serves grilled, baked or steamed meat dishes instead of deep-fried. Whole grain pita bread filled with humus, raw veggies, and low-fat salad dressing is a good option. Avoid late dinners. Munching on pizzas at midnight is common amongst college kids, but that’s a very wrong time to gorge on food. Have dinner at a reasonable hour. Eat desserts in moderation. Do not have ice cream and cake every night. Have smaller portions instead. Have yogurt and fruit as a change from the routine.

Pick up a couple of fruits to snack on in between meals. Having a bar of candy is perfectly alright, but substitute it with a granola bar every now and then. Munch on dried fruits like plums, prunes, cranberries, and apricots. Eat almonds, walnuts, and raisins. Soda and beer should be a strict no-no. These are drinks with zero nutrition and excess calories. Gulp them down with your meals and you will soon realize you have piled on extra pounds in no time, inching your way towards the dreaded Freshman 15. Avoid sports drinks. Stick to water and fresh fruit juice. Drink enough water during the day. Refrain yourself from going to the vending machine for a soda and a bag of peanuts. Eating an apple and having a glass of water instead is so much more healthier! Do not spend a lot of time in the dining hall. If you linger on, you are susceptible to continue eating even after your stomach is full.

Most colleges nowadays offer detailed information about the food being offered in the dining hall. Check out the nutritional information, look up on the college website or talk to the diet and nutrition staff on what all food services are offered so you can make the right, healthy choices. Most dining services also have special meal plans for students if they happen to be vegan or vegetarian, have special dietary requirements or are allergic to certain foods.

To sum it up, your body needs a balanced diet which includes a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A diet rich in all these is vital for the body and brain to function optimally. So the next time you reach for fries and a can of soda, think of what combination of food items is ideal for your body and choose accordingly.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet fulfills the nutritional needs of the body and in general, helps in keeping the body functions on track. The facts pertaining to benefits of following such a diet can be found in the information given below.

A healthy diet plays an important role in the proper development of our body. The phrase ‘You are what you eat’, is quite simple to grasp yet, gives a deep insight into how our body responds to the various foods we consume. It is not just the body but also the mind that gets affected by our diet. It is quite common for a person with spicy and specially pungent foods to get irritated/agitated easily with common problems. The food we consume has multifarious effects on our body.

Healthy Diet Benefits

A healthy diet is good for nourishing the body and preventing the diseases. Healthy body is the biggest wealth that one can have. Supplying the right quantity of good food to the body and at the right time should strengthen it. Understanding the benefits of a healthy diet for children is important as it is of vital importance for their growing body from the point of proper development. Incorporating a healthy diet menu and few changes in the lifestyle are a must for everyone.

Bone Health
In addition to giving structural strength, the bones of our body (marrow) are responsible for generation of blood cells. Nourishing the bones with calcium-based and other healthy foods has many positive effects on the body. Those people with unhealthy bone marrow find it difficult to produce blood cells (white and red) in the required quantity. A healthy diet strengthens the bones and avoids the possibility of osteoporosis in old age.

Weight Control
Obesity, in young as well as in adults, is one of the biggest health issues in countries like USA. Excess weight gain that takes place beyond a limit is not considered to be good from the point of maintaining health. Intake of a healthy diet helps in keeping a check on weight gain in a positive manner. The deposition of excess fats results into development of lipid layers. Heart diseases and many other complications result from excess fats.

Feeling of Well-being
A feeling of well-being comes from the intake of a healthy diet. The consumption of healthy diet clears off all the impurities and allows the body systems (blood circulation, digestion, nervous systems) to function efficiently. When all systems in the body function properly and work in unison, it is but natural that one feels enthusiastic and ready to face life with a positive frame of mind.

Pregnancy
This phase is important from the point of maintaining the health of the fetus and mother. Benefits of a healthy diet during the period of pregnancy need to be understood and appropriate actions taken. It is with the help of a nutritious diet that one can expect to have a healthy baby.

Prevention of Diseases
A healthy diet is said to play an important part in preventing the occurrence of diseases. Various heart diseases can be prevented with the intake of a healthy diet. It is possible to reduce the sugar levels by taking in a healthy diet and keep the diabetes at bay. People suffering from diabetes are greatly benefited by such changes in the diet. Unnecessary intake of salt is one of the causes for increase in blood pressure. Dietary changes for a hypertensive person helps in controlling the levels of blood pressure.

Immune System Improvement
The ingestion of vegetable-rich diet is important from the point of improving immune system. The ingredients such as iron, vitamin C, vitamin B, folic acid, etc. present in healthy foods are responsible for this improvement. In this age of fast pace life and deadlines, we tend to eat junk foods and fast foods. Eating this food to satisfy our hunger rather than to maintain our body is a shortcut taken by many and the worst affected are the teenagers.

How Do You Eat Healthy

The health of a person depends largely on what food is supplied for nourishing the body. But, how do we make these changes in our diet. Consulting a dietitian or nutritionist is the best way of getting an idea about what to eat and what to avoid. Based on the specifications provided by the dietitian, necessary changes should be made to the diet. It is a general misconception that intake of fatty foods like ghee, butter and other dairy products have to be reduced to zero. The fact however, is that dairy products act as lubricants in the proper functioning of the body systems. Taking appropriate steps to keep these nutrients up to a desired level in the body is necessary. Consulting a medical practitioner should help in obtaining the desired results.

Benefits of Healthy Diet and Exercise

Exercises and diet are the two important things which drive our body systems towards a state of good health. It is not possible to rely only on either of these to attain a healthy body. Regular exercise maintains a balance between the nutrients consumed and those used up by the body. Exercise helps in making the best use of nutrients by converting some part of it into muscles which are most needed for strength and by preventing your body from being obese.

It is said that the human body is very much like a machine which needs lubrication and proper care. The way machines need to be kept in a proper manner, the body too should be maintained with a proper lifestyle, and following a healthy diet. Taking all the appropriate steps should allow us to avail the benefits of healthy eating.