Nourishing Recipes For The First Trimester
Obtaining Essential Nutrients With Whole Foods
Eating a colorful, varied, and minimally processed diet is ideal for optimal health, and during pregnancy, this becomes more apparent. Your body requires specific essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support and grow a baby.
In these three recipes, I will explain why certain foods are ideal during the first trimester, and how their specific nutrients help you and baby. These nourishing dishes are all free from grains, dairy, and refined sugars.
First Trimester Smoothie
Coconut milk is a great alternative to traditional dairy; it is a rich source of several B-complex vitamins including B1, B3, B5, and B6. (There are 8 B-vitamins) Some of the many benefits include immune and nervous system support and enhanced energy production. During pregnancy, you also require more protein to support the rapid growth of your placenta and baby. Almond butter is a delicious addition to the smoothie and a great source of plant protein.
½ sliced, frozen banana
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tbsp almond butter
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup full fat coconut milk
¼ tsp lemon zest
Place all ingredients in blender and mix.
Ultimate Prenatal Lentil Salad
Adapted from My New Roots
This salad is particularly delicious! Lentils are an amazing source of folate, a B-vitamin that helps baby’s neural tube develop properly. Folate also helps support red blood cell production, which is important as your blood volume increases throughout pregnancy. Lentils contain a ton of protein and fiber, which really increases the satiety factor of this dish.
1 cup black (du puy) lentils, rinsed, cooked, and drained
¼ cup dried tart cherries
handful of finely chopped fresh herbs. (I enjoy mint and parsley)
3 tbsp chopped capers
¼ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp strong mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
Place salad ingredients in bowl. Prepare vinaigrette by placing all ingredients in a jar with lid. Shake well to combine. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss everything together. This dish tastes best fresh at room temperature.
Wilted Greens with Creamy Lemon Tahini
Adapted from Love and Lemons
This recipe is loaded with superfoods. Dark leafy greens including spinach, chard, and kale are rich in vitamins and minerals. Greens like spinach are a surprisingly great source of calcium, which is needed for baby’s bone development. The addition of avocado lends more than creaminess to the sauce. It also contains high levels of vitamin B6, which helps baby’s brain development. Vitamin B6 can also ease nausea, a common first trimester symptom. Dark greens and the sesame tahini provide a superb source of iron, which supports red blood cell production, helping to prevent fatigue and anemia. Adding lemon to this dish enables your body absorb iron more effectively.
4 cups dark leafy greens (I prefer baby spinach)
1 cup broccoli florets
⅓ cup sesame tahini
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
Sauté greens and broccoli in olive oil and set aside. Blend tahini, avocado, and lemon together in food processor. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water, to thin, if necessary. Plate greens and pour sauce on top.