If you're pregnant, the idea of a barbecue-filled summer is probably making you sweat. Well, good news mamas: hot weather may be uncomfortable and, well, hot, but it comes with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that are refreshing and that contain essential nutrients for your health and baby's. What's more, they keep you satiated and hydrated during the warmer months. So summer is actually the perfect time to pack your meals with healthier, more nutritious foods. To help you get the most out of your summer feasts, we've compiled a list of summer pregnancy must-eats.
Here are 10 summer foods that every pregnant women should eat.
1. Microgreens are part of the leafy green family. They are tasty, versatile and nutritious. Microgreens contain Vitamin C and E (antioxidant), which will help you keep your immunity up during pregnancy. One of the best ways to consume microgreens is to throw it in or on top of foods. They’re thin and easy to pack into a sandwich, an omelet or even a wrap.
2. Watermelon are perfect for the summer season and extremely hydrating and thirst quenching. They're a great on-the-go snack that will make you feel refreshed when you're feeling hot and sweaty. Watermelon water is also a popular beverage to consume post workout or after an outdoor session.
3. Boiled Egg are an easy, lighter way to consume protein. Sometimes an omelet or a scrambled egg tend to feel heavier and can even seem like a lot of effort -- especially when you're pregnant, and the last thing you want to do is hang by a hot stove. Boiled eggs are versatile too. With them, you can spruce up a salad or make an egg salad sandwich -- two options that are hearty but still cold and that will provide you with your lean protein and other micronutrients that are essential during pregnancy.
4. Berries is seasonal favorite, and it's perfect to throw into a smoothie, top a grain or yogurt bowl, or even eat by itself. In the summer, there are tons to choose from: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. They are full of antioxidants and fiber, which can help you fight off pregnancy-related constipation. Plus, if you already have a little one at home, you can go strawberry picking, which is a popular activity in June.
5. Greek Yogurt is one of the best ways to start the day. It's nutrition and provides a good amount of protein, sure. But it's also cool -- perfect for the hot summer months. What's more, they are filled with healthy fats, which means you will feel full for a longer period of time. If you're feeling inspired (and ambitious), you can make overnight oats with Greek yogurt -- a great way for pregnant ladies to start the say with a nutrition punch!
6. Cucumber is rich in water and provides a cooling effect for your entire body, including your eyes! If your allergies and insomnia picked up towards the end of your pregnancy, you will love this. So snag a bunch and make cucumber water or snack on some cucumber slices.
7. Mint is another great addition to water, as it also provides a cooling effect by activating receptors in our skin. You could add it to water or consume mint-friendly products to help stay cool for longer periods.
8. Tomatoes are a popular summer staple. They are tasty and extremely versatile. You could make a cooling gazpacho soup, zest up a salad with tomatoes or even eat just by itself with some salt and pepper. Not only could they help keep you cool but also the consumption of lycopene, a bright red carotene that you can also find in carrots, could help prevent sunburn. That said, eating tomatoes shouldn't be an excuse to bask in the sun for long periods of time. When pregnant, you need to limit your exposure and, of course, to lather yourself with sunscreen.
9. Tart Cherries are in season and offer several health benefits and happen to be popular during this season. Indeed, they are a storehouse for vitamins, minerals, protein, iron and calcium. They boost your immune system, promote newborn's brain health, relieve swelling and inflammation and even promote better sleep. So if somehow you feel like you have room in your belly, grab a handful for the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack.
10. Zucchini is one of the most hydrating vegetables available to us, and they're easy to throw into many recipes -- from salads to pastas. They are also an excellent source of folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C , all of which are crucial for prenatal health.
What are you noshing on as the warm weather approaches? Share your favorite foods and recipes with us in the comment below!