Luckily, most of us don’t have a problem consuming enough protein. But you should definitely pay attention to how much you’re consuming during pregnancy. Protein is critical for baby’s growth — especially in the second and third trimesters. Aim for three to four servings (for a total of 60-75 grams) of protein daily, such as these protein-packed picks.
Eggs. Start the day with an egg-white omelet. Five large egg whites will give you 20 grams of protein — not a bad way to kick off the morning.
Lean meat (beef, chicken, pork, and fish). The amino acids in protein provide the building blocks for every cell in the body. A 3-oz. portion of chicken contains about 27 grams of protein. Fish contain about 17 grams. These animal proteins are also good sources of iron, which helps prevent anemia.
Yogurt. One cup of plain yogurt contains about 7 grams of easy-to-absorb protein. Go Greek and you’ll get more than double the protein (15 grams or more!). Buy it plain and add fresh fruit and granola instead of getting the flavored kind, which can have added sugar.
Grains. Think brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and bulgur. You can also find high-protein pasta in stores. Whole grain breads and cereals will also add a bit of protein to a meal. Want to ramp up a smoothie or a yogurt? Add wheat germ, which also ups fiber intake.
Tofu. Tofu can be a good source of protein. Check labels to see how much protein your tofu product contains, since levels vary.
Legumes are also a good source of veggie protein. They contain about 15 grams of protein per cup. They’re also a good source of fiber, which helps reduce constipation.
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