Eating healthy foods is more important when you’re pregnant than ever! Your body needs more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than you did before getting pregnant. You also need to increase your calorie intake. There is some merit behind the popular “eating for two” saying, although that doesn’t necessarily mean eating twice as much. Rather, it means that the foods you eat are the main source of nutrients for your baby, so they should be rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Sensible, balanced meals provide the best source of nourishment for both the expectant mother and her developing baby, guaranteeing good health during your pregnancy.
While you will most certainly be prescribed some prenatal supplements by your doctor, you can make sure you’re making healthy food choices, to be sure you are getting enough of the nutrients your baby needs. You also can check the label on the foods you buy to see how much of a certain nutrient the product contains. Women who are pregnant need more of these nutrients than women who are not pregnant.
One such meal that provides plenty of nutrients is Martino Durum Wheat Couscous – made from whole grain durum wheat semolina. This is a wholesome, hearty, and easy to prepare food that is perfect for pregnant women! A staple of North African cuisine for hundreds of years, couscous makes a great side dish or alternative to pasta, rice, or grains. Light and fluffy, durum wheat couscous has a slightly more pronounced flavour than regular couscous.
Unlike other pasta and wheat-based products, Martino’s couscous is extremely rich in proteins, which make it a valuable source of energy. Proteins are essential for muscle strengthening and growth, which is ideal for pregnant women as the growing baby pulls a lot of nutrients from the mother’s organism.
Calorie Needs and Nutrient Intake
Pregnant women have certain nutritional needs to make sure their body can sustain the pregnancy and the baby develops properly. These include:
Selenium: One cup of Martino couscous provides 61% of the recommended daily intake of selenium for pregnant women. Selenium is important for protecting blood vessels. Its antioxidant properties prevent blood vessels from atherosclerosis, which is the leading cause of heart attacks, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Because natural sources of selenium are rare, it’s good for expectant mothers to incorporate Martino’s couscous products in their diet as this can decrease the likelihood of developing blood clots.
Another ingredient couscous is rich in is potassium. One cup provides 39% of the recommended daily dose of potassium for pregnant women. This element has several important functions, including regulating blood pressure and palpitations. It also controls fluid balance in the body, but also facilitates the metabolism of other vitamins and minerals.
From a nutritional perspective, Martino’s couscous range is considered a complete meal because it contains essential nutrients. Our couscous consists of whole grains, protein, vitamins and minerals. One cup provides 176 calories, which is 8% of the standard daily intake of 2000 for pregnant women. This is especially good during pregnancy as it means you will not find yourself eating too much and gaining weight.
Pregnancy and Cravings
Many women have strong desires for certain foods during pregnancy. Sometimes, this can be caused by changes in nutritional needs during pregnancy. The baby needs nourishment. And a woman’s body absorbs and processes nutrients differently while pregnant. These changes help ensure normal development of the baby and fill the demands of breastfeeding once the baby is born.
Martino’s ready-made Couscous meals can be an easy way to ensure you’re getting enough of all the vital nutrients you and your baby need as well as satisfy those cravings. Because couscous is such a versatile food, it can be prepared with virtually anything – chicken broth, steamed or roasted vegetables, tofu, fish, pork or lamb and a variety of herbs and spices.
Our ready to taste products come in handy 150 g packages with a fork. They are especially handy for quick snacking in between meals as during pregnancy you’ll get hungry more often than before but you may feel too tired to cook from scratch. The Martino Ready to Eat Meal range provides a light yet nourishing meal, it can be heated quickly in the microwave and don’t require to be stored in the fridge.
Share your tips and favourite recipes with Martino’s couscous and together we can help pregnant women make healthier dietary choices.