You’ve just become a mum and have your hands full caring for your newborn baby. Thinking about what and how you should eat is probably the last thing on your mind.
But blogger Alicia from Editor’s Beauty in the UK wanted to find out about a post-pregnancy diet to help your recovery, and improve your energy and stamina. So she turned to Nutritional Therapist Gabriela Peacock, who shared the following tips for a nourishing post-pregnancy diet:
Tips for satisfying snacks
- Natural yoghurt. Full of protein and calcium, it’s a great filling snack.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables. These are the best foods to carry in your handbag. Cut vegetables up into sticks to make them portable and even bring little snack pots of dips such as hummus for the extra protein.
- Avocado. Have it mashed up on rice cakes/oatcakes/crackers.
- Flapjack. If you have the time, make a sweet treat from fresh fruit – like mashed banana, apple and oats and create your own little sugar free flapjack.
- Nuts. Satisfying, vitality-boosting, and also contain fibre and healthy fats.
Read also: Toddler recipes – healthy snacks for kids
Tips for nutritious meals
- Breakfast. Eggs with a couple of slices of rye bread and a side avocado, oats with yoghurt and chopped fruit, or toast with nut butter.
- Lunch. A good portion of vegetables or fresh colourful salad with protein such as salmon fillet, mixed beans, eggs, or meat (chicken, ham, turkey) with a wholegrain such as barley, rice, brown pasta or wholemeal bread.
- Dinner. Similar to lunch just make sure you get lots of vegetables in at both meals for all the vital antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Other helpful tips
- Bring on the iron. If there’s one supplement you should take post pregnancy it’s iron, an essential for supporting energy levels especially in breast-feeding mums.
- It’s all about tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps to make the neurotransmitter serotonin – the brain’s ‘feel good’ hormone that also aids sleep and what new mum doesn’t need sleep! Vitamin B6, which helps the body convert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin aiding relaxation. Foods high in tryptophan include turkey, seafood, bananas and cottage cheese.
- Magnesium rich foods can help with relaxation too. Look for dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and swiss chard.
- Natural herbs such as camomile and passion fruit, used in herbal teas for their natural sleep inducing properties.
- Avoid caffeine (and remember it is also found in chocolate!) after 4pm if you want to have a good night’s sleep. Caffeine disrupts blood sugar levels by stimulating the adrenal gland, which can interfere with sleep even if you have consumed it hours before bedtime.
- Avoid large meals and excess alcohol before bedtime as it demands a lot from your digestive system at a time when it’s trying to rest and repair.
Tips for complexion-friendly food
Skin problems may be one of the signs of the hormone imbalance new mums may experience in the post-pregnancy period. Here is post-pregnancy diet advice that may help:
- Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli. Containing numerous antioxidant compounds and they help the liver break down excess hormones.
- Lemons. A good source of vitamin C, which has several important functions and also has a cleansing effect that can help to improve your skin. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (not the bottled variety) to pure water and drink on a daily basis!
- Omega-3 fats. Yes these beauties have made an appearance again but if we want healthy skin and hair we need to keep indulging.
- Berries. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are packed full of the potent water-soluble antioxidant vitamin C, a critical nutrient for hair growth and skin health.
- Fibre rich foods. The number one nutrient for maintaining proper digestive function, fibre is also a fantastic natural cleanser. Eating more fibre helps the body to rid itself of toxins and helps to cleanse your body by stimulating regular bowel movements, which is good for the skin too. The best natural sources of fibre include whole-grain cereals, pasta and rice, fresh fruit and vegetables (especially with the skins left on), beans, lentils and almonds.
Always a keen fitness fanatic, former magazine editor Alicia Irvine-MacDougall set up Editor’s Beauty after being inspired by her own experience of pregnancy and parenting. As the first of her friends to have children and with over 10 years’ experience working on fashion and beauty publications, Alicia quickly became the go-to-gal amongst her friends for advice on pre & postnatal exercise, nutrition, beauty and regaining that pre-baby confidence.
A hub for mums and mums-to-be, Editor’s Beauty provides insider tips on everything from exercise and nutrition, to stylish yet kid-friendly retreats, and beauty products and treatments that actually work!