The Ultimate Omega-3 Rich Pregnancy Smoothie

 
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 I'm always on the look out for a new smoothie recipe because I love smoothies. I was so happy when I stubbled upon the Ultimate Pregnancy Smoothie recipe inYOU: Having a Baby by Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD.  It looked delicious and I knew I had to try it.  Confession, I did change the recipe a tad. I used almond milk instead of the juice they recommended and I was glad I did.  Growing up my father use to make these really delicious and nutritious smoothies for my brother and I, which I still crave to this day. They were so yummy.   So, I can blame my love of smoothies on my dad.  Thanks Dad!

 

Smoothies the ultimate comfort food

 A really good smoothie is comfort food for me and this smoothie is just that, yummy comfort.  I have been using the Ultimate Pregnancy Smoothie recipe for many years now as a foundation for other smoothies I make.  So here is my revised version.

 

The Ultimate Omega-3 Rich Pregnancy Smoothie:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of almond milk or coconut milk or hemp seed milk or organic milk (can add water to the mix if you want it less thick).
  • 1 small banana or 3⁄4 cup of your favorite berries
  • 2 tablespoons organic whey protein or a vegan protein 
  • 2 tablespoons flax, freshly ground (helps with constipation and provides omega-3s)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seed nut, hemp protein, or psyllium husk (for fiber)
  • 1 tablespoon Salba or chia seeds (provides omega-3, calcium, magnesium, and protein)
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ (for B vitamins)
  • 4 - 5 walnuts
  • 3  200-milligram purified fish oil capsules, free of heavy metals, PCBs and dioxins (break and use oil or you can just swallow the capsules. Fish oil may change the taste of the smoothie, so you may want to swallow them instead).

Directions

Combine all ingredients into a blender. Cover and blend for 30 seconds. Add ice cubes and/or water to change thickness or temperature if desired. ENJOY! 

 

Why is this good for you and your baby?

Banana

Great source of potassium as well as Vitamin B6. Potassium helps maintain electrolyte balance, normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas promote stomach health because they rich in the fiber called pectin and have a natural antacid affect when mixed with milk. They also help protect the lining of the stomach by creating thicker protective barrier against stomach acids. They are rich in Vitamin C and manganese and help protect the body from free radicals oxidative damage. 

 

Chia Seeds

Are an excellent source of energy. Chia seeds are packed with minerals like blood building iron, stress relieving magnesium and bone building calcium. 1 oz has more calcium than ½ cup of milk. They are a good source of fiber. 1 oz has about 10 grams of fiber.  And they are loaded with heart and brain healthy fats.  Some studies have shown that chia seed enriched diets may improve insulin resistance and normalize blood lipids.  Chia seeds may even reduce visceral fat (the fat around the organs).     

 

Flax seeds

They are a great source of heart healthy fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. They are the richest source of a cancer-fighting phytochemical called lignans. 2 TBSP = 6 grams of fiber. They are a good source of bone building calcium, more calcium than an equivalent serving of milk. Flax seeds can be used to replace eggs in most recipes.  For each egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with 3 TBSP of water. Let it sit for 1 – 2 minutes until mixture becomes gel-like. Add it to your recipe. Also add it to salads, smoothies, or baked goods.  

 

Hemp seeds 

Don’t worry.  Hemp seeds won’t make you high.  It’s an easy to digest protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids in levels close to those of the complete proteins found in animal products and soy. 1 oz = 7 grams of protein (slightly higher than 1 egg). Just 2 – 3 TBSP can add 10 – 16 grams of high quality, easy to digest protein. They are also rich in inflammation-fighting essential fats.  Hemp seeds are fiber rich and a good source of Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and iron.  They have the perfect balance of omega 3s and omega 6 fatty acids and together they may help reduce the diseases affected by inflammation.  For example, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. They also have a protective effect on the brain.   

 

Wheat Germ    

Is high in Vitamin E and studies show that Vitamin E my protect DNA from oxidative stress.  Vitamin E protects cell membranes, brain cells and cholesterol from free radicals.  It’s rich in fiber, which helps control blood sugar levels and is good for intestinal health.  It also helps control cholesterol levels. Wheat germ is packed with important B vitamins, such as folate, vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B6. B vitamins are important for the heart, to make proper mood chemicals for our brain, and are critical for cardiovascular health.  Folate can prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.  It’s a good source of essential fatty acids like omega 3’s. It contains tons of minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, selenium, and manganese.

 

Walnuts  

Are high in anti-oxidants and rich in omega 3’s.  They are full of protein, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin E, selenium and polyphenols. They may even help you sleep better because they naturally contain melatonin.  Walnuts are good for your heart and blood vessels. Toss them on oatmeal, smoothies, salads, or baked goods.

 

Coconut Milk

Loaded with Vitamin C, E and many B vitamins. It is abundant in magnesium which is responsible for many biochemical functions in the body, including regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting the function of nerve cells. Coconut milk is rich in potassium, which maintains the tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. It also contains phosphorus which keeps teeth and bones strong. It also has iron, which helps create red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body. It’s loaded with antioxidants.  The best part is that coconut milk is rich in lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid.  Lauric acid is abundant in breastmilk.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lauric acid has many germ-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that are very effective at ridding the body of viruses, bacteria and countless illnesses.

 Almond Milk

Almonds are referred as “The King Of Nuts” because they are very nutritious. They are an excellent source of the healthy fats, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E.  High in anti-oxidants and considered heart healthy. Studies show that almonds can help a person achieve a healthy weight. Almonds promote healthy digestion and elimination. They may even help you sleep better because they re a source of tryptophan.


QUESTION:   Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe you would like to share with us?  If you do please leave your recipe in the comment box.  I am looking forward to trying it!


More information

Pregnancy is a time when you need lots of support, love, comfort, affection, healthy-nourishing foods, rest, and a stress-free environment. (Okay, I know that a stress free environment is difficult in this day and age but stress affects your growing baby as much as it affects you.)  But try to reduce stress as much as possible.  You have to be your own best friend, take care of you and your growing baby.  Love yourself as if you were your own child and believe me, you and your baby will benefit.  You are your baby's nutritionist, teacher, nurturer, protector and healer.   Check out my page just for expecting moms


Resources:

  • Murray, M. & Pizzorno J. (1998). Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

  • Balch, P. & Balch, J. (2010) Prescription for Nutritional Healing. (5th ed). New York, NY: Penguin Putnam Inc.

  • Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S. and Tannis, M.S., R.H.N. (2009) The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press

  • Boone, R.D.,(2013) Powerful Plant-Based Super Foods. Beverly, MA:  Fair Winds Press.

  •  The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods. By Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, ND with Lara Pizzorno, M.A., L.M.T.