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I’m a gut health expert – here’s what I eat in a day at 16 weeks pregnant

The first few weeks of nausea and fatigue have passed; your energy levels are increasing, you have a better appetite and more bandwidth to work on a healthy, varied diet. We all know the importance of proper nutrition throughout this period (and beyond), but putting it into action during what can be a tiring, overwhelming and busy time may be difficult. Need some inspo? Here’s what I ate today, at 16 weeks pregnant –

Breakfast

Healthy granola, made with lots of seeds, nuts and dark chocolate chips, ‘cos baby needs chocolate (or rather, mummy wants chocolate).

Nuts and seeds contain selenium and zinc, antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5306179/2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19033020/ Zinc also plays a pivotal role in overall hormone function and balance, brain development, cell growth and production and function of DNA.3https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/diet-and-fitness/zinc-in-your-pregnancy-diet_673

Find my recipe for Healthy Homemade Granola here.

Morning snack

A smoothie made with Probiotic Kefir, one ripe banana, a handful of spinach and frozen berries.

If you’re a friend of The Goat, you’ll know that maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is always important – and during pregnancy is no exception! One study of 49 pregnant women with obesity found that those who took a good-quality, multi-strain probiotic supplement from 17 weeks pregnant until baby was born, experienced increased gut bacteria diversity, compared to those who took a placebo.4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7319727/ High bacterial diversity is a sign of a healthy gut, while low bacterial diversity has been linked to digestive issues and autoimmune conditions. So get your microbiome in good shape, ready to pass on to baby!

Taking probiotics during pregnancy may also significantly reduce the risk of eczema in you and your baby.5https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30465329/

Chuckling Goat’s Probiotic Kefir is pure and unflavoured, contains zero chemicals and is the perfect ally for your journey throughout parenthood – from conception to birth and beyond. I use Original Kefir made with whole milk for a dose of healthy fats 😉

Lunch

Toasted sourdough bread with sliced turkey, mashed avocado, chilli flakes and crumbled hard goats’ cheese. Sourdough is a healthier option compared to regular bread but is still easy to find and reasonably priced in most supermarkets. Turkey contains tryptophan, which promotes good sleep and mood6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19715722/, while the avocado and goats’ cheese provide healthy fats. You can read more about healthy fats and why they’re good for you here.

Afternoon snack

It’s always around this time I crave a little treat and need something substantial to keep me full ’til supper time. Today, I opted for walnuts and chocolate-covered stuffed dates. Simply fill medjool dates with a nut butter (I like almond butter), dip in melted 75% dark chocolate and pop in the fridge until firm – trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Supper

Cawl, sourdough bread and cheese – a classic in our household! Cawl is rich in tryptophan and contains loads of healthy veg; simmering the chicken bones adds lots of gut-healing collagen too! Here’s how I (and every generation of our family) make cawl at HQ.

Dessert

Popcorn in front of the TV – quick, easy and loaded with fibre and heart-healthy polyphenols.7https://www.webmd.com/women/nutrition-101-how-to-eat-healthy If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll even go all out and add lemon and lime zest. But tonight, it’s plain popcorn and Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip on Netflix – perfect! If you’re feeling fancy, here are some healthy popcorn topping ideas.

What I find yummy during pregnancy may be totally different to what you enjoy – have fun finding healthy foods that make you feel good. And, as always, don’t forget our 80/20 rule – eat as healthily as possible 80% of the time, and enjoy a treat or two the remaining 20% of the time – because you’re rocking it, Mama, and you deserve that slice of cake!

Always follow your GP/midwife’s guidance and be sure to avoid foods that are deemed unsafe during pregnancy.

For more tips during this special time, check out 4 ways You Can Support Your Maternal Mental Health 💗. Questions? Speak to our team of Nutritional Therapists on live chat, 8am – 8pm on weekdays.

References

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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