Your road to recovery post-pregnancy is a tough one. After all, your body has been through drastic changes right from conception to childbirth. While it slowly gets back into its healthy form, it’s up to you to take care of it as a priority. Sure, your entire focus is on your little one who has just come out into this world, but it’s equally important to care for yourself too. Apart from getting ample rest, drinking enough water, and getting an adequate amount of sleep, your postpartum recovery includes eating nutritious food to replenish your energy lost during labor.
It’s also important to pay attention to what you’re eating, how healthy it is and how much nutrients your food contains because it is also transferred to your baby if you’re breastfeeding. We understand that it might be challenging to stick to healthy options, but our list below will make that task easy. Here are some of the best healthy snack options for mothers during their postpartum recovery:
1. Dried Fruits
It’s no surprise that dried fruits are rich in nutrients. They contain health-promoting bioactive compounds and antioxidants that make them the perfect healthy food to snack on. They are known to boost energy levels and contribute to improved cardiometabolic health (1). Dried fruits are packed with macronutrients and micronutrients and can be combined with other foods or eaten separately. Adding dried fruits to your daily diet is extremely beneficial for you to recover your postpartum health.
2. Nuts And Nut Butters
Nuts are packed with nutrients that are highly beneficial to your health. It is one of the best sources of unsaturated fats and protein (2). So, whether you’re someone who loves to snack on nuts or you like your PBJ, nut and nut butter are good for you. However, one thing you need to keep in mind is nut allergies. So, if you’re someone who is allergic to nuts and might be, make sure you steer clear of them.
Another highly nutritious food that is rich in health benefits is yogurt. It can be combined with other foods and continues to be one of the best sources of good protein. Yogurt is abundant in calcium, B vitamins, probiotics, and zinc (3). When combined with other foods, it also boosts the absorption of nutrients from them, making it a great catalyst. The best part of yogurt is that it’s readily available and can be consumed by all socioeconomic groups.
Everyone loves a good dose of eggs in your meal, whether boiled, scrambled, sunny-side up, or benedict. Eggs contain antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that are super for your health. It also acts as a great source of protein and helps shed those extra pounds during your postpartum (of course, when it’s combined with exercise, sufficient water intake, and adequate sleep). Egg whites also boost iron levels which make it great for women who are anemic (4).
Cheese is a great source of protein and new mothers do require a lot of them. Cheese is something that goes very well along with many food items. Be it a sandwich, or a dessert, cheese just complements and enhances the taste. And not to mention all your favorite Italian dishes which are an impossibility without the cheese. So, go ahead and grab your favorite type of cheese and munch on. It doesn’t matter if some foods are restricted, because cheese can fulfill all your cravings.
6. Raw Fruits
Fruits are fibrous and are a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. They are also very tasty and low on calories. So go ahead and have your favorite fruits during this postpartum period. Get creative and make an awesome fruit salad using berries and mango and all the season’s best offerings. Add a dash of spice and yogurt and you have an amazing evening snack to feast on.
7. Leafy Veggies
Eating green and leafy vegetables is always good and now that it has become part of the fitness trends, it’s all the more important to have as much as you can. Add your favorite greens to your salads or sandwiches. Be it broccoli or lettuce, veggies add a good flavor to many food items. They are rich in vitamins and should be part of any balanced diet. If you are not a big fan of salads, add these to your regular sabzi or dal.
Pickles and other fermented foods are rich in enzymes and probiotics that are beneficial for gut health. They improve your digestive capabilities and contribute to the improvement of your immune system. You have a long list of choices when it comes to pickles. Try making pickles from some of these fruits and veggies – cucumber, olive, mango, chili, carrot, pears, etc. You can make them the way you like, be it bland, salty, or spicy. Pickles are easy to make and when prepared last for months. Have them as a side dish or munch on them stand-alone, pickles are a great way to fill your tummy.
9. Infusions and green teas
Green tea and other detox infusions are a great way to laze around the evening with. Sip on this healthy beverage while watching your favorite TV shows or just lazing around. Apart from green tea, you can also try earl grey tea. For the hot summer days, try making a cucumber-lemon-mint infusion. It’s so easy to prepare, just cut into pieces and place it in a tumbler with cold water. Sip away your worries and troubles and get relaxed.
10. Your Guilty Pleasures
Sure, it’s essential to have foods that have high nutritional value. But it’s absolutely okay to indulge in food that is not-so-good for your health in limited quantities. In fact, adding a little bit of junk food to your diet helps keep your cravings at bay. Therefore, go ahead and have that scoop of your favorite ice cream, or take a bite of that cheesy burger that you love. You deserve it!
Postpartum recovery is essential because it’s the time when your body is trying to get back on track after nine months of pregnancy and the delivery that followed. You have to remember that your body has been through a lot and needs time and care to recover. Therefore, do not avoid taking care of yourself during this time. Did you follow a particular diet during your postpartum recovery period? Let us know in the comments below!
- Bioactives and health benefits of nuts and dried fruits
- Health Benefits of Nut Consumption
- Yogurt: role in healthy and active aging
- Eggs and Health Special Issue