11 Super Easy Vegetarian and Vegan Power Foods for Breastfeeding Moms

Image by kbelge via sxc.

Blueberries

Blueberries pack in many awesome nutrients, including an antioxidant punch to keep you healthy. For breastfeeding mamas, blueberries provide perks like carbohydrate for energy plus a lot of vitamin A and K, potassium and even some calcium.  You can quickly top off cereal or yogurt with blueberries or add them to a smoothie. In the summer, blueberries get even better, because you can eat them straight from the freezer and they’re like icy little bits of candy. If you’re not a fan of blueberries, note that most berries are packed with antioxidants and fiber. Look for darker berries first for the most nutrients.

Make it fast: Stock your freezer with frozen blueberries instead of running to the store for fresh or spread organic blueberry jam on bread. Buy pre-made organic blueberry muffins or fruit salad with berries.

image by Brybs via sxc.

Avocados

Avocados offer 60% more potassium than bananas, lots of folic acid, vitamin C, lutein and “healthy” fat, plus have the highest fiber content of any produce product. Breastfeeding mamas will like that avocados offer B-vitamins that help increase energy. Eat slices raw or in wraps or sandwiches.

Make it fast: Instead of cutting up fresh avocados, see if your store carries a fresh, organic guacamole and scoop it onto whole wheat crackers.

Image by Flickr User cherrylet

Yogurt

Yogurt is a super speedy snack packed with a huge dose of calcium and probiotics, plus vitamin B12, magnesium and more. For vegan mamas, soy yogurt still offers plenty of perks like 12% of your daily recommended protein intake, lots of vitamin C, vitamin D and calcium too.

Make it fast: You can’t make yogurt much quicker. Pop the top of a container and you’re good to go. Still, if you want an extra easy life, freeze lots of yogurt in ice pop molds before you go into labor, then you’ll be well-stocked on yogurt that won’t go bad.

Brown Rice

Brown rice has a lot of carbs, so many new mamas shy away from it in order to lose that baby weight. However, cutting too many carbs is bad as it’ll make you even more sleepy and if you lose weight too fast, it can mess with your breast milk quality. Brown rice also has healthy perks like vitamin B, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium, and even some choline which has been shown to help fetal brain development, prevent memory loss and prevent liver damage.

Make it fast: The downside of brown rice is cooking time. It can take an hour to make (ugh). To make it faster, buy instant brown rice, which still has nutrient perks or stock up on some Amy’s bowls made with brown rice, which are tasty and cook in about 5 minutes.

Image by bury-osiol via sxc.

Nuts

Most nuts provide lots of fiber, vitamin E, healthy fats and magnesium. Plus nuts are insanely easy to munch on. Current research shows that nuts may help lower cholesterol, protect against heart disease, and improve blood vessel function. Nuts are  also one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Go for unsalted mixed nuts for a variety of nut benefits and to see a rundown of nut nutrition read, best and worst nuts by nutrition and price.

Make it fast: Choose pre-shelled nuts and don’t forget about yummy nut spreads, like almond, hazelnut or peanut butter on a spoon.

Image by Flickr User ilovemypit

Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are packed with calcium, fiber, vitamin C and folic acid. An added benefit for vegetarian and vegan mamas is high amounts of iron. You can eat your greens raw, as shown above in this zucchini, tofu and spinach salad or cook them up if you feel motivated.

Make it fast: Make a hyper fast strawberry spinach smoothie – vegans can leave out the honey. Buy fresh, pre-washed greens or frozen greens. You can also make spinach popsicles before your bundle arrives for an easy green snack.

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