Perfect for pregnancy
Because bananas are bursting with natural ingredients, they’re the perfect snack for mums to be. Bananas supply much of the additional energy required in the second half of pregnancy to support a growing unborn baby. Generally, a boost of 850-1100 kJs per day is required, or 2 bananas!
And because bananas provide energy in the form of fat-free carbohydrates, they’ll also help you stay in shape while you’re pregnant. Drinking a banana smoothie for breakfast, or after a workout, is a great way for pregnant women to give their body all the nutritional benefits of bananas.
The extra energy required in pregnancy should mainly be from carbohydrates and protein, and a little fat. Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrate. The carbohydrate is mainly in the form of natural sugars and a little starch.
Extra protein is needed during pregnancy to support growth of new cells in the mother and baby, especially the in 2nd and 3rd trimester. Add a delicious banana smoothie made on low fat milk or low-fat soy drink to give you the extra protein and carbs needed when the baby is growing quickly.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is required for healthy tissues, making red blood cells, and carrying nerve impulses. Your B6 needs jump up from 1.3 mg to 1.9 mg daily in pregnancy. Two bananas a day will help meet that extra need.
Folate is required for the growth of new cells and genes, especially red blood cell growth, which is very important in pregnancy. Folate needs to increase from 400 mcg to 600 mcg each day during pregnancy. A banana contributes about 50 mcg towards that need, but supplements are often recommended by your doctor.
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is required for forming blood vessels, skin, gums and other tissues, and even bones. Extra vitamin C is needed during pregnancy (increasing from 45 mg to 60 mg daily). Each banana provides about 10% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Iron is required for healthy blood, especially helpful in assisting with carrying oxygen around the body, and helps with growth and normal appetite. Although bananas provide only a little iron, its vitamin C greatly helps absorb the iron from other foods in the intestines.
Other benefits for mums to be
Constipation may be a problem in pregnancy as the muscles in the intestine lose some of their tone, which causes foods to pass more slowly through the gut. The pressure of the baby on your intestines can also slow down the passage of food and waste through your intestines. The solution is plenty of fluids, physical activity and fibre-rich foods, such as bananas.
Morning sickness may be the first sign of being pregnant and often only lasts the first trimester but you can feel sick at any time not just in the morning. Eating dry crackers, toast or a piece of fruit, like a banana, in the morning before you get out of bed can help.
Bananas for breast feeding Mums
Bananas are a great food to enjoy when breastfeeding as they contain major vitamins including B vitamins, especially B6 and folate, and vitamin C.