10 Smoothie Add-Ins for a Healthier Pregnancy
Drinking smoothies can be a fast and easy way to get the all-important nutrients every pregnancy needs. And smoothies can make the task way more palatable, especially if morning sickness has taken a bite out of your normal appetite or your favorite foods now turn your tummy. For instance, if your doctor urges you to eat more protein to help your baby grow, but meat tastes like metal, smoothies might be the best way to get you closer to meeting your protein needs.
The catch? Store-bought and fast food smoothies are often laden with excess sugar—some with as much as 50 grams of added sugar per serving. That’s 12 teaspoons of sugar, folks! A better idea: Make pregnancy smoothies at home! This way, you ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need...without the sugar overload. The best part: Pregnancy smoothies are simple to make, customizable to your tastes, and thanks to healthy add-ins, they can enhance the health of your pregnancy. Here are 10 sneaky smoothie add-ins to make your pregnancy smoothie even more nutritious and delicious!
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #1: Avocado
If you want a more creamy texture for your blend, look no further than avocados. Not only do they make your smoothie creamier, they add a ton of nutrition like healthy fats, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin E, and copper—all essential to baby-building.
Pro Tip: Scoop out half of an avocado and drop it right into your blender for a perfectly-sized add-in. Frozen avocado cubes work great, too! Simply blend one-fourth cup of frozen chunks into each smoothie.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #2: Lemon
Thanks to common pregnancy hormone changes, some mamas-to-be crave sour foods, like pickles. If that sounds familiar, why not add some sour lemon to your next smoothie? It helps to satisfy your craving…and it gives you a nice dose of potassium and vitamins C and B6. Bonus: The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology notes that B6 is a safe treatment for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Wash and cut your lemon into quarters. Remove the seeds and squeeze one quarter into your smoothie for a citrusy, tangy kick.
Pro Tip: Lemon peels contain fiber and antioxidants and are totally edible… just try to buy organic to avoid pesticides. As a smoothie add-in, simply toss a quarter of a washed lemon directly into the blender.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #3: Spinach
Like many pregnant folks, I could barely look at a vegetable without gagging during my first trimester. But drinking vegetables in a smoothie was much more doable than chewing them bite by bite. Fresh spinach works very well in smoothie recipes and boosts the nutrition, changing the smoothie color, but without changing the flavor. Add a large handful of fresh spinach for added vitamin A, iron, and folic acid.
Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to keep a stash of spinach in the freezer, too. It’ll give your smoothie a smoother consistency and an extra blast of chill.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #4: Mint Leaves
When you’re nauseous and not feeling up to eating a meal, the ease of slurping a smoothie is often more appetizing. Make it even more so by adding mint to your blend. Research has shown that mint may help reduce pregnancy nausea. While mint leaves are mildly sweet, sometimes the menthol taste can be strong. So, start by adding just one to two leaves to your blender.
Pro Tip: That telltale fresh minty flavor pairs well with lemon, mangoes, nectarines, or peaches.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #5: Cottage Cheese
Not feeling the lumpy, bumpy texture of cottage cheese right about now? You can still get all the protein it offers by tossing it in your smoothie. (Protein supports the growth of Baby’s hair, skin, nails, and organs—and helps keep your blood sugars healthy and stable.) A half cup of cottage cheese offers 14 grams of pregnancy-supporting protein and 14% of your daily needs for bone-building calcium. Cottage cheese is also rich in choline, a must-have nutrient for baby’s brain and eye development.
Pro tip: Cottage cheese is an affordable replacement to expensive protein powders. Plus, you don’t have to worry about an aftertaste or chalky texture.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #6: Oats
When a warm bowl of goopy oatmeal gets boring, mix things up by adding raw old-fashioned oats to your smoothie. Whole grain oats help thicken icy smoothies and they’re loaded with an array of nutrients that help support pregnancy. A half cup offers 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of gut-friendly fiber, and 13% of your daily needs for zinc for immune health.
Pro tip: Oats pair beautifully with an apple, banana, nut butter smoothie—and a dash of cinnamon.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #7: Ginger
Fresh, dried, or powdered, ginger is a great smoothie add-in. Its pungent, slightly spicy taste is destined to flavor-up any smoothie! Plus, ginger is another fab nausea-reducing ingredient, according to research in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. Add one teaspoon of fresh grated ginger—or one-quarter teaspoon of powdered ginger—to your smoothie.
Pro tip: Ginger goes well with almost any fruit—citrus, pineapple, berries, and apricots. The most refreshing combo? Ginger and citrus.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #8: Silken Tofu
Silken tofu is a nutrient-packed plant food that helps make smoothies creamy, nutritious, and filling. Since silken tofu is soft, crumbly, and holds lots of water, you may not need to add as much liquid when you blend it into your smoothie. Just a half cup of tofu adds 8 grams of protein and 5% of your daily value of potassium, an amino acids that helps Baby grow. Since silken tofu doesn’t have a strong taste, it goes well with any smoothie you choose!
Pro Tip: If you spy soft tofu at the grocery store, you can go ahead and use that version, too. This is simply the Chinese-style equivalent of silken tofu. While it’s more firm, it’s still great in smoothies.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #9: Walnuts
Walnuts are a softer nut, so you can easily blend it into your smoothies for a nice dose of healthy fats that can help you stay full for longer. Walnuts also have protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. Add just one tablespoon of chopped walnuts to your banana and cocoa smoothie for a satisfying earthy flavor.
Pro Tip: It’s best not to toss whole walnuts into the blender along with the rest of your smoothie ingredients. (It can be a little too much work for your blender!) Instead, chop the nuts with a sharp knife and then add them in.
Best Pregnancy Smoothie Add-In #10: Chia seeds
Pregnancy constipation may have you scrambling the medicine cabinet for some relief, but there are natural ways to make going number two less of a struggle…like getting enough fiber. Most moms-to-be need 28 grams daily, so adding fiber-filled chia seeds (5 grams per tablespoon) to your smoothie can get you closer to your fiber goals. Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor that works well in most smoothies.
Pro Tip: To ensure that the teeny chia seeds don’t stick in your teeth, soak and stir them in a quarter cup of any kind of milk or water and set aside for 10 minutes before blending with the rest of your smoothie ingredients.
How to Make a Pregnancy Smoothie
Now that you've got the healthy pregnancy smoothie add-ins down, here's a cheat sheet to ensure every smoothie is healthy and delicious:
Basic smoothie recipe:
1 cup frozen fruit
½-1 cup fresh veggies
½-1 cup of liquid (milk, nondairy milk, water)
- ½ cup protein (cottage cheese, silken tofu, Greek yogurt)
Plus, pick one or more additional add-ins...
- 1/2 fresh avocado, pitted—or 1/4 cup frozen avocado chunks
- 1/4 lemon, de-seeding and washed—or squeeze of 1/2 lemon
- Large handful fresh spinach (This can count as fresh veg above!)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger—or 1/4 teaspoon of ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.