"I’ll just have a salad.” Those infamous words have been a staple in dating jokes, but many have forgotten the nutrients and health benefits of a hearty salad. These advantages become that much sweeter when you’re harboring a little one. Salads are high in folic acid which can help prevent miscarriages and birth defects. Folic acid is essential for a healthy placenta and healthy baby. We’ve collated five of the best salads to eat to help you have a sound pregnancy.
Flank Steak & Asparagus
(473 calories, 37g protein, 6g fiber, 183 mg calcium, 304 mcg folate per serving)
Starting off with the most vitamin B9 rich salad, flank steak and asparagus salad is a go to when looking for a salad to fill you up and give you folate fast. This salad has over half the daily requirement of 600mg and only takes half an hour to make. Flank steak and asparagus salad is a good choice in the summer and warmer times because it allows you to fire up the grill making the cook time that much faster and clean-up easier.
Flank steak and asparagus salad is a good choice in the summer and warmer times because it allows you to fire up the grill making the cook time that much faster and clean-up easier.
Check out the full recipe: https://www.fitpregnancy.com/recipe/flank-steak-asparagus-salad
(247 calories, 12g protein, 11g fiber, 144mg calcium, 208 mcg folate per serving)
Next on the list is a vegetarian delight. It’s ready in half an hour and has a long shelf life. The combination of the lentils, bay leaf, olives, thyme, cumin, and carrots help you relax and indulge in the food of Grecian gods. There’s nothing like an all-vegetable salad to help relieve the stress of pregnancy while promoting baby’s health.
Check out the full recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/14260/mediterranean-lentil-salad/
Pork & Spinach
(517 calories, 32g protein, 9g fiber, 283mg calcium, 196 mcg folate)
This is another 30 minute dish, so you can keep deciding on what you will name baby for the other 1410 minutes that day. This salad is the most caloric of the five but it is also the most filling. So, there will be less of a need for those midnight snacks or pregnancy food cravings. The pork can not only be cooked on a large skillet, but also on a grill, which makes this a must have at a prenatal barbecue.
Check out the full recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/warm-spinach-salad-with-pork-milanese-2269156
Veggie Ricotta Salad
(279 calories, 20g protein, 9mg fiber, 483mg calcium, 182 mcg folate)
Another all vegetable salad for all you traditional salad lovers out there. Take a trip and visit the cultures of Europe in this simple dish. With sixteen individual ingredients, the recipe looks a little overwhelming. But have no fear because a Veggie Ricotta Salad can be prepared in under 10 minutes! That’s faster than a herd of speeding turtles. This dish has almost half your daily value of calcium, which will help baby build strong bones and teeth.
Check out the full recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/02/winter-vegetable-salad-with-ricotta-and-herbs-recipe.html
Chicken Arugula Salad
(445 calories, 41g protein, 7g fiber, 343mg calcium, 146 mcg folate)
If you’re hatching a plan (pun intended) for a good dinner to help baby develop strong cells and muscles, look no further than this meal. Being that it’s chock-full of protein, you can supply baby while also keeping a healthy pregnancy. This recipe takes a little longer to make but it is worth it. Gratify yourself with the savoring taste of fresh chicken, arugula, cherry tomatoes, and cheese. Why not watch a little “chick” flick to unwind after a long day?
Check out the full recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/healthy-chicken-and-arugula-salad
Next time you’re eating out, don’t be embarrassed to order a salad. Baby will thank you and so will you. We don’t have any vegetable jokes yet, so if you do, lettuce know.
For more information on how to maintain a healthy pregnancy visit our Health Tips section of the Topic Center!