As we all know, nutrition is important in all stages of life; however, pregnancy is a time when nutrition is crucial for the health of both the mother and the baby. That's why all women of childbearing age should take their health seriously.
This recipe is perfect for anyone who is craving a healthy yet hardy soup. Better yet, it's especially wonderful to eat during pregnancy because it contains lentils and swiss chard which are rich in many of the nutrients required for normal fetal development.
Lentils are an excellent source of folate, and a good source of iron and zinc. The single form of folate, folic acid, prevents spinal cord defects that can occur during the first 30 days of pregnancy and protects against miscarriage and preterm delivery. Iron helps prevent preterm delivery as well as anemia in pregnant women. Zinc is important for brain development in the fetus and is important in cell repair in pregnant women; a deficiency of zinc could cause lack of energy.
Swiss Chard is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and iron. It is also a very good source of calcium, choline, and riboflavin. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more efficiently. It is also important for building strong teeth and bones and increasing immunity. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance. Calcium is very important to consume during pregnancy because the developing baby will pull from your supply. To protect your bone density, be sure to consume adequate amounts! Choline is another important nutrient for brain development; and, like folic acid, it also helps prevent neural tube defects. Riboflavin is needed to produce energy and it helps your body use the protein from food.
Still wondering how much of each nutrient you need per day during pregnancy? Below is a list of the recommended dietary allowances for the nutrients we discussed above.
Recommended Dietary Allowance For Pregnancy
Calcium: 1000 mg/day; do not exceed 2,500 mg
Choline: 450 mg/day; do not exceed 3,500 mg
Folic Acid: 600 mcg/day
Iron: 27 mg/day; do not exceed 45 mg
Potassium: 4,700 mg/day
Riboflavin: 1.4 mg/day
Vitamin C: 85 mg; do not exceed 2,000 mg
Zinc: 11 mg; do not exceed 40 mg
For a comprehensive list of foods that contain these nutrients click here.
Another great thing about this soup is that you can share it with your baby once they start eating solid foods! Just make sure you puree the greens along with the other ingredients and leave out the red pepper flakes. Toppings could be replaced with mashed avocado-babies love the carrot avocado combo!
Additionally, the carbohydrates from the carrots combined with the anti-nausea effects of the ginger are perfect for warding off morning sickness which, surprisingly, can actually occur at any point throughout the day.
Roasting the carrots and onions before adding them to the broth gives this soup its delicious caramelized flavor. The greens and lentils add a heartiness that will keep you satisfied for hours. It's delicious on its own but would be great served with a side salad and a piece of gluten-free focaccia bread.
- 6-8 rainbow or orange carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
- Sea salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, diced
- 8 cups vegetable of chicken broth
- ½ cup orange lentils
- 3-4 swiss chard leaves, rough chopped
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Balsamic vinegar and parsley (for presentation, optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Add the carrots and onion to a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and mix until evenly covered.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.
- In a large stock pot, simmer the broth with ginger and garlic.
- Add the carrots, onions and lentil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool, then blend until smooth.
- Return to stock pot bring to a low simmer and add the swiss chard; cook until tender.
- Season with red pepper, salt and pepper.
- Top with balsamic vinegar and herb of choice for presentation.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, we hope you enjoy this delicious soup!
As always, we send you LOVE and PEACE without grease!
XO, The Glisten Girls