Heavily pregnant Roseleen is always seen eating one thing or the other. She had noticed that even as her tummy kept increasing, her appetite was also growing and she wondered why.

At times, she eats so much that her friends would mock her, asking her why she eats heavily even when it seems there is no space in her tummy to accommodate the food. She would simply laugh it off because she knows she is often deeply hungry. The question, therefore, is what causes the increase of one’s appetite even as one’s tummy gets bigger.

Medics have said that the hunger that often starts around week 17 is due to your baby growing and more nourishment, and the tot is sending that message to you loud and clear. So, in this case, don’t ignore your hunger. Those pregnancy hunger pangs may be the special way your body and baby are telling you they need more nourishment. Remember you require 350 more calories per day in the second trimester and about 500 more daily toward the end of pregnancy.

Also, take enough water to avoid constipation. Remember your body is busy making a baby and you will need more liquids than ever. Aim for at least eight cups per day and more if you are sweating much. Ensure you eat good, balanced diet that would douse your hunger and fill your stomach.

It is better you eat frequently. Endeavour to spread out your meals to prevent eating much at any one sitting. When you eat too much at a time, there is the tendency of feeling overstuffed, especially as your baby gets bigger and there is not much extra space in your belly. Extra stuffing may make you get bloated, gives you heartburn and makes you gas often.

You may have your fruits in your handbag in case hunger pangs strike. Avoid carrying non-nutritious fast foods. Do not stay completely away from your favourite food.

Remember not to gain too much fat. Still take your light daily exercises seriously. That would help you burn some excess calories.

When you are pregnant, what you eat is reflected in your unborn baby because it feeds on what you eat starting from the second trimester. If you fail to eat well, the fetus sucks from you not caring your condition. Nature in fact made it so.
It has been said that your unborn baby is a true reflection of your diet. Having taken note of that, this week we want to see the nutritional importance or value of beans for pregnant mothers.

Many women hate to eat beans, especially when they are pregnant, not caring that it is one of the pregnancy-super-foods that shouldn’t be ignored. According to health experts, you would need 300 additional calories in your diet every day. Hence, beans shouldn’t be ignored because it supplies fibre protein. There are protein-packed energy capsules with a nutritional food value that can improve a person’s health in many reasons. Unfortunately, they are referred to as the poor man’s meat. These stigmas can easily be remedied with smart cooking practices. As for the poor man reference, no one really cares anymore.

Known as legumes, beans are made up of so many different varieties; it’s hard to keep track. Among black, red and white beans there are chick peas, soy beans and even peanuts. Below is the nutritional breakdown of beans.

Protein
If you would like to continue to build and repair your body’s tissue as well as having your muscles contract on demand, then add some bean protein to your diet. There are approximately seven to 10 grams of protein in a half cup of cooked beans.

Fibre
This helps to keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy, not only keeps your body working properly, but it also helps your weight management. Fibre is the perfect addition to our diet when it comes to these two things. About half a cup of cooked dry beans has about 25 to 30 per cent of the daily value of fibre which is also excellent in helping hypocholesterolemia (too much cholesterol in the cells). It is a soluble fibre that reduces blood cholesterol, plus beans release glucose slowly helping control metabolism which can also contribute to weight loss.

Carbohydrates
Carbs seem to be the enemy of so many diets these days. Like it or not, we need them for energy and brain function, so you may as well get them from a reliable source. Beans hold about 25 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Vitamins
Beans are packed with B vitamins. B complex is made up of eight vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cyanocobalamin (B12), folic acid and biotin. This incredible little community is essential in contributing to everything from liver, skin, hair and eyes, to intestinal wall muscle health and the breakdown of carbs, fats and proteins. Beans retain about 70 per cent of their B vitamins (after preparation) as well as high levels of folate, which helps form red blood cells.

Minerals
Minerals are the building blocks of the body that form and maintain bones, blood and skin, to name but a few. Iron, magnesium, phosphate, manganese, calcium, copper, zinc and potassium are all found in beans.

Lipids
Polyunsaturated fat and no cholesterol are why beans continue to be an optimal dietary choice. Lipids create stored energy (mostly linoleic acid in beans) and the chemical structure is low fat.

Calories
We’ve recently been overwhelmed with calorie advertising on everything from your morning coffee to your afternoon sandwich. Half a cup of beans holds about 100 to 120 calories, so go ahead, have a feast! If you are one of those that dislike beans, consider preparing it deliciously. Below is the right way or method to prepare.

Ingredients: Beans, palm oil, ground crayfish, onions, salt, seasoning, unripe plantain (optional), beef or chicken.
Method: Wash beef and put into an empty washed pot, add chopped onions, sprinkle salt, add seasoning. Leave it on the flame to sizzle. When it starts steaming, pour enough water depending on the size of the beef and allow to cook soft.

Wash your beans and pour small quantity of water to boil a little. When the water is about to dry, pour the beef water after removing already cooked beef and allow to boil. When it wants to be soft, add your diced unripe plantain and allow to boil soft with your beans. Pour a spoon of palm oil and taste for salt. Before you bring it down, add ground crayfish and sliced spinach. Then pour your cooked beef in and stir. When it is very soft, off your flame and allow to cake.

Serve: Serve your beans dish with pap, custard or quaker oath. Don’t drink garri, remember you should avoid it because of Laser Fever.

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