During these wintry months, nothing hits the spot more than a hot bowl of chili. This recipe is hearty and satisfying, yet completely nutritious. And of course, it is a great option for pregnant moms looking to pack in the nutrition.
1lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can (14.5oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans, undrained
1 package chili seasoning
1 tsp. basil
1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Directions: Brown ground beef and drain fat. Add onions, garlic, and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, and simmer for ~ 2 hours. Top with cheddar cheese.
I usually use lean ground beef for this chili, but you can just as easily substitute ground turkey or chicken if you prefer. I don’t eat beef as often, but beef has some great nutritional benefits. I recommend getting a 93% lean ground beef if you can to decrease some of the saturated fat in the meal. Beef is a great source of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and protein. As an added bonus, the iron from the beef will be absorbed even better because it is paired with the vitamin C from the tomatoes. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with anemia-the most common nutritional deficiency during pregnancy.
Beans provide a wide range of health benefits. They are rich in complex carbs as well as protein, which help stabilize blood sugars and keep you satisfied longer. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The high protein content of beans also makes them a great option for vegetarians and vegans as ½ cup of beans provides the same amount of protein as an ounce of meat. They are also a great source of fiber, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, folate and potassium. Beans are also inexpensive and take no prep time if you buy them canned.
Tomatoes are one of those foods that actually get most nutritious when they are cooked. Cooked tomatoes have significantly higher lycopene levels because it is more bioavailable. So cooked tomato products, like canned tomatoes, are actually the highest in lycopene content. Lycopene is a carotenoid with high antioxidant activity. Their anti-inflammatory properties are even more important during pregnancy as inflammation is linked to many health problems during pregnancy including preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.