Monday, December 2, 2013

Dietary Supplements and Pregnancy

It is important for you to eat healthily during pregnancy, it is a myth that you should eat for two. The following is excellent nutritional advice in pregnancy and where to obtain enough vitamins and minerals for you and your developing baby.  Please speak to your midwife about healthy eating.

"Dark Green & Leafy Vegetables
These are truly nature’s fast foods, as they cook quickly—and many can even be eaten raw. They are the perfect pregnancy food, full of vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, trace minerals, folic acid, and vitamin K. They are also great sources of antioxidants and carotenes.

Add more of the following to your diet: kale, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, Chinese (Napa) cabbage, collard greens, dandelion greens, endive, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.

Yellow and Orange Vegetables
Rich in carotenes, yellow and orange veggies contain potent antioxidants, boost immune function, aid the growth and repair of tissue, reduce ultraviolet damage to skin, and support eye and skin health.  

Good choices include carrots, yams, pumpkin, squash, and sweet potatoes. 

Broccoli and Cabbage Family
High intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage is important for immune function. These veggies are high in indols and carotenoids, which have been proven to possess anticancer properties. Broccoli is also a great source of calcium, vitamin C, potassium, and iron.  Some mothers need to avoid this vegetable group in the first three months of nursing.

Other members of the cruciferous family: brussel sprouts, kale, bok choy, collards, turnips, mustard greens, kohlrabi, and watercress.

Dark Pigmented Berries 
High in antioxidants and rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and flavonoids known as anthocyanins, berries boost the immune system and reduce free-radical damage and inflammation. They help with collagen formation, eyesight, and circulation. Oxidative damage (from free radicals) has been linked to gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, so eating a diet high in antioxidants makes sense. Also, berries in combination with fermented milk products like yogurt have been shown to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections that can cause kidney infections and premature rupture of membranes during pregnancy.

Food sources include rosehips, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and strawberries.

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and concentrated protein. Essential fatty acids found in nuts and seeds help influence cellular strength, balance hormones, protect nerves, and reduce inflammation. They are also concentrated sources of vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Consume raw or as cold pressed, unrefined vegetable oils. 

Cashews, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds are good choices. 

Plain, Organic Yogurt with Live Cultures
This fermented food enhances digestion and is a great source of complete protein, calcium, B12, potassium, and zinc. Both prebiotics (food for probiotics that aids in absorption of calcium), and probiotics (beneficial organisms for the digestive tract) are important. Probiotics have demonstrated the ability to enhance the immune system and aid in detoxification. Probiotics compete with yeast and “bad” bacteria to prevent urinary tract infections and yeast infections that can be more prevalent during pregnancy. "

More healthy eating advice from this link.

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