Tuesday

Nutrition and Pregnancy

It is such an exciting time. Like most women, you have been dreaming of this moment since we you were a little girl. You are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant. One of the best gifts you can give your baby is good health. Good health begins before conception, through your pregnancy, and for the rest of your baby’s life. Your good nutrition during pregnancy can protect your baby from diabetes, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and other diseases later on in life. The choices you make now, will affect your babies future. Good nutrition will also help you bounce back to your pre-baby body.


Getting essential nutrients through food is a must and here is a list of what nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy.


o   How many extra calories do you need to feed your growing baby? You have all heard the saying “eating for two”.  Throw that idea out the window! Shoot to increase your caloric intake to 300 calories per day. 
 
o   What nutrient is independently associated with having a baby with a healthy birth weight, prevents premature delivery, can increase my babies IQ, and has shown to decrease the chances of type 1 diabetes? Use of cod liver oil during pregnancy is independently associated with birth weight. A double-blind, placebo- controlled study showed the use of cod liver oil during pregnancy and lactation to increase the child’s IQ at the age of four years. In this study, the control group received the same amount of fat-soluble vitamins as the cod liver oil group, so the effects are most likely due to the DHA. In Norway, use of cod liver oil during pregnancy was associated with a 70 percent reduced risk of type 1 diabetes. (www.westonaprice.org)

o   How important is Folate to your baby’s health? Folate plays a key role in reducing spinal defects including spina bifida. The RDA recommends 600 micrograms of Folate per day. Folic Acid is the synthetic form of Folate and is not as effective in preventing neural tube defects. Therefore it is best to get Folate from food.  Eat at least 2 servings, approx 2 cups daily.              
                Lentils              
                Beef  and Chicken Liver              
                Asparagus              
                Broccoli              
                Leafy green vegetables             
                Beans              
                Nuts


o   Iron helps increase your blood volume and prevent anemia during pregnancy.
The recommended dose of iron is 27 milligram
             
                 Red meat              
                 Egg yolks              
                 Dark Leafy greens                         
                 Turkey              
                 Beans
              Lentils
              Chickpeas

                 Liver              
                Artichokes

o   Vitamin A helps with fetal development and kidney function. Vitamin is very important to reproduction. The RDA recommends 2,600 IU of vitamin A. Vitamin A is best to get from food.

           
Fish eggs             
               Cod liver oil
           
Liver
             
               Butter              
               Eggs              
               Pumpkin              
               Cantaloupe

o   Is sunshine good for my baby and me? Sun exposure in moderation is very beneficial; we get vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D helps the body use calcium and phosphorus, building strong bones and teeth. Other places you get vitamin D are milk and fatty fish.
           

o    What is Biotin and why is it important? Biotin is a B vitamin is a important vitamin for pregnant woman and their baby- When you eat eggs, be sure to eat the yolk too. There is  a lot of biotin in the egg yolk
           
Egg yolks
             
                Liver

o   What and how much should I eat?
When pregnant you want to be sure you are getting plenty of nutrients from high quality foods and supplement with a good prenatal vitamin. You will want a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Below is a list of some healthy foods you should add into your diet. It is best to start preparing your body with healthy foods 1 year prior to conception, but every little bit counts so it is never too late to make some changes. Eat all throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stabilized.

Proteins- should be organic whenever possible. Each portion should be about 3-4oz or about the size of a deck of cards.
Examples of good proteins are; whole eggs, turkey, lamb, beef, chicken, liver, milk, cheese, fish eggs, nuts and seed, sardines, and salmon.
(Avoid deli meats, hot dogs, sushi, and fish high in mercury such as tuna and swordfish)

Carbohydrates- Eating 5-6 servings of fresh green vegetables and fresh fruits are a great way to a healthy pregnancy. Fruits like bananas help settle the stomach during morning sickness. Whole grains also provide many important vitamins for you and your baby’s health. Each serving of carbohydrates should be about ½ cup or the size of a baseball.

Examples of carbohydrates are; fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, and other whole grains.          

Fats Fat is important for brain function. Adding in about 1-2 tsps of fat to each meal is what the body needs. Too much fat is not a good thing, but be sure to get it in at each meal.

The best fats to add to your diet are; Carlson’s Cod liver oil or Krill oil, Organic coconut oil, Extra-virgin olive oil, and organic butter.


What foods should you avoid?
Alcohol, coffee, sugar, white flour, artificial sweeteners, deli meats, packaged hot dogs, sushi, fish with high levels of mercury, caffeine, unwashed vegetables, and soft cheeses.


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