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Food to nourish during pregnancy

Food to nourish during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderfully exciting, humbling and joyful time for parents. It’s the incredible nine-month journey of bringing a healthy and much-loved new life into the world! For many mums, though, it can be a challenging time if nausea and/or vomiting sets in (let’s not bother calling it morning sickness, because, really, it can happen any time of day).

Pregnancy is a wonderfully exciting, humbling and joyful time for parents. It’s the incredible nine-month journey of bringing a healthy and much-loved new life into the world! For many mums, […]

Often, but not always, these symptoms can be reduced by ensuring you are well nourished prior to pregnancy, but that is by no means any guarantee. There are plenty of mums who follow preconception care to 110%, yet still have serious struggles in this department. It’s a good idea to prepare for this in advance by making sure you have plenty of broth and re-heatable, nourishing meals ready-made and frozen in portions, so that you can easily prepare meals for yourself or your family even if you can’t face cooking. In fact, a cup of broth with coconut milk will often help to minimise nausea, especially if teas such as chamomile, ginger or mint just aren’t doing the job.

Foods to include:

  • Cod liver oil to provide natural vitamin A (synthetic vitamin A intake is generally recommended to be capped at 2500 IU unless otherwise recommended by your health practitioner) and vitamin D (up to 2000 IU daily) as well as EPA and DHA. These nutrients are essential for embryonic development.
  • Food from the sea – the ocean is the best source of iodine. As with food from the land, be conscious of where your seafood comes from to avoid overexposure to pollutants. Good options include oily fish like sardines, mackerel, wild (not farmed) salmon and seaweed, especially kelp. During the first 18 weeks of pregnancy, bub will be relying on your thyroid hormones until she begins to produce her own. Avoid large fish like tuna, ling, shark, orange roughy and swordfish, which tend to be very high in mercury – a dangerous neurotoxin.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables. These provide active forms of vitamin B9 / folate – which is far more desirable than folic acid. If you need to take supplements, make sure you choose a folate, not folic acid supplement. If you’re not feeling up to salads, or stirring some green leafy veggies through scrambled eggs, you can whizz them through a coconut smoothie to help reach your daily dose.
  • Eat a serving of fermented veggies each day. If you’re new to them, start off on one teaspoon per day (too much too soon could upset your stomach) and gradually increase this until you are up to half a cup or a full cup per day. These are an AMAZING food to include – packed full of probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and beneficial acids that support our immune function. There’s no other food like them and they taste delicious, too.
  • Bone broths daily, used in soups, stews and sauces. Have a cup of broth with coconut milk to ease nausea or simply enjoy a cup of hot broth seasoned with freshly cracked pepper.
  • Plenty of fresh veggies and a little fresh fruit, especially organic berries, cherries, stone fruit and fresh figs. A little pineapple or papaya can aid digestion if eaten 20 minutes before meals.
  • Organic lard for cooking provides a wonderful source of fatty acids and vitamin D.
  • Choline-rich foods – egg yolks and liver are by far the best sources, but so are fish and nuts. Choline is involved with DNA and RNA replication and is a component of every single cell in the body. Levels typically become depleted during pregnancy, so be sure to include choline-rich foods, as this valuable nutrient will help develop your bub’s brain.
  • Fresh meat, always consumed with the fat. If your digestion isn’t the best, slow-cooked meats provide an easy to digest (and super tasty) option.

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