Healthy Pregnancy Advice From Our Naturopath For Every Trimester
The New Moon in Aquarius peaked yesterday no matter where you are on our wonderful planet and it also kick-started the Chinese New Year of the Pig. Considering the energies of this time, and as a very wise person once said, “As above, so below”, I thought it timely to give my community (that’s you!) a little something different. In astrology, new moons are considered a chance to start afresh and with the New Moon in the sign of Aquarius, the energy of this time is more of a clean slate for us to work with and will perhaps even feel like the first new moon of 2019. With this in mind, I’m sharing with you some beneficial advice for a healthy pregnancy given to me by a renowned naturopath friend of mine. Whether you are already pregnant, thinking about it or know a friend or family member who is embarking on this magical journey, please share these tips and let me know how you get on!
Healthy Eating Suggestions During Pregnancy
When pregnant, getting the right nutrients and vitamins is of extreme importance for both the health of your baby and yourself. What you put in your tummy will eventually end up in your baby’s too, and certain vitamins and minerals can make a big difference in terms of growth and development.
- Eat organic or free-range ingredients wherever possible. This will reduce your exposure to chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics. Research also shows that organic produce contains significantly higher levels of nutrients than non-organic foods.
- Fill yourself up with lots of fresh vegetables, especially yellow and green varieties, as they are a good source of folic acid. Reduce starchy vegetables such as potato and sweet potato to ease constipation during pregnancy.
- Include two to three pieces of fruit per day, either in whole form or in juice or smoothie. Best fruits for high nutritional value include: apples, pears, kiwifruit, paw paw, pineapple, blueberries, pomegranate, tamarillos, plums.
- Protein is essential during pregnancy. It is quite literally the building blocks of life. Healthy protein-rich foods include: lean meat, poultry, deep sea fish, eggs, goat or sheep products and low-fat dairy. Small amounts of nuts, seeds, sea vegetables and tofu are good vegetarian protein sources. Aim to consume some kind of protein with every meal.
- Essential fatty acids are important for foetal development, especially brain and eye development. Naturopaths recommend taking EPA/DHA (fish oil supplement) during pregnancy and best oils to use while cooking include organic extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil; and flaxseed and Udos 3-6-9 oil blend for salads.
- It is important to include whole grains and legumes for fibre and nutrients. During 1st trimester, you may eat bread to curb nausea, however aim to have one piece of toast at breakfast and one at lunch; or lunch and dinner (rather than having two pieces of toast at breakfast). As nausea subsides in 2nd trimester, switch grains for brown or basmati rice, oats, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, teff and quinoa.
- Calcium is important for skeletal development of your baby and maintenance of your bone health. Adequate amounts can be found in recommended natal multi-vitamin supplement, and nutritional sources which contain high amounts of calcium include: goat and sheep products, kefir, sesame seeds (tahini), chick peas (hummus), broccoli, almonds and bone broth. Avoid other sources such as hard cheeses and dairy for healthy weight maintenance during pregnancy.
- Iron is important during pregnancy to produce more haemoglobin (blood) for you and your baby, and for energy levels. Nutritional sources include: red meat, especially organ meats such as liver, eggs, lentils, white beans, brown rice, beetroot, spinach, spirulina, kelp, chlorella, kale and raspberry leaf tea.
- It has been suggested that the more foods and flavours you expose your baby to in the womb, the more receptive your baby may be to these items when first trying solid food.