Category Archives: Nutrition

Health and Nutrition During Pregnancy

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a nine month journey… It is a time in your life to feel happy, excited, serene and joyful. However it is also quite normal to experience anxieties about the birth and worrying about whether you are nourishing yourself properly, exercising, keeping, calm, positive, loving thoughts and emotions within your being.
Pregnancy lasts 39 weeks or nine months from conception and is looked at in three stages.

Health & Nutrition During Pregnancy

To ensure that your baby develops in a healthy environment, you should keep your body as fit and well nourished as you possibly can. Do not think in terms of devising a special diet for pregnancy, it is more to do with eating a good variety of the right foods which are those that are rich in the essential nutrients.

Weight Gain

The amount of weight put on by women in pregnancy varies between 9 – 16 kilograms, with the most rapid gain usually between weeks 24 and 32.
Don’t “eat for two”. Some 46 percent of women gain too much weight during pregnancy.

Diet During Pregnancy

You ARE What You Eat therefore Your Baby Is What You Eat!

What You Eat affects your baby’s future. What you eat in the following nine months can impact your baby’s health, as well as your own, for decades to come.

A good diet is vital to health during pregnancy, and to the normal development of the baby. The time to pay attention to diet, and if necessary change it for the better, is several months prior to conception and not when pregnancy is confirmed.

During the critical early weeks the normal, healthy development of the embryo depends on the mother’s state of nutritional health and also her toxic state.

Mineral and vitamin imbalances which would probably go unnoticed in a child or adult can have a disastrous effect on the developing baby.

This is because the cells in the embryo are growing at such a rapid rate, causing an exaggerated response to any harmful influences.

A natural, organic, whole food diet is the only one which will adequately serve during pregnancy.

A high quality diet is needed to maintain your own health and the best possible conditions for the baby to develop.

As our environment becomes more polluted and the soils more depleted of nutrients, going 100% organic, if possible, is the best thing you can do for oneself, and for a developing fetus, and last but not least; the environment.

Pesticides, herbicides, and other forms of pollution interfere with the metabolic pathways of many nutrients and thus indirectly interfere with the development of the immune, endocrine, and neurological systems.

Eating as many of our foods in their live, raw form preserves 70 to 80% more vitamins and minerals, 50% more bioactive protein, and up to 96% more bioavailable vitamin B12.

Grains, nuts and seeds are the most potent health-building foods of all. Eaten raw or sprouted if possible (some grains need to be cooked), they contain all the essential nutrients for human growth, sustenance, and ongoing optimal health.

A well balanced diet is based on whole cereals and grains (brown bread, rice, pasta, buckwheat, rye, oats), nuts and seeds, pulses and beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, pure unrefined oils such as cold pressed olive oil, with some fish and eggs if required.

Fruit and vegetables are all excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and trace elements provided they are eaten in the right way.

They should be fresh, either raw or quickly cooked, steamed or stir-fried, and preferably consumed immediately after they are harvested.

Salt is needed to maintain the extra volume of blood, to supply enough placental blood, and to guard against dehydration and shock from blood loss at birth, (except in cases of kidney and heart problems) Suggested form of salt is Himalayan Pink Salt.

Proteins

• Form the basic building blocks of all our body tissues, cells, hormones, and antibodies.
• Food must fuel the growth of the uterus, which can grow to 30 times its original size over the nine months gestation period Add the development of breasts, placenta, development of breast milk, the baby’s body.

Proteins are divided into complete and incomplete:

Complete proteins contain significant amounts of all the essential amino acids, you find them in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and soya bean products.

Vegetable proteins are incomplete and contain only some of the essential amino acids. Some vegetarian sources of complete protein are: buckwheat, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and almonds.

Plant proteins are easier for our bodies to digest and produce less toxic waste than animal proteins. The fiber in plants also has a very beneficial effect on the bowel; it ensures healthy bowel movements and the correct bacterial population in the gut, and prevents the buildup of putrefactive bacteria produced by excess animal proteins.

Eating meat and meat products also carries the risk from chemical and hormonal residues found in intensively reared animals. Also soya beans or soy products are mostly genetically engineered, hence it is wise to stay clear of them.

Pregnant women need about 60 to 75 grams of protein a day.

The best and cleanest sources of protein are green vegetables, spirulina, seeds (hemp, flax, sesame, poppy, sunflower, chia, quinoa, amaranth ).

Real strength and building material comes from:

• green – leafy vegetables, seeds and superfoods. They contain all the amino acids we require.

Essential Fatty Acids are vital to :

• the development of the baby’s nervous and immune systems. They build the cell walls in all our tissues, and so that trace elements and fat-soluble vitamins (A,E,D, and K) can be absorbed.
• EFA’s are needed to make adrenal and sex hormones, and to maintain a healthy population of bacteria in the gut.
• They are also essential to the normal development of the fetus’s brain: 70 per cent of all EFAs go to the brain.

The Best Fatty Foods include:

Avocados, Borage Seed Oil, Raw Cacao Beans (Chocolate Nuts), Coconut oil/ butter, Flax seed and its oil, Grape seeds, Hemp seed and its oil (cold pressed), RAW Nuts of all types (cashews must be soft to be truly “raw”), Nut Butters (almond butter is excellent), Olives and their oil (stone pressed or cold pressed), Peanuts (must be certified aflatoxin free), Poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds and their oil (cold pressed), Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, tahini (sesame butter), or even better if you can get hold of it at a health food store unhulled tahini (an alkaline fat, high in calcium), Young Coconuts (young Thai coconuts are available in the US at Asian markets), Coconut milk, coconuts (mature).

SUPERFOODS

Superfoods are foods with extraordinary properties. Usually they contain all essential amino acids, high levels of minerals, and a wide array of unique, even rare, nutrients. I have included the superfoods in the nutritional tips below.

Some prominent superfoods to include:

1) Himalayan Pink Salt – offers 84 minerals exactly identical to the elements in your body.

2) Spirulina (a spiral algae consumed for thousands of years by indigenous people in Mexico and Africa)
-It has the highest concentration of protein on Earth. 60%
-It is also very high in Iron, and many other vitamins and minerals.
-It is one of the highest sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) on the planet. Only mother’s milk is higher.
-It is recommended to take more Spirulina during breastfeeding because of the GLA.
-Spirulina is very high in human-active B12.

3) Blue-Green Algae (Klamath lake algae wonderful brain food). It is high in protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals and enhances the immune system.

I value it in pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and lactation for its enhancing effect on brain function.

4) Bee Pollen (wild pollen, not orchard pollen, should be used and should come from ethically harvested sources where bees are treated respectfully. Bee Pollen is nature’s most complete food) All amino acids, immune system, brain, eyes.

5) Flax, Sunflower, Chia, Sesame and pumpkin seeds are the best to use. Flaxseeds are excellent and the highest vegetarian source of omega-3-essential fatty acids, important for the immune system, nervous system, and brain development. I recommend one to two tablespoons daily of the uncooked and unheated oil or three to six tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds. (Use a coffee grinder). You may also grind the other above mentioned seeds and add them to salads, and fruit salads.

6) Wild young coconuts (not be confused with white Thai coconuts found in markets, wild coconuts are one of the greatest foods on earth. The coconut water and soft inner flesh are strength enhancing, electrolyte-rich, mineral-rich, youthening and invigorating. Great in smoothies.

NUTRITION TIPS

Here Are Some Nutrition Tips that will help you both:

1) Get Enough Folic Acid. 400 micrograms (mcg) daily. Folic Acid reduces chance of birth defects such as spina bifida. Especially in the first 6 weeks of pregnancy.

2) Best Food Sources of Folic Acid are: RAW Green leafy vegetables, including spinach, kale, beet greens, beet root, chard, asparagus, and broccoli. Starchy vegetables containing folic acid are corn, lima beans, green peas, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, artichokes, okra, and parsnips. Oats are high in folic acid as well as whole wheat brown bread. Many fruits have folic acid such as oranges, cantaloupe, pineapple, banana, and many berries including loganberries, boysenberries, and strawberries. Also fresh sprouts such as lentil, mung bean sprouts are excellent sources. REMINDER: Folic acid is available from fresh, unprocessed food, which is why it is so common a deficient in our culture’s processed, cooked food diet.

3) Eat Your Fish. Getting enough DHA (found in abundance in seafood and flaxseed) is one of the most important things you can do for you and your developing baby’s health. DHA is the omega-3 fatty acid that can boost baby’s brain development before birth, leading to better vision, memory, motor skills and language comprehension in early childhood. Eat at least 12 ounces a week of low-mercury fish, or take a DHA supplement such as Krill Oil.

• Avoid large, predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. (As big fish eat smaller fish, the larger, longer-living ones accumulate more mercury).

• Seaweed and Cilantro remove heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the tissues.

4) Avoid Alcohol – The main risk of consuming alcohol during pregnancy is the development of “fetal alcohol syndrome” (FAS). mother.. NO AMOUNT IS SAFE. AVOID TOTALLY.

5) Avoid Caffeine: In high amounts causes birth defects and still births, miscarriages and premature delivery.

6) Avoid Drugs – As far as possible all orthodox drugs should be avoided during pregnancy, especially in the first three months. Consider natural alternatives and visiting a medical herbalist or nutritionist prior to conception.

FOODS THAT MAY CAUSE INFECTIONS

Although the chance of contracting one of these rare infections is limited, you will reduce this likelihood even further if you follow the basic guidelines given here.

Listeriosis – caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, this is a very rare infection. Its symptoms are similar to flu and gastroenteritis and it can cause still birth.

Toxoplasmosis – usually symptomless (apart from mild flu symptoms), this can cause serious problems for the baby. Caused by direct contact with the organism Toxoplasma Gondi, it is found in cat faeces, raw meat, and unpasteurized goats’ milk. Soil on fruit and vegetables may be contaminated.

Salmonella – Contamination with Salmonella bacterium can cause bacterial food poisoning. This doesn’t usually harm the baby directly, but any illness involving a high temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration could cause a miscarriage or preterm labour.

HERBS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

Herbal remedies are for the most part quite safe to be taken during pregnancy; some are useful alternatives to drugs both in chronic illness and acute minor problems such as may arise during pregnancy. It is still preferable to take NO MEDICATION whatsoever in the first three months, unless there is a specific problem that needs treatment.

There are many Herbs which should never be taken in pregnancy – their emmonagogue or oxytocic properties may, in large amounts, cause uterine contractions and thereby risk miscarriage: I will only mention a few as there at least twenty on the list.

Nutmeg Myristica Fragrans
Thuja Thuja occidentalis
Calendula Calendula officinalis
Sage Salvia officinalis
Thyme Thymus vulgaris
Marjoram Origanum vulgare
Lovage Levisticum officinale
Rosemary Rosmarinus Officinalis
Rhubarb Rheum sp.

Herbs that are safe to eat to take in culinary doses but not as a medicine during pregnancy include:

celery seed, cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and saffron.

On Pregnancy and Nutrition

Nutrition And Pregnancy

Eating well is one of the most important things you can do you for baby. Healthy eating is important for the health of your baby and should be planned in advance and implemented before pregnancy. Nutritious foods can help you get and stay fertile and are important before and during the entire term of your pregnancy.

The best diet is the simplest and you may be aware of it as something you’ve seen it on a wall at school or in a doctor’s office. A well-balanced diet means 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (organic is best, especially during pregnancy; you and your baby don’t need all the extra chemicals). Fresh fruit and juiced fruit from fresh vegetables are best. Starch and starchy food: breads, grains and cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, avoid bleached or blanched breads and flour and always go for wholegrain options. Eat foods with lots of protein: lean meats, seafood, eggs, pulses, legumes, beans (again, organic if it’s available for eggs, pulses, legumes and beans). Eat a fair amount of dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt to make sure you get sufficient calcium.

Dairy food made from unpasteurized milk may contain listeria which could harm your baby and lead to miscarriage. It’s a harmful bacteria detrimental to pregnancy contained in unpasteurized dairy products. Pates, raw or undercooked meat or eggs are also potential sources of bacteria that can harm your unborn baby. Make sure everything you consume is well-cooked. It may be a wise idea to avoid raw seafood like sushi as well.

As for other seafood-any sea fish may contain unsafe levels of naturally occurring mercury, so it’s wise to avoid these during pregnancy.

Liver and liver products (e.g. pates, liver sausage, etc.) should be avoided because the possibility exists of them containing large amounts of vitamin A in the form of retinol. Too much retinol could be harmful to your developing baby.

Alcohol during pregnancy is a big “no-no” and should be avoided entirely as well as smoking and being around people who smoke.

Caffeine consumption should be no more than 200mg a day (2 cups of coffee, 4 cups of tea or less)

Remember, when you’re pregnant eating healthy foods becomes top priority for you and your baby. Having a baby is a lot of extra strain on your body. You need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid than ever before. You also need more calories. On the other hand, eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much, but the foods you eat must be the main source of nutrients for your baby. Sensible, balanced meals are best.

You should gain weight gradually during pregnancy, not all at once, and most weight should be gained in the last trimester. The following growth rate is often recommended by doctors:

2 to 4 pounds total weight gain during the first trimester

3 to 4 pounds each month during the second and third trimesters

300 calories a day more during at least the last six months of pregnancy is what most women need compared to their caloric intake before pregnancy. Remember, the quality of calories you take in is more important than the amount. A growing baby needs healthy foods with a lot of nutrients, so avoid junk foods and foods with a lot of sugar, fat and other empty calories.

Nutrition and Pregnancy for a Healthy Baby

Finding out that you’re pregnant is wonderful news. Many women dream of this day and enjoy every minute of being pregnant. With the joys of pregnancy there are certain nutritional requirements for a healthy baby that you need to take into account. Here are a few tips regarding nutrition during pregnancy.

  • Your doctor will tell you that the first thing you need to implement in your daily regime is folic acid and iron as part of your daily vitamin and mineral requirements. You can opt for prenatal vitamins that include a balanced amount of vitamins, folic acid and iron to contribute towards a healthy pregnancy.
  • Eat better, not necessarily more. You don’t need to add a lot
  • 6 more calories during the first trimester if you already have a healthy weight. Towards the second trimester you need to increase your calorie intake by about 340 additional calories and in the third trimester it can be increased to about 450 additional calories. However, if your weight is not average, you will need to adjust the calorie intake accordingly.
  • Avoid certain unsafe foods. Certain foods can be dangerous for the baby so avoid raw seafood, soft cheese, raw meat, and unpasteurised milk. These foods could possibly contain bacteria that can be harmful to the baby.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks. Alcohol may cause physical defects, emotional problems or learning disabilities.
  • Limit your caffeine intake. Keep your coffee drinks to a minimum of 1 cup a day. High amounts of caffeine have been linked to miscarriages, as well as to low weight in babies.
  • Avoid or limit your intake of certain types of fish. Most types of fish contain methylmercury. This is a metal that is deemed to be harmful to the growing brains of babies.
  • Check with your fertility doctor whether you need take any other supplements to complete your nutritional intake during pregnancy. Depending on your body, they may suggest calcium or iron supplements. If you are vegetarian, they will take this into account and suggest the appropriate supplements such as protein.
  • Don’t diet while you’re pregnant. You need to gain the appropriate amount of weight of each month to achieve a healthy pregnancy. You need to eat well and consider wholesome foods. You can treat yourself occasion and enjoy a sweet treat.

Instead of eating bulky meals less often, rather enjoy small meals on a frequent basis. This helps when you are feeling nausea and can’t eat full meals. Establish an eating pattern that fits into your daily routine.

Spirulina and Fertility

A woman is fertile when she is ovulating and for a few days before ovulation when fertile cervical mucus is present.

Ovulation usually occurs mid cycle. More precisely, ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the onset of bleeding.

But there are women who suffered infertility. Infertility is usually defined as the inability to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex.

Both men and women can suffered infertility.

Causes for women:

Problems with ovulation account for most cases of infertility in women. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods.

Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:

* blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy
* physical problems with the uterus
* uterine fibroids

Causes for men:

Infertility in men is most often caused by:

* problems making sperm — producing too few sperm or none at all
* problems with the sperm’s ability to reach the egg and fertilize it — abnormal sperm shape or structure prevent it from moving correctly

How can Spirulina help you?

Superfoods should be a part of every couples fertility diet to help bridge the gap for proper nutrition, nourish the egg and the sperm, and help to balance hormones.

Spirulina is one of the superfoods that will help you.

Spirulina is a tiny aquatic plant has been eaten by humans since prehistoric times and is grown worldwide as a healthy food. Imagine a vegetable with more protein than soy, more Vitamin A than carrots, more iron than beef, profound source of protective phytochemicals, naturally low in fat, source of the essential fatty acid GLA and is easy to digest.

This nutrient dense algae contains a wealth of minerals, antioxidants and protein which feeds your eggs with the nutrients they need and alkalinizes your body.

Spirulina makes it easy to get your greens every day. Microalgae contains chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and steroid building blocks. Spirulina is saltwater blue-green algae. Not only does spirulina increase fertility, but it is rich in many vitamins and minerals to improve your overall health. Spirulina nourishes the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems, regulates metabolism, and repairs tissue. Increased fertility from spirulina is thought to be due to the high protein content, which in turn can increase the quality of your eggs. This is particularly beneficial in those of “advanced maternal age” (as they call it), age 35+.

Top 10 Healthy Foods To Eat While Pregnant

During pregnancy, women often get misled by the false notion of binging for two. Although, its true that you’ll need those extra calories during your pregnancy, you must aim at getting those extra calories with healthier food choices. The best thing about making wise choices of healthy food to eat while pregnant is that most of these foods are really tasty.

Apart from the usual fruit, vegetable, fiber and whole-grain bread recommendation, here’s a list of essential healthy food to eat while pregnant, that ought to make it to your grocery shopping cart.

Top 10 choices of healthy food to eat while pregnant:

1. Fresh or dried plums are filled with powerful antioxidants. These are great for constipation relief, commonly experienced in pregnancy.

2. Beets are rich in folate. It has natural red pigments that possess potent antioxidants. This will help in strengthening your immune system.

3. Pumpkin seeds make a healthy snack since they are rich in magnesium. Taking a high level of magnesium will reduce the risk of fatal death in the early months of pregnancy.

4. Cabbage is loaded with cancer-fighting enzymes. Eat it chopped and raw as a crunchy sandwich or burger topping. You could also add it to your salad.

5. For a quick, handy snack, grab a few natural almonds sprinkled with cinnamon. Almonds are filled with minerals and vitamins that will ensure that your baby receives all of the essential nutrients it requires the most. Just don’t eat too many because they contain a lot of fat.

6. Frozen and fresh blueberries will support a healthier immune system and improved memory.

7. Cinnamon will control your cholesterol levels and blood sugar. Controlling your blood sugar during pregnancy is particularly important. Add it in some hot chocolate or your oatmeal to derive its health benefits.

8. Fresh pumpkin, when cooked into a soup, will offer increased immunity. It is also a rich source of fiber and helps relieve constipation.

9. Sardines are rich sources of omega 3, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium and vitamin B complex.

10. Turmeric is a great spice as it carries anti inflammatory and anti cancer properties.

Your appetite is the best indicator of the quantity of foods you must eat during pregnancy. However, you must choose healthy food to eat while pregnant. The above selection offers you several tasty treats and also provide nutrient rich benefits for you and your baby’s overall health.

Vegetarians

Vegetarian diet must also be filled with protein rich healthy food during pregnancy. Foods that contain protein are essential for your baby’s cellular development and growth. Rice and beans when combined, offer incredibly rich sources of protein. Also, most people don’t know that spinach and broccoli have more protein than red meat.

Meat Eaters

For non-vegetarians, healthy food to eat while pregnant includes protein rich food items such as beef, turkey, tuna, eggs and chicken. These are especially rich in protein per ounce. Just be aware that these foods also have an excessive amount of saturated fat.

Peppermint tea is great especially during the first trimester of your pregnancy, since it calms down the digestive tract and relieves morning sickness as well as heartburn.

It is a good idea to choose healthy food to eat while pregnant not only to help in your baby’s growth but also to ensure that those excess pounds don’t creep in and increase an uncomfortable feeling towards the end of your pregnancy.

5 Nutritional Foods to Eat When Pregnant

Nutrition is always important but it becomes even more important when you are pregnant. A women’s diet needs to provide enough energy and nutrients for herself as well as the baby. This means that pregnant women need a balanced and nutritious diet. Having a balanced diet means consuming the correct amounts of carbohydrates and fats, protein, and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Need some ideas when it comes to a pregnancy diet? Follow our 5 nutritional foods to eat when pregnant guide:

1. Yogurt: This dairy product contains just as much calcium as milk. However, the big positive to this delicious snack is that it is also packed with folic acid. Folic acid is an important vitamin for the development of the baby’s brain. Surprisingly, yogurt is also packed with protein. Not only is this a good way to pack on the calcium and protein but yogurt goes really well with all types of nuts and fruits like mangos, which are also nutritious foods to eat when pregnant.

2. Vegetables such as spinach, carrots, and avocados: Spinach is packed with folic acid, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. It is full of vitamins and tastes good in a number of dishes like vegetable lasagna, salads, and with chicken. So, why not indulge in it? Carrots are filled with vitamin A, which will promote growth in your baby, specifically with their eyes, teeth, and bones. Avocados are a super food. They are also packed with folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium. Vitamin B6 is an important vitamin to consume while pregnant because it helps tissue and brain growth for the baby and because it can reduce the effects of morning sickness.

3. Oatmeal: Oats are full of iron, vitamin B, fiber, and tons of other nutrients. Again, not only are the packed with nutrients but they are great with fruits and nuts, which provide another assortment of vitamins and nutrients.

4. Nonfat Milk: Calcium is essential for the body. However, during pregnancy, the body absorbs almost twice as much of this vital vitamin. Unfortunately, statistics show that the average person is lacking calcium, which means that extra intake is necessary during the 9 months of pregnancy. Each 8-ounce glass of nonfat milk delivers about 30% of the suggested allowance of 1,000 milligrams.

5. Bananas: Bananas are a key pregnancy super food because of the amount of potassium they provide. Potassium gives energy, which makes it easier to cope with pregnancy fatigue. Plus this super food is perfect with many other foods on this list such as oatmeal and yogurt.