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Many women are looking for that perfect pregnancy diet. One that will help them feel great plus nourish their growing baby within. And then there are women who don’t have the luxury of thinking about the perfect pregnancy diet as they are in the throws of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a debilitating form of nausea and vomiting.
In this post, we’ll cover some of the key ideas of a beneficial pregnancy diet and determine what’s best for YOU.
Nutrient variety is key with pregnancy diet
When pregnant, it’s vital to eat a wide variety of foods to ensure you get all of the nutrients you need to grow your baby. Think fresh, real foods, organic if possible, and prioritize these nutrients:
- Calcium (dairy, dark leafy greens, okra, and fish bones)
- Choline (chicken eggs, fish eggs and non-GMO sunflower lecithin)
- DHA (wild caught, oily fish)
- Folate (dark leafy greens, asparagus and broccoli)
- Iodine (sea vegetables, cod, shrimp and baked potato with skin)
- Iron (red meat, liver, and blackstrap molasses)
- Potassium (coconut water, bananas, and avocados)
- Magnesium (leafy greens, avocados, and brown rice)
- Vitamin A (cod liver oil, liver, and orange vegetables in the form of beta carotene)
- Vitamin C (green peppers, kiwis, and tomatoes)
- High quality protein (organic meat, nuts, nut butters, brewers yeast, legumes + organic dairy products)
- High quality fat (coconut oil, organic butter, and nuts & seeds)
The above-mentioned nutrients are super important for the development of baby and health of mum. Calcium supports strong bones. Choline is vital for brain development, cell membrane formation and also protects against neural tube defects. Vitamin A and DHA are essential for baby’s brain formation as well as eye, skin and nervous system development. Iron builds your placenta and supports oxygenating blood for your growing baby. Potassium can help keep mum’s blood pressure in healthy range. Magnesium will help with mom’s sleep quality and ward of restless leg syndrome, body pain and muscle cramping. Folate is king for healthy babies and helps to prevent brain and spinal cord defects. (You will, however, need to supplement with a prenatal vitamin to ensure you are getting adequate folate levels.)
One of the best ways to get a good cross-spectrum of nutrients is to “eat the rainbow”. From a plant perspective, the pigment usually comes from the different phytonutrients it contains. You can also include animal foods because by rotating colors, you’ll be sure to get flood your body with a wide variety of nutrients, some of which science hasn’t even uncovered.
Try to get one food serving from each color group per day. Of course, organic, wild, and farm-fresh choices are best.
How To Tell If Your Diet Is Working For You
It’s important to look out for any changes in digestive symptoms which might arise when pregnant and adjust what you are eating in accordance.
Are you getting constipated? Look at how much ‘bulky’ food you are eating and add more fruit, vegetables and simple meals like soup to your diet, while cutting out white bread and refined, processed foods.
Are you getting reflux? Sometimes this is a common by-product of late-pregnancy as the growing baby shrinks stomach space, but look at the food and drink you are consuming also. Are you having acidic drinks or too-rich foods like curries with spices that don’t agree with you right now?
Is your abdomen cold? This can be a clear sign your digestive energy and “fire” is not strong and you need to boost digestive health with herbs or acupuncture.
Are you getting tired after eating? Again, this could be a sign your digestive fire is weak, or maybe you are eating too cold foods, as your digestive energy works best when eating mostly warm foods.
Are you deeply tired all the time? It might be very crucial to check iron levels and supplement with a good quality blood tonic like Femax. Likewise, you could need adrenal support, in which different supplements like Iodine spray could help.