Being Pregnant is a wonderful and not easy time for a woman. Growing a human being is energy consuming and hard work. It’s easy when pregnant to use the old excuse ‘im eating for two’ lol and stuff our faces with whatever we can lay our hands on, when really this is a time when nutrition is crucial. With your baby developing and taking all his or her mother’s nutrients it is so important to make sure that we stuff our faces with good, healthy, nutritious food instead of junk.
This is by no means a diet.. People can think by eating healthy that you are dieting. Well no no no sister. This is a lifestyle not a diet! Count nutrients, not calories!
Ok, so my recommendations for you lovely ladies with a bun in the oven..
- Juicies/Smoothies – A quick and easy way to get nutrients to the cells. It gives your digestive system a break as the food is already liquid. Also with smoothies the fibre content will help the common problem of constipation when pregnant.
- Eat your greens – Green vegetables are full of phytonutrients, help blood sugar levels, alkalise you, are loaded with Folate (the natural version of Folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic form of Folate. Critical for fetal development and nerve tissue health), Fibre, Chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, they improve circulation. And basically greens are just the way forward.
- Seaweed – Your baby swims in salty water which is like sea water inside of you. Sea vegetables are super high in essential vitamins and minerals that will benefit your baby. In particular brain and vision development. It is Iodine rich too. Dulse is great to add to salads. Make sushi with Nori. And you can buy Kelp powder too which is good to sprinkle over soups and salads.
- Eat Iron rich foods – When pregnant you have a whole load more blood in your body because of the baby. This is why a lot of women suffer with iron levels when pregnant. Foods high in iron are.. Spinach, Broccoli, Kale, Pumpkin seeds, Goji berries, Avocado, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds, Chickpeas, Lentils, Quinoa, Brussel sprouts, Seaweed, Parsley.
- Superfoods – ie Maca Powder.. Maca is rich in Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C and B vitamins. Is great for balancing hormones and can eliminate constipation because of the fibre content. It is also great for an energy boost. Cacao – Full of Magnesium, iron. Calcium, potassium and zinc.. Plus its chocolate and who doesn’t love chocolate? It is raw unprocessed chocolate. There is a big difference between Cacao and Cocoa.. Spirulina, iron rich, high B-12 content, calcium, full of protein too. Spirulina is absolutely perfect for during pregnancy.
- Eat healthy fats – Avocado, Olives, Nuts, Seeds, Flaxseeds, Coconut oil. We need healthy fats in our diet for various reasons one of which is to help us absorb certain nutrients but when pregnant monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are essential for your babies growth. They play an important role in the development of the brain, eyes and nervous system.
- Eat Wholegrains – Brown rice, Quinoa, Millet, Spelt, Buckwheat.. These are all GOOD Carbohydrates which will give you energy. Add these too salads, curries and stir-fries.
- Raw vegetables – Enzymes are destroyed when you cook foods so eating a percentage of your vegetables raw will give you and your baby lots of essential enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
- Stay Hydrated – Water is essential to keep us healthy and to keep our body and vital organs functioning properly. When pregnant our bodies go through lots of changes so drinking water helps to keep up with these demands. It will also help to keep your body cool and ease constipation.
So I’ve covered which foods I think are essential but nutrition comes from lifestyle not just food. Remember to look after yourself throughout pregnancy. Stress is not good for the baby.
Other tips for pregnancy..
- Sleep – Your body is working hard keeping up with demands from lot’s of changes and development.. Be well rested.
- Meditate – Clear your mind and de-stress.. Remember to practice your breathing techniques. This will come in useful for labour.
- Fresh air, connect with nature – This will also help to de-stress you and has calming effects. If ever I’m feeling stressed I go for a walk in the park.
- Walking – Keeping active but not too strenuous. There are numerous benefits to maintaining a level of fitness during pregnancy. Walking helps keep you energised because the blood flow is increased which delivers more oxygen throughout the body.
There you have my top tips. Happy pregnancy 🙂
Photo credit.. ariconference.com