Quick nutrition guidelines to keep healthy while pregnant
Written by Dr Tammy Hume, a Body & Mind Transformation Coach, Chiropractor, Holistic Nutritionist and former Personal Trainer as well as a Mum, Business Owner and Wife.
It‘s easy to feel a tad overwhelmed or lost when we‘re bombarded with all the should's and shouldn‘t's of pregnancy. Trying to work out what‘s best for you and your baby while coping with the haze of hormones, morning sickness and fatigue - it can all just seem too hard.
It‘s my belief that a baby can only be as healthy as the mother (and father). The great news is that a conscious period of pre-conception care, alongside a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and beyond, provides an incredible opportunity to positively influence the future health of your child.
The developing egg takes around 100 days to mature, so thinking four months ahead is a good guideline for pre-conceptive care. And guys, you‘re not off the hook - full maturation of a single sperm takes around 80 days!
So here are some quick nutrition guidelines for a healthy pregnancy:
Make real natural, whole and unprocessed food the basis of your diet.
If it runs, swims, flies, grows on a tree or a bush then it‘s a pretty good bet that it‘s going to be good for you and your baby.
Fats are essential
Far from being the root of all evil, you need fats for brain, nervous system and hormonal health. Fats are also an essential part of the cell membrane of every single cell in your body, plus they help you to absorb and utilise nutrients and fat-soluble vitamins from your food. Above all, fat just makes food taste good so don't be scared to incorporate it into your meals. Good quality fats from real food sources include things like avocado, butter, coconut, olive oil, salmon, animals fed their natural diet and nuts and seeds.
Protein from natural sources is paramount
Protein forms the structure of both your body and that of your developing baby as well.
Eat your veggies
The more colour the better. Essential nutrients and micronutrients are found in a wide range of vegetables and fruit.
Don‘t be scared of carbohydrates.
The best and most nutritious carbohydrates can be found in fruits and vegetables as well as non-gluten containing grains and legumes if you tolerate them.
Some of the least expensive ‘real foods‘ are nutritional powerhouses.
Liver and kidney are a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals. Just 50 g of liver provides you with around 50% of your vitamin and mineral RDA‘s.
Let your body be your guide
If you are ‘craving‘ something then there is probably a reason for it. Attempt to give yourself the most nutritious version of the food possible, but don‘t stress out over the little things.
Supplements can play a vital role in ensuring you fulfill your nutritional requirements, especially if you find yourself practically living in the bathroom during those early stages thanks to morning sickness:
- Focus on the essentials - a high quality fish oil (or cod liver oil), vitamin D, probiotics and a good quality greens powder.
- Folate is often recommended during pregnancy. It‘s important to take a folate that can be utilised and absorbed by your body. Nuzest's Good Green Vitality ticked all the boxes for me.
- Iodine is also another supplement commonly recommended during pregnancy. Seaweed is a fantastic source of iodine. My favourite meal when I was pregnant was mashed eggs with homemade mayo with dried seaweed or seaweed salt. Essential fats, proteins and nutrients all in one hit!
- Any additional supplements are likely to need to be tailored to your particular circumstances.
The information provided in this article is intended for educational purposes only and is general advice. It should not, nor is it intended to be, relied on as a substitute for individual medical advice or care. If the contents of this, or any other of the blogs in this series raises any concerns or questions regarding your health, please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.