Pregnant? Hoping to get pregnant?
Amongst the millions of other things to worry/obsess/fret about are the masses of contradictory information available on-line, in books, parenting classes, from your families, your friends and even total strangers about what you should and shouldn’t eat, what constitutes a healthy diet; this is usually followed by their opinion of what you are currently consuming and why they know best! As if we don’t all have enough to think about!
Without appearing to pass judgement as well I started to look into health and fitness during pregnancy and pre-pregnancy and what the current advice is regarding high protein, low carb (otherwise known as primal or paleo) diets; I think all of us know that the healthier we are pre-pregnancy and the healthier we remain during pregnancy the better the long-term outcome for us and for our children; it’s no surprise therefore to learn that what we eat during pregnancy, whether we increase or restrict our diets can have long-term implications for our children’s metabolisms and their likelihood of developing obesity or obesity related illnesses.
Lets be honest, the time spent in a mother’s womb helps to shape the mental, physical and metabolic parts of your life – so no pressure then!
In the 1980s a British researcher identified that low birth weight was one of the most common factors in determining whether someone would go onto develop heart disease, stroke or insulin resistance later in life. This research has been developed further in recent years with suggestions that the following are significantly affected by maternal health:
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Heart disease and diabetes.
- Breast cancer.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
There is no doubt therefore that the nutrition of the mother both during and even before pregnancy can have a significant impact on the health of her unborn child before birth, at childhood and even in adult life!
So, taking all of that on board what are the top five primal/paleo foods to eat when you are trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy itself? And can you still eat primal once you are pregnant?
Good quality dairy. Like all products from cattle, it has to be grass-fed, there really is nothing that comes close and whilst dairy wouldn’t usually be a part of the primal ethos it does provide essential nutrition during the antenatal months. Dairy products (not low-fat) provide a good source of fats and fat soluble vitamins and provide an excellent source of good bacteria, essential for gut health. However, many people find dairy difficult to tolerate and speaking from personal experience it can cause many problems for babies and young children so whilst it can be eaten during pregnancy from my own experience, I would limit the intake.
Eggs. Rich in protein, eggs have to be a must have product. Scares over the risks of uncooked eggs suggest that they should still avoided during pregnancy as there is a small risk of salmonella but it is almost unheard of for this to pass to the unborn child – the risk is to the mother. However, cooked eggs do represent a fantastic source of vitamins so they should be a part of your diet.
Liver. See, your parents and grandparents were right! Apparently “ounce for ounce, liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet”. An excellent source of absorbable iron, it is also packed with vitamins essential for the health of both mother and child.
Fish. We all know we should eat more fish but make sure it is wild and not farmed; go for organic where possible. Seafood generally provides an excellent source or Omega 3 and fish such as salmon or tuna provide a great source of protein.
Fish Oil / Cod liver oil. How many times have you been told to take cold liver oil? Yep, me too! Fish Oil/Cod Liver Oil was always recommended to young women expecting babies and rightly so. It provides a great source of Vitamin A and D and, to be honest, most of us should be taking it every day anyway!
Read more at Mark’s Daily Apple