Why is it so important to eat well when pregnant?
Why is it so important to eat well when pregnant? Can it directly affect the health of your baby?
When pregnant, your diet supplies the building blocks to virtually help 'build' a new human being. Without a good diet, the body will spare what it can at the detriment of the mother's health, as procreation and the survival of the species becomes priority.
A sugar-based diet or eating ultra-processed and ready-made foods will supply your body and that of the foetus with many problematic foods (e.g., trans fat) and a tsunami of chemicals, some of which may be very toxic (e.g., food additives, preservatives, colouring, and many more) and are often categorised as potential carcinogens in humans, including those non-intentionally added substances (e.g., phthalates, BPA, acrylamides, nitrosamines and more)1,2 to the development of the baby, particularly for the development of the nervous system, including the brain.
Should you "eat for two" or is it a myth?
Being pregnant doesn't mean you should eat for two. Yes, you should adjust your calorie intake, but no to eat two (or more) cupcakes on the basis that you are pregnant. Concentrate on eating twice as much as vegetables, like green leafy vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods, foods that are lower in calories and sugar but rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. Think broccoli, cabbages, greens, kale, seaweed, sweet potatoes and wild blueberries. Also, think good fats and high-quality proteins from animal (e.g., wild fatty fish and organic butter and ghee) and from plants (e.g., avocado, linseed/flax seeds, hempseed and sesame seeds).
Why are carbs so important when you are pregnant?
Choosing the right kind of carbs is of the utmost importance. A sugar-based diet is already recognised as a pro-inflammatory diet and is shown to affect foetal development.(3) Whole grains and derivatives, processed as little as possible (and with minimum sugar), as well as some fruits and vegetables, comes with a wide array of nutrients, including fibre, which is essential to preserve healthy gut milieus in the mother and in the baby.
Why are the following foods so good for you when you are pregnant:
Which foods are safe during pregnancy?
All the recommended foods listed above.
Which foods are not safe?
Avoid ultra-processed and refined foodstuff that are made with poorly-nutritious ingredients. Avoid mass-produced non-organic meat and fish products, and the vegetables that belong to the 'EWG dirty dozen' like kale and spinach and strawberries.
Make sure to thoroughly wash all your fruits and vegetables using a bicarbonate bath (1 teaspoon of sodium carbonate to 1 litre of water. Soak fruits and vegetables for 20 minutes. Rinse and pat dry if necessary).
Please could you give advice on which foods suit which trimesters of pregnancy and how you should eat during these trimesters?
Increase your calorie intake in the first trimestre. Remember that your body is building a human being from scratch. Monitor your sugar intake closely and consume thyroid-friendly foods like small fatty fish and seaweed (rich in iodine). The demand for iodine is increased during pregnancy.
The last trimester is dedicated to brain development so consuming more brain foods is essential. Think small fatty fish listed above, walnuts, ground linseed/flaxseed and avocado.
Registered Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Iridologist, Lecturer, NLP practitioner and Personal Performance Coach.
The perfect combination to give you all the tools you need to become the better version of YOU.
The YOU you have always dreamed to be.