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Top Foods to Eat When

Youre Pregnant

CDWellness

Mercola.com

There is rarely a more nutritionally demanding time during a womans life than pregnancy (and later
breastfeeding), when your intake of nutrients from food and supplements are needed not only to
keep your body running but also to nourish and support your rapidly growing baby.
Proper nutrition is crucial at all stages of fetal development (and even before conception), and if
mum doesnt eat right, her baby wont either.
If youre wondering about specific goods, see below for some of the top super foods to eat when
youre pregnant.
1) Vitamin D
Vitamin D isnt a food but rather is made by your body in response to sunlight exposure. Its so
important, however that it deserves to be number one on the list.
Raising Vitamin D levels among pregnant women is a of particular concern, as deficiency affects not
only the mother, increasing her risk of complications during pregnancy or delivery, but also has
short-term ramifications for her childs health.
Research confirms there is a lifelong impact of a vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy ranging from
childhood allergies to asthma, colds and flu, dental cavities, diabetes, and even strokes and
cardiovascular disease in later life of the child.
Further each year more than half a million preemies are born, and its the number one killer of newborns. Its also the second
leading cause of death among children under the age of five. Research shows that vitamin D could likely prevent half of all these
premature births.
It can also cut your risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and prenatal infections by approximately 50%. Among AfricanAmerican and Hispanic populations, approximately 70-75% of all percent of all preterm births could be prevented with vitamin D
optimization.
Vitamin D screening is key.

2) Organic Free-Range Eggs


Eggs are a phenomenal source of protein, fat and other nutrients,
including choline and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. In
pregnant women, choline plays an important role helping to prevent
certain birth defects, such as spina bifida and playing a role in brain
development.
Prior research has concluded that choline intake during pregnancy
super-charged the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating that
it may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory and
even diminish age-related memory decline and the brains
vulnerability to toxins during childhood, as well as conferring
protection later in life.
Consumption of higher levels of choline during pregnancy (about
double the recommended pregnancy intake) is linked to beneficial
epigenetic changes in the foetus, including protection from stressrelated and metabolic disorders, that likely last into adulthood.

Page 2

Top Foods to Eat When Youre Pregnant

3) Wild-caught Alaskan or Sockeye Salmon,


Sardines
Fish has always been the best source for the animal-based
omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, but as levels of pollution have
increased you have to be very choosy about which types of
seafood you decided to eatespecially when youre pregnant.
If youre not careful, the toxic effects from the pollutants in the
fish will outweigh the benefits of the omega-3 fats. Among the
safest in terms of contamination, and the highest in healthy
omega-3fat, is wild-caught Alaskan and Sockeye salmon.

Canned Salmon labelled Alaskan Salmon is also a reasonable


choice and offers a less expensive alternative to salmon fillets.
A general guideline is that the closer to the bottom of the food
chain the fish is, the less contamination it will have
accumulated, so other safer choices include smaller fish like
sardines, anchovies and herring.
Sardines in particular, are one of the most concentrated
sources of omega-3 fats.
They also contain a wealth of other nutrients, from vitamin
B12 and selenium to protein, calcium and choline, making them
one of the best dietary sources of animal-based omega-3s. You
can also supplement your diet with animal based omega-3s by
taking a krill oil supplement.

4) Full-Fat Grass-Fed Dairy


Whole dairy products made from grass-fed raw milk are a rich
source of healthy fats, protein, calcium, B vitamins, magnesium,
zinc, phosphorus, and more. Grass-fed raw butter, milk and
cheese from high-quality sources are all beneficial.
Raw organic milk from grass-fed cows not only contains
beneficial bacteria that prime your
immune system and can help reduce
allergies, its also an outstanding
source of vitamins (especially
vitamin A), zinc, enzymes, and
healthy fats. Your absolute best bet
when it comes to yoghurt is to
make your own using a starter
culture and raw grass-fed milk,
which you combine and leave at
room temperature overnight.
By the time you wake up in the
morning, you will likely have kefir
(fermented milk). If it hasnt
obtained the consistency of yoghurt,
you might want to set it out a bit
longer and then store it in the
fridge. If you want to sweeten up
your homemade yoghurt naturally,
try adding in some whole berries or
dried (unsweetened) coconut.

7) Grass-fed Beef and


Pasture-Raised Chicken

5) Sweet
Potatoes

6) Broccoli and
Leafy Greens

Orange-coloured
sweet potatoes
owe their
appearance to the
carotenoid betacarotene. As an
antioxidant, beta-carotene can help ward off free radicals that
damage cells through oxidation, which can speed up aging and
make you vulnerable against chronic diseases.
This antioxidant can help support your immune system, as
well as lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Its also
very important during pregnancy, as its converted into vitamin
A in your body.
Vitamin A is essential for foetal development, but high levels of
animal-based vitamin A may cause toxicity, making betacarotene an ideal alternative. Sweet potatoes are also an
excellent source of fibre, which can help support healthy
blood sugar levels and improve digestion.

Broccoli and dark green


leafy vegetables like
spinach and kale are
loaded with important
nutrients for pregnant
women, including folate,
fibre, potassium, calcium,
iron and vitamins C, K
and A.
Their rich antioxidant
content will also support
your immune system
health and digestion,
while their fibre can help
prevent constipation,
which is a common
problem in pregnant
women.

Grass-fed beef is an excellent


source of protein and other
nutrients in high demand during
pregnancy, like iron choline, and B
vitamins.
Chicken is an excellent source of
protein, B vitamins, selenium,
phosphorus and choline. It provides
all B vitamins along with a
surprisingly varied number of
additional nutrients.

Mercola.com

Page 3

8) Berries

9) Avocados

10) Chia Seeds

Berries contain concentrated


amounts of the disease-fighting
phytochemicals found to boost your
immunity, prevent cancer, protect
your heart and prevent seasonal
allergies.
Berries are lower in sugar than many
fruits., so they are less likely to
destabilize your insulin levels.
Berries also contain high amounts of
vitamin C, which will help your body
absorb iron, and a good amount of

Avocados provide close to 20 essential


health-boosting nutrients, including
potassium, vitamin E, K B vitamins and folate.
Theyre also one of the few foods that
contain significant levels of both vitamins C
and E and are an excellent source of healthy
monounsaturated fat.
Avocados are even high in fibre, with about
4.6 grams in half an avocado. Fibre plays an
essential role in your digestive, heart and skin
health, and may improve blood sugar control,
and more, so when you eat avocados youre
really providing your bodyand your baby
with a comprehensive package of nutrition.

Chia seeds are a quick and easy-to-use


source of protein, healthy fats, dietary
fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants,
all rolled into one neat package. Although
they have similar health benefits to flax
seeds, chia seeds may soon edge these out
because they dont have to be ground
prior to consumption, and they dont go
rancid as quickly either. Their high
concentration of the plant-based omega-3
fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one of their
major claims to fame. Chia seeds contain
up to 40 percent oil, with 60 percent
comprised of plant-based omega-3.

New benefits revealed for a High-Fibre Diet


during pregnancy
A fibre-rich diet is recommended for most adults, but ramping
up your fibre intake may be especially beneficial during
pregnancy. Researchers from the Department of Immunology
at Monash University in Australia revealed that a high-fibre diet
may beneficially alter a womans gut bacteria during pregnancy,
producing anti-inflammatory substances that suppress asthmarelated genes in her baby. Mounting research also suggests
that a high fibre diet can help reduce your risk of premature
death from any cause, likely because it helps to reduce your
risk of a number of chronic diseases.
This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Studies have also linked a high-fibre diet to beneficial
reductions in blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity, and
reduced inflammationall of which can benefit your baby. The
best way to increase your fibre intake during pregnancy is to
focus on eating more vegetables, nuts and seeds. The following
whole foods, for example, contain high levels of both soluble
and insoluble fibre.

Psyllium seed
husk, flax hemp
and chia seeds

Berries

Vegetables
such as
broccoli and
Brussels
sprouts

Root
vegetables and
tubers,
including
onions, sweet
potatoes and
jicama

Almonds

Peas

Green beans

Cauliflower

Beans

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy, linked to childrens obesity


Healthy weight gain is important and expected during pregnancy, but women who are overweight
before pregnancy and those who gain too much weight while pregnant, may be putting their babies
at risk of childhood obesity. Researchers followed more than 700 women who returned for follow
up with their children were 7 years old. Children of mothers who had been overweight prior to
pregnancy were more likely to be overweight.
Women with greater weight gain during pregnancy were also more likely to have children with a
higher percentage of body fat, and those with excessive weight gain were nearly three times more
likely to have obese children than those who did not gain weight excessively during pregnancy. The
Institute of Medicine recommends women of average weight gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy
while overweight women should gain 15-25 pounds and obese women gain just 11-20 pounds.

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More risks revealed for Lack of


Vitamin D during Pregnancy
From my perspective, it is simply reprehensible malpractice for a health care professional to fail to address
your Vitamin D level if youre pregnantits just that important. For pregnant women, optimizing your
vitamin D is even more important for your childs health and development than folate, which is routinely
recommended for pregnant women.
Recent research shed even more light on whats at stake if your vitamin D levels are low during pregnancy.
One study revealed that women with low levels of vitamins D and E in early pregnancy are associated with
an increased risk of asthma in her child within the first 10 years of life.
Separate research found newborns of mothers whose diets were deficient in
vitamins D and E had airway cells that reacted more to irritants and allergens. This
may, in turn, impact the development of asthma or allergies later in life. Separate
research also added to past data linking low vitamin D levels during pregnancy with
premature birth.
Women with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 1.5 times more likely to deliver
early than those with the highest levels, perhaps because vitamin D helps reduce
bacterial infection in the placenta, which may trigger early delivery.