Saturday, March 28, 2015

7 SuperFoods for Pregnancy

The following is a guest presenter for the WARM Midwives Blog.

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7 SuperFoods for Pregnancy

By Katherine Leonard, MS, NC

These foods are powerhouses for your body during pregnancy.  Supporting the growth and development of a child is no small feat!  And your body will need to be nourished with high-quality organic foods in order to prepare your body for the new life it supports.    

Eggs and Egg Yolks – Egg whites are a complete protein source and egg yolks are rich in nutrients necessary for the healthy growth and development of a baby.  Yolks are high in choline, which is critical for the development of the brain, neurons, and the synapses where two neurons can communicate. Four yolks and at least one egg white each day will provide about 500mg of choline, a modest recommendation for daily choline intake. Yolks are also rich in cholesterol, a crucial nutrient for the healthy development of a baby’s brain, nervous system, intestinal tract, and hormones.  

Butter – From grass-fed cows, butter is a rich source of cholesterol and vitamins A, E, D, K.  Fat-soluble vitamins and cholesterol are essential for the development of healthy organs, especially a brain.  Butter is also rich in minerals such as selenium, copper, chromium, and zinc which are important in many different metabolic processes.  And perhaps most importantly, butter provides arachidonic acid, fatty acid that is essential for skin, intestinal integrity and brain function.  This fatty acid also supports the nervous system and immune response.  It is essential to fertility and blood clotting.  

Cod Liver Oil – Cod liver oil is rich in several valuable nutrients such as vitamin A that support healthy gene expression, strong bones, healthy skin and lungs, good eyesight, mineral metabolism, hormone production, mental stability, and protection against environmental chemicals and estrogenic substances in pesticides and plastics.

Raw Cheese – From grass-fed cows! Raw dairy products are much more wholesome and easy to digest compared to pasteurized and homogenized dairy. Raw dairy has been shown to build strong bones and teeth, strengthen the immune system, and protect against allergies and asthma.  

Bone Broth – Homemade bone broth is rich in gelatin, amino acids, and fatty acids that will contribute to stronger bones, tendons, connective tissue, and your digestive tract.  High in an amino acid called glycine, bone broth provides nutrients needed for the synthesis of the placenta and it helps you and your baby deal with stressors.  Bone broth is a warming, comforting, and hydrating beverage that you can drink on it’s own with Himalayan sea salt, or use it as a base in butternut or other squash soup.    

Leafy Green Vegetables – Dark green vegetables are a fantastic source of folate and calcium.  They should be cooked and served with butter or coconut oil in order to enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.  

Fermented Foods – Lacto-fermented foods are rich in enzymes, lactic acid, and good bacteria.  They are a digestive powerhouse that not only helps you digest your food, but boost your immunity, remove toxic compounds from your body, and produce vitamins and short-chain fatty acids that nourish your gut and your brain.  Don’t you want that for your baby too?

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