3 min|Rhiannon Lockhart
Nutrition for a Healthy PregnancyWellness, Nutrition, Health
One of the best gifts you can give your future child is optimizing your own diet pre-conception and during pregnancy.A healthy pregnancy diet can effect everything - from brain development and mental health, to birth weight and long-term health. If you are trying to conceive, working on your diet now can put you a step ahead should pregnancy nausea get the better of you (and leave you just reaching for crackers or slices of bread). Add to that, by starting a quality pre-natal before you start trying to conceive, check out our dispensary if you're on the hunt!
Five foods to add to your fertility and a healthy pregnancy:
1. LentilsFolate is an essential nutrient for baby's development. If you're taking a prenatal, it's likely that you're already consuming folic acid, but it's also important to consume its food-based alternative.
We know that having a folate-rich diet during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects. It can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues as well as urinary tract infections!
2. Wild-caught, fatty fishSome of the most well known omega-3-rich foods are wild-caught, fatty fish including salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Other plant-based options include a variety of nuts and seeds as well as algae, however it's important to remember that the types of Omega-3 fatty acids available in each differ. Typically the algae, fish, and organic/grass-fed animal protein options are better absorbed by our body.
Omega-3 foods are important for anyone to consume to reduce inflammation. Those who are pregnant should be highly aware of their omega-3 consumptions for proper neurological and physical development of a fetus.
The bonus of fish? It's one of the few natural food-based sources of Vitamin D.
3. EggsWhether you are pregnant, thinking about your fertility or just wanting to boost your own brain health, eggs are a great addition to your diet.
High in choline, vitamin E, iodine, b-vitamins, zinc and selenium, these are a wonderful food to add to help support your baby's brain development. They are also a highly bioavailable protein source.
4. GrainsThis includes foods like organic oats, quinoa and brown rice, which contain b-vitamins that are all essential for your baby's overall development.
Plus, fibre is essential to keep everything moving! Many women complain about constipation, both during and after pregnancy. Ensuring you have adequate fibre intake can ease the pain of constipation and keep you feeling energized!
5. BrothsIf you are struggling with pregnancy nausea, getting anything down might feel like a feat. Bone broths or vegetable broths are a highly nutritious option if you always feel sea sick.
Be sure to stew up a variety of bones and/or vegetables like mushrooms and Kombu (a type of algae) for added nutrients.
Some foods to avoid for a healthy pregnancy:
- Refined sugar: I ask everyone to avoid this - pregnant or not. It can create inflammation in our body and digestive health issues.
- Large fish: Higher mercury fish (like tuna) should generally be avoided
- Ultra-processed foods: Ensure majority of your meals are home-cooked and use little ultra-processed foods like frozen dinners, most conventional granola bars, juices from concentrate.
- Deli meat and soft cheese: can contain listeria.
- Alcohol: Many of us know to remove alcohol from our diets as it's been shown to cause developmental issues in a fetus.
Is pregnancy in your future? Make sure your nutrition is in top shape and book an appointment with our Holistic Nutritionist!
Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!