22 November 2017

What to Eat (and not eat...) while Pregnant

What to Eat (and not eat...) while Pregnant

It’s not just an urban myth that you are impossibly hungry when expecting. And since you’re growing another little human being, doesn’t hurt to fill yourself up with the healthiest food! Here are some superfoods to load up on that meet the recommended servings of produce each day.

Bon Appétit, healthy mamas!


We love this natural heart healthy nut! A quarter cup (or 2 tablespoonful of almond butter on toast) is a nutritious source of protein, iron, Vitamin E and unsaturated fats. In particular, Vitamin E is great for your baby’s brain development. We love them in salads for an additional crunch or simply as a snack on its own.

2. Banana

The world’s most portable snack also contains about 10 percent of your daily needs for potassium, a mineral that can help you avoid pregnancy-related hypertension. We also love it because it goes well with every meal! Breakfast, Lunch, Snack and even dessert! Can’t say no to a banana split cos it’s a superfood!


3. Eggs


Especially zoom in on the yummy yolks! Easy way for you to load up on protein, more than a dozen of great vitamins, minerals and choline. Egg yolk also contact fat-soluble vitamin D, which can reduce your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and low birth weight. Loads of easy egg recipes out there to help squeeze in a little eggy goodness in your everyday life.


4. Berries


Who doesn’t love a bowl of berries! What if we told you that it contains beneficial phytochemicals which acts as antioxidants that rid the body of cell-damaging free radicals as well? A yummy addition to your daily smoothie, lunch box or fruit parfait! Vary your selection to include whatever is in season – blackberries, blueberries, cherries and raspberries are the main culprits!


5. Eat your Greens!


Broccoli or dark leaf greens like kale and spinach provides your daily share of vitamins A and C leafy green boasts two vital pregnancy nutrients: folic acid, for helping to prevent birth defects, and calcium, for building Baby’s bones. Kale also contains potassium, which can help reduce water retention, a perk you’ll appreciate, as you get closer to full term. Broccoli florets also contain a higher concentration of nutrients and phytochemicals than the rest of the plant, though the stems and leaves are also nutritious.


6. Lean Beef

With just one 85g serving, you’re scoring nearly half of your daily requirement for zinc, a mineral that, if obtained in adequate amounts, can help reduce the risk of pregnancy complications, preterm delivery, and neonatal infection. Eye of round, top round, round tip, bottom round, top loin and tenderloin are among the leanest cuts available. But feel free to ask your butcher for fresh cut suggestions.


7. Quinoa

For the mamas going meatless, get your veggie protein fix here! Quinoa is a complete source of protein that is high in fibre and easy way to introduce into your daily diet. Cook up a batch of quinoa each day to throw into your salads for texture or as a rice / starch replacement. The aim is to get 71 grams of protein each day and each cup of quinoa delivers 8 grams


8. Red Bell Peppers

Did you know that one red bell pepper delivers nearly three times as much vitamin C as an orange! Now why isn’t red bell pepper as common as orange juice!? Vitamin C is famous for keeping the immune system tip top shape, a benefit that’s particularly helpful in pregnancy as your immunity is at its lowest. Vitamin C’s antioxidant powers may also promote fetal brain development and help your body absorb much-needed iron. We love adding red bell pepper to an Asian stir-fry, salad for a bit of zing or sneak that sprinkle of bell pepper onto a yummy pizza and call it a complete meal!


9. Salmon

Already a superfood on regular day, this superfood contains DHA, the powerful omega-3 fatty acid and protein. Getting the recommended 300 milligrams a day may help protect you from preterm labor, preeclampsia, and postpartum depression, and it helps developing Baby’s brain, central nervous system, and eyes. Salmon is also low in mercury and considered safe for expectant moms.


10. Yogurt

There is a lot of talk about calcium and a frequent health supplement in prenatal supplements. When the baby doesn’t get enough calcium to grow, they will draw it from your bones, which in turn impacts, on your health and recovery in future. Yogurt, often fortified with probiotics, good gut bacteria will reduce your baby’s risk for developing eczema or other allegies in life. Plain yogurt also provides more calcium than milk and can be worked into smoothies, as a refreshing salad dressing or on its own as a convenient snack.


Some food to avoid (and a few surprising exceptions!) :


1. Soft unpasteurized cheeses (and milk) – Mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert, chevre and others with similar type rind, blue-veined cheese such are gorgonzola should be avoided to avoid infection by listeria. Though rare, even a mild form of listeria can cause serious harm to your fetus.


2. Certain type of fish – Avoid consuming fish with levels of mercury such as shark, swordfish, tuna, mackerel frequently. According to Food Standards Australia, you should choose to have it no more than once a fortnight. As for the common raw and seared seafood, typically avoid them as they can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that will cause food poisoning. But if you have a major craving, make sure you spoil yourself with some top grade sashimi (yum!!! chirashi-don!!) from a reputable source!


3. Caffeine – High levels of caffeine can potentially increase the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and cause a more difficult birth. They come in the form of coffee, tea, chocolate and some flu medicine. However, you’re allowed to consume up to 300mg a day so ration yourself and give yourself a good cuppa jo (or a block of yummy chocolate) when you need it!