Part One of this series discussed how gestation is the most important nine months of your baby’s life, as they inform the intelligence, physical health, and even the appearance of your child. All the necessary nutrients for a healthy new-born are sourced from their mother’s diet, which is why nutrition during pregnancy is crucial. Part Two of this series will explore what foods to source these specific nutrients from.
To understand the purpose of each vitamin mentioned in this article, please refer back to Part One.
Foods Important for a Healthy Pregnancy
Eggs are a great place to start. A minimum of two eggs a day will provide good amounts of vitamin A, D, K, and E, and minerals; folate, biotin, iron, zinc, and selenium. I consider eggs to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods, especially organic eggs produced by hens allowed to roam the pasture as this will ensure they received ample doses of vitamin D from the sun.
Grass-fed butter is a girl’s best friend when it comes to pregnancy. It contains vitamins A, D, K, E and minerals selenium, zinc, chromium and copper, as well as good amounts of quality cholesterol. People often ask, why grass-fed butter? The reason behind consuming grass-fed butter over usual butter is because animals that are fed grass instead of grains receive a plethora of nutrients that grains can not provide.
Liver is a food I write here with caution. Not because pregnant women should be concerned about consuming liver, but because many of you are going to be turned away by the thought of sitting down to a plate full of fried livers. However, liver is one of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods alongside eggs. It has an overabundance of various nutrients, too many to name here, but one I will mention is Vitamin K2 (see Part One).
Fermented Cod Liver Oil is a very old-fashioned supplement that is a wonderful concoction of both vitamins A and D, which work in unison to support healthy fetal development.
Cold water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are an excellent source of DHA (omega-3 fatty acids). If you’re not taking a fermented cod liver oil supplement, 2 – 3 portions of oily fish per week should be enough to provide ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Meat is a wonderful source of protein, iron, and zinc, which support optimal body, blood, and brain development in a newborn. Lamb, beef, pork, and poultry are all great sources, but it is important to eat the fat with the meat, as the fat contains ample nutrients and assists with the digestion of meat.
Vegetables and Fruits are of course a no-brainer when it comes to pregnancy. They are good sources of vitamin C, folate, and other minerals. They are also a great way to get more quality fats into your diet, for example, steaming kale or broccoli and then melting butter or coconut oil on top offers valuable nutrients for pregnant women.
Making these foods the bulk of your diet during pregnancy will increase the likelihood of developing a healthy, robust, infrequently ill, emotionally balanced, intelligent, and attractive baby.
The most common response I get from this list of foods is; what if I am vegan or vegetarian? Although I understand the ethical principles underpinning these dietary choices, I do not advise avoiding meat and quality dairy (butter) during pregnancy. All I can suggest is that you try to source these foods from a local and ethically-sound farm, or perhaps do some research into sustainable fishing companies in your area? Either way, I implore you to enjoy a nourishing diet including these foods during your pregnancy.
I advise women on how to meet their baby’s and their own nutritional requirements during pregnancy, how to manage morning sickness and weight gain, and how to best prepare their bodies to develop a healthy baby. Please get in touch if you would like some guidance.
Feed, nourish, value yourself.