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What Not to Eat When You Are Pregnant

You are pregnant – the minute you hear those words all kinds of thoughts start running through your mind, and one of the main ones is what to eat and what not to eat when you are pregnant. After all, you want to make sure your baby is healthy and that you remain healthy.

It is important that you avoid foods that high in mercury. Fish are high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, but mercury is a very real concern, especially for your fetus. Too much mercury has the potential to damage the nervous system of your baby. The FDA and EPA recommend avoiding shark, swordfish, King mackerel, and tilefish.

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The FDA and EPA say that 8 – 12 ounces of any of the following seafood are fine for pregnant women to eat. This includes shrimp, crab, tuna, salmon, catfish, tilapia, Pollock and cod. Different doctors have their own idea of what is safe, so talk to your doctor before eating seafood during your pregnancy.

A pregnant woman should always avoid under cooked meat, eggs and poultry. When you are pregnant, you are at risk of bacterial food poisoning. To prevent foodborne illness makes sure the meat you eat if completely cooked. Use a meat thermometer to ensure it is cooked. You should always cook hot dogs and processed meats until they are steaming hot to avoid illnesses such as listeriosis. It’s even better if you avoid completely.

Do not buy raw poultry that is already stuffed as this can cause bacteria to grow. If you choose to buy these types of products make, sure they are thoroughly cooked.

Pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized milk, Brie, feta, blue cheese, camembert, or Mexican cheese as all of these can lead to foodborne illness. Eggs should be pasteurized and not fresh as there is also a risk of bacteria.

When you are not pregnant, the majority of these foods do not pose a risk. However, to your unborn baby a bacterial infection or food poisoning can be life threatening. As a result, the FDA, EPA, and most doctors recommend that you avoid any food that is considered high risk. It is a good idea to speak with your doctor, whom you trust, about what is right for you. Eating a healthy diet is important to your health during your pregnancy, and to your baby’s health.

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Pregnancy Nutrition Tips You Should Know

We already know just how important it is for us to be well nourished throughout our pregnancy. These nutritional tips are easy to implement and are highly beneficial so why not implement them today?

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Just One Apple a Day Will Keep Asthma Away

‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Who hasn’t heard this before? But what many are unaware of is that the research shows that eating just one apple a day throughout your pregnancy will actually reduce your child’s risk of developing asthma when he/she is older. One of the studies learned that when mothers ate apples regularly throughout their pregnancy these children had far less wheezing and other asthmatic symptoms.

Eat a Banana to Reduce Swelling

Edema is common with pregnancy. However, the potassium that is in bananas can actually help to reduce your swollen feet and legs. So why not go ape and start eating plenty of bananas.

If You Want a Happy Baby Eat Chocolate

In 2004, Finland scientists found that eating just a small amount of chocolate regularly throughout your pregnancy led to having a happier baby. The study questioned 300 women who ate chocolate throughout their pregnancy and they reported happier babies than their counterparts. However, this doesn’t give you an excuse to eat chocolate excessively. Remember just a tiny bit daily will satisfy your chocolate cravings and keep your baby happy. It’s a win-win.

Skimmed Milk Equals Whole Milk

If you have always drank skimmed milk and the thought of drinking the fatter, richer whole milk doesn’t sit well with you, there is some great news – Skim milk has as much calcium as whole milk it just doesn’t have the same fat content. So you can drink with the worry of calories and enjoy all of the benefits.

Coal and Mud Cravings Mean More Iron is Needed

If you have strange cravings to eat coal or mud, it means your likely need more iron. Visit your OB or midwife to be tested for anemia. You can increase your consumption of foods that contain iron or if you’re really depleted you may be given an iron supplement.

Woman who are pregnant commonly stress and worry about whether they are eating right. A healthy diet is a great start. These simple tips are a great way to add to your nutrition and they will benefit both you and your baby.

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Pregnancy Nutrition During Your Third Trimester

If you are moving into the final stretch of your pregnancy, the third trimester, for many women this feels like the longest phase of the pregnancy. After all, this is a stage that is increasingly awkward, there’s plenty of growth, it’s a busy time, you are preparing your birth plan, and there can be physical symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, and constipation that increase.

Nutrient needs are at the highest demand, as your baby triples its weight and size. Protein is needed for growth, iron for blood and cells, and the brain requires optimal nutrition to complete the developmental stage.

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Zinc and magnesium are key during the third trimester. Increasing your zinc positively affects the cell division and DNA production. Most women are deficient in zinc even before they become pregnant. The RDA is 3 mg of Zinc daily for a pregnant woman. Good sources of Zinc include meat and oysters have the highest amount of Zinc of all foods. Zinc can also be found in plants and grains.

Magnesium is also very important, not only to the development of healthy bones and muscles, but also to the development of over 300 bodily enzymes that need Magnesium in order to function properly. While we many not normally need that much Magnesium the RDA for a pregnant woman is 320 mg. In studies, high levels of magnesium are linked to preventing premature birth and a lower risk of a slow growing fetus. Some foods that are high in magnesium include whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, seafood, and leafy green vegetables.

During your third trimester you will grow the most – in fact, you will put on an average of one pound per week as the baby grows and gets bigger. That’s about 12 pounds in the last trimester. If you’ve been eating a healthy diet all along and your weight, gain is on track that’s terrific!

Right now, your baby is converting the food you eat into nutrition it can use to provide for that rapid growth spurt as the end nears. Right now small meals more often is a better to help to keep your digestion optimal. You should also be eating foods that are high in fat content, which will keep things moving smoothly.

It’s not much longer now before you will have your baby in your arms so spend the next few months making sure that your baby is getting all the nutrients it needs – before long you’ll be many pounds lighter.

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Nutrition Guidelines for a Healthy Pregnancy

In order to ensure all pregnant women know what is needed to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, in terms of nutrition, there have been some excellent pregnancy nutrition guidelines established. When you are pregnant, you only need an additional 300 calories per day.

You should make sure that these are not empty calories, and that they are in fact nutritious calories. Let’s have a look at some of those guidelines.

healthy pregnancy

Protein

During the time you are pregnant, for your baby to grow healthy; you need to have approx. 60 grams of protein on a daily basis. Protein keeps your uterus, breasts, and placenta healthy, it produces adequate amniotic fluid and it increases the volume of blood.

Calcium

Doctors recommend a calcium intake during pregnancy to range between 1200 to 1500 mg a day. Calcium is vital for your baby’s bones, teeth, heart, and muscles to develop. If you aren’t taking in enough calcium, your baby will draw from your own calcium reserves, which means you are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. Milk and milk-based products are good sources of calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, there are lactose free milk products.

Iron

Iron is very important in hemoglobin production for both you and your fetus. In the last trimester, your baby will take your body’s iron reserves to ensure it is not anemic during the first six months of life. You also lose some blood during the delivery process. These are all reasons why it is so important to increase your iron intake.

While your body only needs 27 mgs of iron per day, you actually have to take 60 mg to get that 27 mg because not all iron is absorbed. If you are anemic, you should take an iron supplement. Vitamin C enriched foods will help you with your iron absorption. Foods like oranges, grapefruits, and tomato juice work well. Avoid taking your iron and calcium supplements and/or foods at the same time since calcium interferes with iron absorption.

Vitamins

The recommended increase in vitamins is 25 to 50 percent. Your folic acid need doubles to 400 micro-grams per day. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, etc will help to ensure you get adequate vitamins.

Your physician will instruct you about any other nutritional needs he/she feels you may need in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

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Nutrition for a Healthy Mom and Baby

Being pregnant should be a joyous time for the soon-to-be mom and their baby, but for many it’s a scary time with preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension, toxemia, and other conditions. While you may not be able to avoid having a problem during your pregnancy, there are some nutritional things you can do to reduce your risk.

Let’s have a look at some of those eating strategies.

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  • You should never be shy about dairy products because as a mother to be you need at least 4 servings or 1000-1300 mg of calcium daily. You also need at least 4000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 per day.

  • Iron is very important during pregnancy. You need to get at least 27 mg a day. You can increase your iron by taking an iron supplement. In fact, your doctor may instruct you to do so. The top 10 foods for iron are:

  • Artichokes
  •  Beans, chick peas, lentils and soybeans
  •  Dark, leafy greens (ie spinach, collards)
  •  Dried fruit (ie prunes, raisins)
  •  Egg yolks
  •  Iron-enriched cereals and grains
  •  Liver
  •  Mollusks (ie clams, oysters, scallops)
  •  Red meat
  •  Turkey or chicken giblets

Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily. Vitamin C helps to fight off infection and keep you healthy. Some good sources of Vitamin C include:

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Dark Leafy Greens

You likely will have huge cravings but at the same time, you should decrease your fat intake so that it is no more than 30 percent of your total daily calorie intake. Make sure to read labels.

Omega 3s are important for the development of your baby’s vision and brain.

Easy on the mayo or cheese limiting your cholesterol to 300 mg a day.

Protein develops every cell of your baby. You need to eat 80 to 100 grams of protein a day. If you find that the smell of meat makes you sick, keep in mind that you can get your protein from drinking a whey protein shake.

Being pregnant isn’t easy and eating healthy can be a real challenge. Some days you’ll feel fantastic, while other days the idea of eating is the farthest thing from your mind. A healthy weight gain is generally 25 to 35 pounds. However, if you are underweight, you should gain 28 to 40 pounds and if you are overweight, you should gain15 to 25 pounds.

When your nutrient intake isn’t the best it could be, you increase your risk of developing pregnancy related conditions such as preeclampsia, pregnancy hypertension, toxemia, and HELLP syndrome.

 

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Make Whole Food Vitamins Part of Your Pregnancy Diet

When it comes to nutrition during pregnancy, pregnant women should think about adding whole food vitamins to their diet. This type of vitamin supplement is extracted from natural sources rather than being chemically engineered. That makes these a better choice during pregnancy and after childbirth as well.

Why Mothers-to-be Need to Take Vitamin Supplements as Part of Pregnancy Nutrition

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There’s no question – the human body is amazing and has an incredible ability to get what it needs through resources nature has to offer. When we eat a healthy diet, we can extract the right balance of vitamins, fats, minerals, and energy sources to keep the body running optimally. During pregnancy, we must be even more vigilant to ensure we get the nutrients that the fetus requires to develop both mentally and physically into a healthy term baby.

Unfortunately, many of us aren’t eating a healthy well balanced diet and in no other time has the need for specialized pregnancy nutrition been necessary. There are a number of reasons why there has been such a change in the way we eat, which includes convenience, low cost, and availability of processed foods. Adding whole food vitamins makes it easier to ensure some of those essential compounds that are missing from processed foods are received by mother and baby on a daily basis. That’s important for the development of the child and the mother’s overall health.

Why Whole Food Vitamins are Better
Whole food vitamins don’t use synthesized compounds. Rather, they use sources that can be found in nature. This type of vitamin is better assimilated by the body. Sure the best way to get the nutrients we need is by eating healthy – lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc.; however, most of us are not able to maintain that on a daily basis. This is even more important when you are pregnant, and so whole food vitamins do a better job of filling that void.

The body can easily recognize these natural compounds and use them compared to synthetic vitamins where as much as 90% pass through never being used by the body. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to take these if you are only going to get 10% value. Instead, by making the whole food vitamins part of your daily nutrition you can be sure the baby and you are getting the maximum nutritional value.

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Is Caffeine Okay During Pregnancy

In 1980 the FDA released a publication that warned against a pregnant woman drinking caffeine beverages. It recommended that a woman restrict or better yet, eliminate all caffeine intake because it could be directly linked to the potential for certain birth defects. This recommendation stood strong even in 1994 when a review of more than 200 medical journals conducted by Dr. Astrid Nehlig was published in the Journal of Neurotoxicology and Teratology. But what’s the recommendation today?

Currently many doctors recommend that a pregnant woman takes in less than 300 mg of caffeine daily. This is because studies that are more recent have not shown a link between caffeine and harm to the baby with an intake that is less than 300 mg. These new scientific studies are causing doctors to have a look at the results and many are changing their recommendations although some still remain very conservative. This is best discussed openly with your doctor.

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What Caffeine Does

Caffeine is a stimulant that stimulates the central nervous system. It also reduces your iron absorption and it leaches calcium from the body. Caffeine has a diuretic effect and it has the ability to cross the placenta and make its way to your baby. Caffeine does the following once it is in your body:

  • Decreases the amount of calcium in your body
  • Dehydrates you
  • Increases your blood pressure
  • Raises your heart rate

The same thing that happens to you happens to your baby with the one exception and that is that baby will steal calcium that it needs from your bones if it can’t get it elsewhere. Caffeine has also been linked to interfering with normal fetal growth and as a result this leads to low birth weight and weakened adrenal glands that can affect the ability to cope with stress and to regulate blood sugar

It is a good idea to avoid caffeine or at least cut back your intake to 300 mg per day, and some experts say that number should be no more than 150 mg per day. You may have no problem handling caffeine but remember that the liver of your baby is immature and so it is not able to remove the caffeine. This means that caffeine stays with your baby for 40 to 130 hours.

Common sources of caffeine include:

  • Coffee – 100-200 mg per 8 ounce
  • Headache medicine – 65-130mg
  • Soda – 40-75mg per can
  • Tea – black 60mg, green 40mg
  • Dark Chocolate – 5-35mg per 1 ounce
  • Milk Chocolate – 1-15mg per 1 ounce

Talk to your doctor about caffeine intake and follow what his/her recommendations are.

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Iron Rich Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

So you have just recently discovered your pregnant – congratulation! That certainly means that life is going to change. One of the first things you will want to think about is your diet and what it is you and baby need right now. Thankfully, it is not actually that difficult to get the correct nutrition during your pregnancy just as long as you stay focused on eating foods that are packed with protein and high in nutrients.

Worrying about the needs of the baby for proper development is common. The good news is as long as you eat well, your baby will get the nutrition he or she needs as they draw their nutrition from you. For example, if you make sure to eat foods that are high in iron you will not have to worry about becoming anemic. If you have a diet that is sufficient in calcium, your baby will have strong teeth and bones.

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Your doctor will keep an eye on things by drawing blood at your checkups. If you are lacking nutrients, supplements can be prescribed and you can make changes to your diet. Let’s have a look at the foods that will provide you with the nutrition you need during pregnancy.

Eating a well balanced diet is a great way to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need. Eat a diet that is packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Strawberries and citrus fruit are high in vitamin C. Good choices since you need about 70 mg of vitamin C a day. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and legumes to ensure you get the 4 micrograms of folic acid you need daily.

Foods that are rich in iron are important too. It is recommended that pregnant women get around 27 mg of iron each day. Iron helps your blood cells take oxygen to your baby, and it is important to you too as it brings oxygen to your muscles so they can function properly. Adequate iron will help to decrease your susceptibility to stress and disease. Good sources of iron include fish, chicken, and meat.

If you already eat healthy, your diet during pregnancy won’t need to change a lot. You should avoid processed foods, sugar, too much fat, and white flour. And of course, you should always follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to healthy nutrition for you and your baby.

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Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when most mothers to be are concerned about their health, and about how what they eat, will affect their unborn baby. Public health agencies make many recommendations and one of those, in fact the most important one, is for women to avoid foods that have a high potential for disease causing bacteria or that are dangerous to the fetus.

Here’s a list of foods that public health agencies recommend you avoid during your pregnancy.

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  • Alcohol – It is recommended that you completely stop drinking alcohol during your pregnancy as it is directly linked to fetal alcohol syndrome and other conditions.

  • Caffeine – You should limit your consumption of coffee, tea or cola to no more than 0-1 per day. Caffeine is linked to low birth weight as well as miscarriage.

  • Freshly caught fish – this includes tuna, swordfish, shark, marlin, etc., which may contain unsafe mercury levels. You should limit your intake to 150 grams per month. Canned white tuna and albacore tuna contain some mercury, so you should limit your consumption to no more than 300 grams per week.

  • Herbal tea, such as sage tea, Chamomile tea, pennyroyal, parsley tea, lobelia, coltsfoot, teas with aloe, juniper berries, comfrey, Labrador tea, buckthorn bark, and sassafras should all be avoided during pregnancy. There are others so make sure to read the packaging before purchasing.

  • Liver

  • Non-dried deli meats – cold cuts, refrigerated pate, hot dogs, refrigerated smoked seafood and fish, and meat spreads

  • Raw fish – clams, oysters and sushi. Avoid smoked fish that is kept in the fridge such as smoked salmon.

  • Raw or undercooked eggs – this includes foods that are made with raw eggs like Caesar salad dressing. Raw eggs can potentially contain salmonella and therefore should be avoided throughout your pregnancy.

  • Raw sprouts – especially alfalfa sprouts

  • Undercooked meat or rare meat, seafood and poultry

  • Unpasteurized juices

  • Unpasteurized milk products – also foods that are made from using raw milk cheese, especially soft and/or semi-soft cheeses. This includes Bria and Camembert. All unpasteurized cheeses have the potential to be infected with Listeria bacteria, which can be harmful to your baby.

If you are unsure about a certain food, it is best to avoid that food until you can find information regarding it. You should feel free to ask your doctor about any nutritional concerns you might have.

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5 Key Principles to Pregnancy Nutrition

If you already eat a healthy diet before pregnancy, there may only be small adjustments you need to make to your diet to ensure you are eating right for the next night months.

These five key principles will ensure that you remain fit and healthy, and that baby gets all the nutrients he or she needs to grow to be strong and healthy.

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#1 Drink Plenty of Water

For a healthy pregnancy, it is critical that you drink enough water, as it will help to flush the toxins from your body and fight water retention. Water will also help with constipation and headaches associated with pregnancy.

#2 Avoid Processed Foods

The best way to begin your pregnancy is with proper nutrition. That includes the elimination of processed foods that are high in fillers, sodium, salt, and preservatives, which could potentially pose a risk to baby. In addition, you are far more likely to gain extra water and suffer with fluid retention when your diet contains processed foods. Instead, opt for healthy, whole food choices that are good for you and baby.

#3 Buy Organic

Organic foods are becoming more readily available and they are also becoming more affordable. Therefore, your goal should be to buy organic whenever possible. This is especially true when it comes to dairy products, meats, and eggs. Organic foods are higher in amino acids and fatty acids than the non-organic version. When it comes to fruits and vegetables at least make sure that those with the highest pesticide concentrations are organic. These are peaches, celery, apples, strawberries, blueberries, spinach, bell peppers, kale, cherries, grapes, and potatoes.

#4 Eat Vegetable With Every Meal

As you get further along in your pregnancy it becomes even more important to make sure that you eat vegetables with every meal. They are high in fiber and that will help with constipation associated with pregnancy. You’ll also feel fuller and you’ll obtain tons of nutrients.

#5 Every Meal Should Include Healthy Fats 

Healthy fats include olive oil, organic butter, coconut oil, raw nuts, nut butters, and avocado. These fats will help you to feel full while providing you with nutrients, and they provide the kind of healthy fats that help with your baby’s cognitive development.

Include these five key principles in your pregnancy nutrition and you’ll be on your way to well balanced nutrition throughout your pregnancy. Of course, you should always follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to nutrition.

 

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