The Balanced Baby

...food and lifestyle recommendations for the bump and beyond
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Best foods for Pregnancy

Wild Salmon, Broccoli, and Bone Broth should all be on the menu when you’re pregnant 

While peanut butter on toast might be the only option when nausea sets in, it’s worth making an effort to load your diet with nutrients when you can. 

Scientists from the University of Southampton have shown that what a woman consumes during pregnancy can alter a baby’s DNA and eating cruciferous vegetables – like broccoli, cabbage and kale – can even help prevent your baby from developing diseases like cancer according to the latest research from Oregon State University. So besides greens with every dinner, what else will help to nourish your growing child?

Clever Baby Foods

Wild Salmon (rather than farmed) is an excellent choice during pregnancy. Why? It’s rich in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), part of the omega-3 family. This nutrient is absolutely crucial for your baby’s brain; the level of DHA in the umbilical cord might predict a child’s speed of thinking at age eight according to a 2006 study published in The Lancet.  It’s best to avoid tuna during pregnancy, due to the high mercury content, so try swapping for a can of sardines instead; sardines pair well with capers, tomato and avocado on toast.  Sardines are also rich in omega 3, calcium and B12. In fact, one can provides 338% of your B12 requirements, which can help boost mood and balance energy levels. 

Finding fish impossible to stomach during pregnancy? There’s good news for you. Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids in breastmilk may help compensate for dietary fat imbalances babies experienced during gestation.

Fermented Foods and Bone Broths

These should both be high on the pregnancy menu. Both assist in the absorption of nutrients and can improve gut function; especially important during pregnancy when digestion slows down. When our elimination channels are working well it shows on our skin, so getting your gut working well can help give you that pregnancy ‘glow.’ Suffering from stretch marks? The bioavailable collagen in bone broth might help improve the elasticity of your skin. For a mid-morning pick-me-up, add one tablespoon of miso to one cup of broth. Click here for my recipe!

Vitamin D

This is one essential nutrient that you won’t get from food.Over 76% of pregnant women are deficient in vitamin D and yet it’s so important for the healthy formation of bones and teeth. The Vitamin D council recommends 4000-6000 iu for pregnant women and getting adequate amounts can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia. Click here to read more about vitamin D and how you can supplement your baby from birth.

As for that peanut butter on toast?

You can now enjoy this comfort food guilt-free; peanuts are rich in protein and the fat-busting hormone adiponectin. Worried about your child developing allergies? Fear not. Early exposure to peanuts can slash the risk of a child developing a peanut allergy, according to a 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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