What To Eat During Pregnancy

food mix

{What To Eat + What Not To Eat During Pregnancy}

ENJOY

  • Eat a wide variety of foods, particularly vegetables and fruit, to ensure you get a good variety of different antioxidants and nutrients. Too much of one thing is not as good as some may think. If you are one of the many who suffer from early pregnancy vegetable aversion hide your greens in soups, fresh juices & smoothies.
  • Eat unrefined whole grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat pasta, whole wheat couscous and sprouted whole grain breads, all of which are full of nutrients and healthy fibers that help support a healthy digestion. Over processed and refined “white” carbohydrates (white bread, pasta and rice) are void of fiber and many beneficial nutrients and do nothing good for you other than adding empty calories that leave you feeling bloated, sluggish and hungry again shortly after.
  • Be particular about your bread and buy good quality unrefined whole grain varieties (preferably sprouted) from a good bakery or make your own. This bread is a personal favourite of mine and is full of healthy and nutrient dense seeds and nuts as well as high in fiber. Many commercial breads are full of added sugars, refined ingredients and other gunk that do nothing good for you.
  • Ditch store-bought dressings and vinaigrette and make your own salad dressings & vinaigrettes using good quality oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed flax seed or hemp oil. The ones you make yourself are full of healthy fats that are good for you and your baby as they are completely free of any nasty additives & preservatives. They also taste better!
  • Make sure you keep your sugar levels in check and be mindful of sugars found in fruits. Even though fruit are good and full of nutrients and fiber, some fruits are still very high in sugar, which is why I typically recommend sticking to 2 pieces a day, including those used in smoothies and juices. Low sugar fruits include nectarines, green apples, pears & berries.
  • Enjoy low-mercury fish, such as sardines, flounder & trout. Check out which fish are best using this handy mercury calculator tool, which also gives you a good idea of how much mercury you’re exposed to by taking your body weight into consideration.
  • Homemade fresh juices & smoothies are great during pregnancy as they’re quick to make, full of nutrients and easy for the body to digest. Try adding in some healthy super foods, such as maca powder, chia seeds or raw unsweeetned cocoa powder for an extra boost of healthy antioxidants. Avoid store-bought juices and smoothies as these are less nutritious and more often than not made from fruit concentrate instead of real fruit.
  • Consider taking a probiotic supplement in the form of powder or capsules. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, found in foods like yogurt, kefir & other fermented foods, that helps increase the presence of healthy bacteria in the gut. These healthy gut bacteria improve digestion, support you and your baby’s immune system and are especially beneficial for your baby during the 3rd trimester and whilst breastfeeding. I love this probiotic supplement from Ultimate Flora.
  • Go for good quality foods and buy organic when possible. In my opinion, it is particularly important to buy organic dairy, eggs, meat & poultry. Local farmers markets are a great place to get all these + your fresh produce. This shopping guide allows you to shop smarter and be selective with which fruit & vegetables you feel is well worth spending extra on.
  • If you are intolerant to dairy or simply like to limit your intake of dairy products, make sure you get enough calcium by taking a good prenatal vitamin and including calcium rich foods, such as sesame seeds, broccoli, leafy greens & almonds, in your diet.

AVOID

  • Raw meats, including raw poultry, raw eggs & raw fish as these all carry risk of contamination with listeria & salmonella. The same goes for raw milk and cheeses.
  • Similarly, it is also best to avoid shellfish as they can pose risk of contamination with listeria, toxoplasmosis & salmonella.
  • Stay away from any type of artificial sweetener and other food additives (E numbers) as best possible during pregnancy as they do nothing good for you or your baby. Unfortunately some US prenatal vitamins contain the food additive Red 40, which, despite being banned in many european countries, remains allowed in many other countries. While red 40 and other food dyes do absolutely nothing to improve the value or taste of a food or supplement, research have linked many of them, red 40 included, to behavioral problems in children and cancer*. I would strongly advise you to check your prenatal vitamin  to make sure it doesn’t have this additive and if it does, to switch to another one.
  • Limit cured meats, including smoked fish and deli meats, as these are high in nitrates, sodium and may be a risk of contamination with listeria & salmonella. If you do have them it is better to heat them on a hot pan for a few minutes first.
  • Quit or limit caffeine found in coffee & tea, hot chocolate and cola. Aside from interfering with the absorption of many nutrients, pregnant women also metabolize caffeine much more slowly which can affect the fetus negatively, especially during the first trimester. If you have to have it, stick to one cup a day and try to swap it with healthy coffee substitutes, herbal teas or hot water with lemon.
Some Of My Favorite Pregnancy Foods 
  • Herbal teas & dandelion coffee became everyday staples during my pregnancy. I couldn’t stand the thought of coffee and came to love my mid morning peppermint tea – and later on raspberry leaf tea, which is also known to help with labor. (Note: raspberry leaf tea should NOT be taken in the first trimester!)
  • Canned sardines were another favorite quick lunch favorite. They’re easy, full of healthy omega 3 fats and low in mercury. Perfect on a toasted piece of whole grain ryebread, topped with cucumber and tomato slices.
  • Chia seeds. Packed with healthy fiber, omega 3 & 6 fats and makes a great addition to yogurt, oatmeal or muesli. They also help prevent constipation and promote bowel regularity.
  • Bluberries in a small mason jar made a perfect bag snack for when I felt nauseous on the subway or at work. A delicious guilt free snack that is also  a potent dose of healthy antioxidants.
  • I couldn’t stomach any meat in the beginning of my pregnancy, so organic eggs from the local farmer’s market became my favorite go-to protein. Eggs are also known to help fight off nausea and when pregnant I was known to carry a boiled egg with me in my bag for emergency nausea pangs. Worked every time.
  • Nut butters were another favorite. My favorite blend is cashews, hazelnuts & almonds, which tastes a bit like nutella when topped with a little honey.
  • My Healthy Nut & Seed Bread was and still is one of my favorite breads. It is incredibly dense and filling and full of healthy and cleansing fibers that helped keep me full for hours.
*Referenced source
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