Healthy Living – Preparing for an Organic Pregnancy 2

Meal Mastering Mom-To-Be

Women receive lots of advice from other women and doctors about what they should and should not put in their bodies during pregnancy. A healthy baby comes from not just from a healthy body, but from a mother that makes good nutritional decisions. The body starts making some major changes as the fetus grows as a means of accommodating its ever changing needs. Since your body is fueling the growth for the new arrival, making necessary changes will prove highly beneficial. Of course, the obvious changes come to mind: quitting smoking, eschewing alcohol, and eating healthier. It is even recommended that women who want children should prepare months before conception to ensure that any harmful substances lingering in the tissues have time to be metabolized out. These are excellent tidbits of advice to impart to a mother-to-be; however one specific key often goes unspoken. 

We are talking about eating raw, organic foods to ensure the best possible health for you and your baby. The changes your body will undergo are dramatic, and your body will require some extra care during this crucial stage. Your body produces up to fifty percent more blood, and your skeletal frame bears the burden of up to forty extra pounds. Hormones especially come into play, making the body more susceptible to mixed messages. Aches and pains in the back and legs make the simplest of tasks difficult to complete. Your body undergoes displacements of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, and requires a great deal more of several. In fact, your body’s requirements for iron and iodine increase by half of what you originally needed. With all food you will need to feed you and your baby, the importance of making safer selections grows.


Snacks to Stay Away From

Non-organic foods can expose you to several different substances that may alter the growth of your baby, and the way your body handles the pregnancy. First off, these foods are often grown with synthetic chemicals used as pesticides, herbicides, or are in other ways treated with potentially harmful synthetic chemicals. Even if you are making healthier choices, you and your fetus are four times more likely to be in harm’s way. This means more of the aforementioned toxins. Opting for non-organic meat for your meals? Think again. Meat from this livestock endures contamination from growth hormones. Pregnancy already alters the functionality of hormones. Even the raw conventionally grown fruits and vegetables pose a potential risk, since they are often treated heavily with pesticides. Three-fourths of pregnant women endure some type of exposure to pesticides, which increases the risk of a few different birth defects. Additionally, a shocking statistic from the Environmental Health Perspective Journal shows that children exposed to certain kinds of pesticides can put them at a higher risk of developing leukemia.

Therefore, you need to select foods bearing a trustworthy organic seal. This will help eliminate your exposure to these potential conditions, providing you to protect your growing child and yourself further. Even if you are getting further into your pregnancy and are just now thinking about making this change, you and your baby’s health can improve, with pesticides becoming untraceable in urine after about five days. It keeps your body from having the burden of managing both natural hormone changes in your body and the endocrine disruptors often found in pesticides, and the foods themselves. Some of the most well-known certification agencies include Oregon Tilth, QAI, and the USDA. Organic foods generally have seal from one of these agencies. However, the quest for an organic pregnancy does not stop at an organic seal, as you can tell from our expose on ‘USDA Organic Gone Corporate.’

GMOs can also have a major influence on the course of your pregnancy as well. It is common knowledge that undeveloped human beings (infants, embryos, children) are more at risk than adults to developing allergies, illness, and developmental issues due to the fact that their bodies are still growing. This means that vital organ systems can often be disrupted in function by even some of the smallest changes. Genetically modified substances could tip the scale for some of those changes. Fetuses are impacted because GMOs could potentially alter their genes and the DNA in them, since the foods the expectant mother eats will greatly affect how the fetus develops. Plus, genetically modified crops have never been tested for how great their impact could be on pregnant mothers. Thus, you will want to opt for foods that display the Non-GMO Verified seal as well. Preferably make selections for products that show both. There is a difference between USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified.

Processed foods can cause some nutritional problems in general. The Standard American Diet consists mostly of processed foods which fuels the obesity epidemic, and contributes to nutritional deficiencies. Since your body needs a greater percentage of certain vitamins and minerals, avoiding processed foods at all costs could ensure a better nutrient intake. Eating whole, raw foods will provide a cleaner energy. While you will want to discuss with your obstetrician or a naturopathic clinician about how to ensure a proper intake of protein, opting for raw foods or foods made with whole ingredients will provide more favorable conditions for better health. Plus, a primarily raw food diet can help keep the appearance of stretch marks at a minimum and reduce labor pain, since bodily tissues reportedly adjust more easily to different stresses. To learn more about the raw food diet versus the Standard American Diet, check out our blog post ‘Health Through Diet and Nutrition.’


Foods to Fill You Up

As we mentioned before, your body’s requirements for some specific nutrients will greatly increase during pregnancy. Some of those include protein, iron, iodine, carbohydrates, folate, vitamin B6, and zinc. These are just a few of the nutrient necessities that increase, but you need almost fifty percent more of each. We will provide you with some raw or whole foods to start adding to your diet to satisfy these increases. Also, do not forget to take your prenatal vitamins, or any other supplement recommended by your obstetrician. Taking such supplements ensures proper growth and development, and will help your body take in the amount of nutrients it needs over the course of the pregnancy.

Protein are made up of amino acids, which are the ultimate tissue building materials. This means that they contribute to both your healthy weight gain and the physical development of your baby as it grows inside you. Pregnant women require about seventy grams of protein to the average woman’s forty-five grams per day. If your diet consists of meat, opt for organic, grass-fed livestock as this eliminates your exposure to the aforementioned growth hormones. If you are going vegan, consume plenty of beans, nuts, avocados, and nut butters such as almond butter or peanut butter. You may also want to speak with your obstetrician about other options that will go along with your chosen lifestyle and your needs. Meats generally contain twenty or more grams of protein per three ounces. Beans generally have anywhere from ten to fifteen grams.

Iron is needed to help you body’s blood content, and to ensure the proper transport of oxygen throughout your body. Since your body produces up to fifty percent more blood to support you and your baby, it is no surprise that your needs increase. You can supplement your diet with the following foods to increase your intake of this mineral. Eat some dried apricots as a sweet treat, and have some spinach salads to supplement your meals. Each of these options contains about one hundred percent of the average person’s needed iron per cup.

Iodine works to help your body use the energy it obtains properly, while ensuring that the baby’s nervous system and brain. Pregnant women are generally recommended an intake of around two hundred and twenty micrograms each day. For vegetarians who consume animal byproduct, sources high in iodine include yogurt, cheese, and milk. These options provide up to eighty-seven mcgs of this nutrient. Vegans can add more baked potatoes, navy beans, wakame, and nori to their diets. Navy beans have the highest amount of iodine, with thirty-two mcgs.

Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients to take in, since they provide the primary source of energy and fuel for both you and your baby. Stay away from refined carbs or processed carbs, such as white or enriched pastas, breads, or cereals. Opt instead for whole grains like whole wheat bread. These are also known as unrefined grains.

Folate, folic acid, or vitamin B6. No matter what you call it, it is one of the most essential nutrients to obtain while you are pregnant. It keeps the likelihood of severe birth defects and disorders. You need to consume around four hundred mcgs per day, and many experts recommend that this level of supplementation begins a full month before conception. Foods rich in folic acid include citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, spinach, okra, collard greens, and broccoli. While these are some great sources to include in your diet, you should still do some research on supplements with high amounts of folic acid.

Zinc helps with most areas concerning the development of DNA, from mending any potential damage, to ensuring its general function. The pregnant woman requires around eleven mcgs each day. Whole grain, fortified cereals can provide more than enough zinc for the day, as does a whole can of baked beans. Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds each day can also help supplement your zinc intake if you fear you are not getting enough in your diet. However, even though your need for this mineral sharply increases during pregnancy, it is better to consume more than you need for one day and skip out the next. So, eating a bowl of the aforementioned cereal every other day will help ensure your needed intake.


Finding Your Way with Face Naturals 

We want to help you find your healthy way through all walks of life in making good decisions about your health and that of your family. Leave a comment below about your experience during pregnancy, and tell us more about what to expect, what to avoid, and what to adore. You can help other members of the face naturals family find out more about how to handle their pregnancy when it comes to diet and nutrition. Pregnancy is one of the most important stages of human life – both for mother and baby. We can make the proper steps a little more clear for everyone by ensuring an organic, healthy pregnancy that meets every woman’s needs. Join our healthy mission today, and check out our other blog posts for more ideas how to have a healthy lifestyle of your own.

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