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The Different Nutritional Needs Of Expectant Mothers

pregnant-nutrition

Good nutrition is crucial for anyone as it helps to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent diseases. The importance of good nutrition is even magnified for pregnant women or women who are planning for pregnancy. This is because it does not only influence your health but also affects the growth and development of the unborn child.

Pregnancy, though, does not call for special program diets or exotic foods. On the contrary, it encourages one to eat a variety of foods to get optimum levels of nutrients to help both the mother and the baby. While a woman is pregnant, they might experience a spike in their hunger but it is advised that one not to overeat. By taking a heavy breakfast, it can help curb cravings for snacks, which are high in fats and sugars. The following serve as pointers of what to incorporate in a diet during pregnancy.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are a very good source of vitamins and minerals. They help to keep the immunity system strong and healthy so as to ward off diseases. They are also important to facilitate various bodily functions to ensure good overall health. In addition, they also contain fiber that aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation. The recommended serving of fruits and vegetables should be at least five. Make sure to lightly cook vegetables or better yet wash them and eat them raw to benefit from the nutrients they contain. If this seems like too much work to eat all of these types of foods throughout the day then getting a juicer is another way to achieve your nutritional goals.

Starchy Foods (Carbohydrates)

Starch foods contain a lot of vitamins and fiber that are essential to health. In addition, due to their bulky nature, they are quite satisfying without having excess calories. They help to supply energy, which is incorporated to body cells to facilitate body metabolism. They should form the main part of every meal and should be whole meal. Examples include:

  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Rice
  • Potato
  • Yam among others

Proteins

Proteins help a lot in growth and development, play a pivotal role in replacing worn out tissues and help in manufacture of important hormones and enzymes. Some important sources of protein include:

  • Lean meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Nuts

Remember to pick only lean meat and cook them well using little fat. Also for eggs, poultry and meat make sure they are thoroughly cooked. Portions of fish such as salmon and sardines are also recommended as they have huge health benefits.

Dairy

Dairy and dairy products are extremely important as they contain calcium and vitamin D, which aids in bone formation. They also contain other vital nutrients that are crucial to the development of the unborn child. Dairy foods include milk, yogurt, and cheese among others. Try to go for the low fat options such as skimmed milk. Two to three serving of dairy is recommended per day.

Foods High In Sugars and/or Fat

This category of foods should be consumed with moderation as excess of them can lead to weight gain. Fatty foods can also increase the level of cholesterol, which can lead to heart complications. Examples include:

  • Spread fats e.g. margarine
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Crisps
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolate

Healthy Snacks

A pregnant woman may get hungry between meals and there is the urge to have a snack. However, try not to go for the high calorie snacks such as ice cream and biscuits but the health snack such as:

  • Sandwiches
  • Salad vegetables
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Fresh fruits
  • Unsweetened juices

Apart from eating healthy foods, a pregnant woman should pay attention on how they prepare these foods. This will help to prevent contaminations and pathogens that can cause serious diseases. The following practices are advised.

  • Wash thoroughly fruits and vegetables to remove traces of soil, which may contain pathogens.
  • Make sure all surfaces and utensils are washed after handling raw meat. Do not forget to wash your hands.
  • Ensure that ready to eat foods and raw foods are stored separately to avoid food poisoning and contamination.

Proper nutrition and healthy dietary practices are essential to the overall well being of both you and the baby. It helps one to get the necessary nutrients that help in the child’s development. In addition, supplements are also very important to supply the various nutrients both to the mother and unborn child. Always remember that a healthy diet will translate into a healthy and fun pregnancy experience for you, making it so important and necessary to have these foods in your daily diet.  Always consult with your physician for any dietary changes and advice.

The Ultimate Green Vegetables For Juicing

green-veggies

Every green vegetable has its own chemical and nutritional value. Experimenting with the best green vegetables for juicing can be both healthy and fun. Green leafy vegetables are typically the best choices to use in your juicing plan.

Green leafy vegetables are essential for weight management since they have low calorie content and contain some essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, folic acid and dietary fiber, as well as phytochemicals such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein that work to protect cells from damage by free radicals. Studies have shown the many health benefits of green vegetables. One of the studies showed that juicing green leafy vegetables on a daily basis can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 11%.

Here’s A List of the Best Green Vegetables to Juice:

1. Spinach

Spinach is rich in vitamins A and K as well as some essential minerals, pigments and phytonutrients. However, it contains oxalic acid (which can hinder the absorption of calcium. Since there are many options for vegetables to juice, therefore, consider limiting this option to two to three times a week.

2. Parsley

Parsley is high in chlorophyll, which helps to increase the level of antioxidants in the bloodstream. It boosts your energy and has strong anti-parasitic properties. Parsley also aids in cleansing the liver and supports the kidney and the heart. A lot of users also claim that it eases their arthritis.

3. Cabbage

Cabbage is excellent for your stomach. If you suffer from stomach ulcers, cabbage is an excellent choice to juice every day. It aids in maintaining estrogen balance, regulating metabolism and fighting cancer. It is also an excellent detoxifier.

4. Collards

Collard greens are a great source of Vitamin A, C and K as well as calcium, manganese and folate. Collard greens are an excellent juicing ingredient and they boost immune system while supporting the lungs and heart. They are also said to lower cholesterol and fight cancer due to their strong antioxidant properties.

5. Bok Choy

This bitter green has its origin from Asia and is great in juices. Bok choy is rich in calcium and provider cancer-preventing substances known as sulforaphane. Bok choy is also a good source of beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A and reduces the amount of fat or bad cholesterol in the body. This green is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, which regulates blood pressure and boosts cardiovascular health.

6. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is an excellent ingredient to juice because it has a great flavor and us rich in vitamin A, C and K along with iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium. Chard also boosts the immune system while supporting the health of vital body organs, including the lungs and heart.

7. Dandelion Greens

If you want to make a detox juice, you should consider using dandelion greens. Dandelions are helpful in cleansing the gallbladder and liver and supports boost kidney function. They can also lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar. In addition, dandelions greens are rich in vitamin A, C, E, K, iron and calcium. Dandelion greens are available in some health supermarkets and open markets, but can also be found growing in their natural habitat.

8. Kale

Also called “the new beef”, kale is an excellent choice for juicing. While it has a strong taste, it is one of the best greens available because of its high nutritional value. It is an excellent source of calcium, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, fiber, zeaxanthin and lutein. The phytonutrient sulforaphane is also present in kale and helps to fight cancer and diabetes, among other health conditions. Moreover, kale contains powerful antioxidants that fight against cancer and supports the immune system, heart and lungs.

Juicing is now extremely popular because it is a simple and fun way to get essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals as well as free radical fighting antioxidants, among other important nutrients. You may want to experiment with your familiar green vegetables at first. Over time, try out different green vegetables and enjoy great green juice variety and nutrition!

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