Pregnancy And Health
Do I need extra vitamins and minerals?
Pregnancy increases nutritional needs, for baby and mother. You should aim to get your vitamins and minerals from your daily diet but this will not always be easy. Particularly, if you are a vegetarian and your iron stores are low, supplementation will be necessary during this time.
There will be an increased need for folic acid, iron, calcium and essential fatty acids. By increasing your intake of folic acid (folate) you are able to help reduce the risk of neural tube effects such as spina bifida by 70%.
Which foods are higher in iron?
Foods which are higher in iron (calcium, folate and essential fatty acids) include; offal, green leafy vegetables, oily fish, nuts, red meat, chick peas, dried beans, lentils, cherries, berries, peppers, broccoli and potatoes.
Daily raw juicing of fruit and vegetables can provide extra folate, vitamin K, iron and calcium. It will also help to support liver and kidney function, which will reduce the risk of toxemia of pregnancy. Women who obtain plentiful antioxidants and vitamin K during pregnancy, will have a reduced risk of abnormal bleeding from the placenta and therefore, premature labour.
Here is Dr Cabot’s Pregnancy Juicing Recipe from her book "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life".
Juice for Pregnancy
- 2 spinach leaves
- 1/2 floret broccoli
- 1 Brussels sprout
- 2 oranges
- 1/4 beetroot
- 1 tomato (vine ripened or organic is best)
- 1 carrot
- 1/4 teaspoon kelp powder
- Wash, trim and chop ingredients and pass all through the juicer.
- Dilute with water or cold chamomile tea, especially if morning sickness or nausea is problematic. The addition of a whole pear and/or apple can improve the flavor of this juice.
TRY TO AVOID or at least limit:
- Fish with high levels of mercury (these are the larger types) and opt for oily fish such as salmon.
- Coffee - opt for organic or herbal teas.
- Trans fatty acids.
- Food additives.
- Packaged/processed foods - opt for fresh raw foods.
- Table salt.
- Alcohol - drinking in pregnancy does increase the risk of miscarriage and deformities.
TRY TO INCLUDE:
- A variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, salads and whole-grains.
- Protein three times daily (either animal or vegetable).
- Adequate daily water.
- Raw juicing of green leafy vegetables.
- Low fat cheese and yogurt.
- Rest and fresh air.
It is a good idea to discuss pregnancy and diet with your health care worker to ensure adequate nutrients at this time. You should consult your doctor when taking additional vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.