Food intake for pregnancy

Food intake for pregnancy

Written by
Insentials

The best thing for a healthy pregnancy would be for both parents to have been conscious about their health for many years. A good diet is central to this, but so is avoiding toxic habits (tobacco, drugs, medications), adequate exercise, sleep, body weight, balanced social/family relationships, etc. Thus, a healthy body in a favorable environment of friends, family and work, can contribute a lot to favorable fertility.

Moreover, if you want to get pregnant in both sexes, it is suggested to start taking nutritional supplements at least 3 months in advance to improve the quality of sperm and egg cells. This supplementation of essential vitamins including folic acid, B12, omega3 and E is necessary because today we suffer from micronutrient deficiencies: there is a shortage of healthy nutrients in our diet, due to an excessive intake of processed or industrialized foods, soft drinks, fast food, quick sugars, etc. Today's vegetables also contain far fewer vitamins and minerals than in the past, due to changes in ripening processes.

Due to incorrect nutrition, too much sugar and chronic stress, many women also suffer from insulin resistance: a mechanism whereby energy no longer reaches the cell and the liver is overloaded. This can be part of the reason for reduced fertility.

 

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But good news! So there is something to be done :).
So step one in achieving healthy fertility habits -in addition to stress reduction- with healthy nutrition, focusing on supplementing enough good fats and proteins and keeping blood sugar levels stable.

In addition to a healthy gut microbiome, there are three important things to consider when it comes to nutrition and pregnancy:

The right vitamins and minerals
Healthy fats
Anti oxidants

 

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The right vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc.
To get pregnant, B vitamins are very important, especially B6, B11 (folic acid) and B12. Folic acid is essential for cell division, tissue growth and DNA formation. B12 is important to get in adequate amounts. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, a lot of vitamin B12 is consumed. When there is not enough of it (this can also be due to stress!) symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, memory loss, etc. can occur. The typical "pregnancy ailments" so to speak. A severe deficiency can also lead to miscarriages.

So eat animal products such as meat, fish and eggs. Seaweed and algae also contain B12. Folic acid is found in dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale and arugula), asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits and nuts.

Vitamin E also plays a crucial role in fertility. To conceive, progesterone is an important hormone that must be present. But progesterone oxidizes quickly and loses its function. Protection against oxidation is therefore necessary, and this is done by vitamin E. It is also necessary for the construction of the endometrium, where implantation must take place. Not only that: even if you are already pregnant, vitamin E is important, because it is said to play a major role in the blood flow to the placenta. Vitamin E for victory! The active form of tocopherol is found mainly in nuts, leafy vegetables, kiwi and wheat germ oil. 

Magnesium (dark chocolate, avocados, legumes, tempeh, seeds, fatty fish, banana) and vitamin C (peppers, blackcurrants, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, kale, kiwi, strawberries and olives) are also important micronutrients for fertility.

Healthy Fats
Fats are extremely important when it comes to fertility. On the one hand, long-chain fatty acids (omega 3) provide an anti-inflammatory effect. The balance between omega 6 and omega 3 is decisive for the proper development of the immune system and nervous system of the fetus, where we should strive for a predominance of omega 3: 

Oily fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, anchovies, etc.), avocado, olives and olive oil, butter, coconut fat, etc.

In addition, when the body is deficient in fats, there are fewer fat-soluble vitamins available (KADE), of which vitamin E is one. Thus, people who are too slim risk deficiency of vitamin E, the main antioxidant for progesterone building. Thus, a lack of fat reserves and being underweight can make you less fertile. 

Antioxidants 
Antioxidants protect us: they trap free radicals. These are aggressive substances that can damage cells and tissues. So we don't want those! 

Glutathione is the strongest antioxidant we can produce. But it also depletes quickly and is best replenished from time to time. Vitamin C and E are also good, but below you'll find a few more.

- Resveratrol: present in red grapes, red wine, pines, blueberries, black currants and red fruits in general. 

- Lycopene: present in tomatoes and papayas, among others. 

- Lupiol: present in mango, olive, black/red grape, strawberry. 

- Luteolin: present in artichoke, celery, bell bell pepper, broccoli, mint and ginseng.

SO YES PLEASE:

mango

shellfish, zinc, ...

pomegranate (juice)

All sulphurous vegetables: onion, garlic, chives, leeks, red onion, spring onion, wild garlic, eggs (preferably soft-boiled),...

oily fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, anchovies,...)

avocado

olives - olive oil

Garlic

Algae

Mushrooms

Cúrcuma

Onions

Ginseng

Ginger

Pomegranate

Prebiotic fibres

Variety of fruit and vegetables

Fermented products

Meat, fish and eggs

dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale and rocket), asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits and nuts

Nuts, leafy vegetables, kiwi and wheat germ oil

dark chocolate, avocados, pulses, tempeh, seeds, oily fish, banana

sweet pepper, blackcurrant, citrus fruit, Brussels sprouts, kale, kiwi, strawberry and olives

red grapes, red wine, pines, blueberries, blackcurrants and red fruits in general

tomatoes and papayas

artichoke, celery, pepper, broccoli, mint

 

NO THANKS:

omega 6: vegetable oils (sunflower oil, margarine, etc.)

quick sugars (biscuits, sweets, soft drinks, etc.)

be careful with too many carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread,...)

don't eat too often so your blood sugar levels remain stable

avoid fruit at breakfast and as a snack

choose a savoury breakfast instead of a sweet one

avoid snacks, sweet, alcohol or coffee late at night