Superfoods For Health In Pregnancy

superfoods-safe-in-pregnancy-soaring-freeFrom the moment of conception, your body is changing. It is a 9-month-long journey of getting to know your pregnant body, which is vastly different from the previous body you inhabited. Below we’ll guide you through some superfoods for health in pregnancy.

A quick recap of the article below:

What your body needs during pregnancy – the fundamentals:

For your nutritional needs during pregnancy & breastfeeding, shop our range of “Health In Pregnancy” superfoods.

Pregnancy do’s for superfoods:

  • Hemp
  • Sprouted rice protein
  • Mesquite
  • Lucuma
  • Barleygrass
  • Camu (non-concentrate)
  • Chia
  • Baobab
  • Spirulina (low dose)
  • Goji berries
  • Golden berries

A few things to avoid during pregnancy:

    • Highly detoxifying foods
    • Adaptogenic foods
    • High stimulants
    • Activity & foods that stimulate cortisol
    • Introducing new foods that you don’t usually eat

Birth is akin to a marathon and breastfeeding, especially long term breastfeeding (and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends at least 2 years) is akin to being a super-athlete!  It should come as no surprise then that women need additional nutritional support during pregnancy to prime their bodies and prepare a little human.

Something to look forward to: the pregnancy glow & postpartum after-glow

The pregnancy glow is one of the many changes you might experience during pregnancy. This is when your skin looks firmer and more radiant, your nails are stronger and your hair thicker. The pregnancy glow occurs through a combination of hormone fluctuations, increased blood flow and enhanced oil secretion in the body. During pregnancy, each woman may experience different symptoms, this is due to each body having a unique biochemistry and responding to pregnancy slightly differently.

Another change to look forward to during pregnancy is constantly being propped up on Oxytocin, aka your ‘bliss hormone’, also known as your cuddle hormone. This shy hormone is only released during orgasm under normal circumstances, but with pregnancy, it is released in full doses during birth, as well as during breastfeeding. Consider yourself in a perpetual state of after-glow when you are breastfeeding. It’s the hormonal super-power women are gifted with as moms to counterbalance the sleepless nights and consistent energy demands of motherhood.

Nutrition

Recommended TOP 5 Superfoods for health in pregnancy

The demands of growing your baby and then the continued demands of nourishing your body and baby (from breastfeeding) are all-too-often overlooked. You’re burning hundreds of calories and you’re doing it multiple times a day. These superfoods will keep you energized and nourished throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum for a faster recovery.

Superfoods

Spirulina

The importance of hydration, minerals and protein requirements throughout pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding cannot be overemphasized. Spirulina is a complete alkalising protein rich in a variety of minerals that function to restore and replenish the body from a cellular level.

If you start your day off with high quality, easily absorbable protein such as spirulina, it helps to nourish the body, alkalises the body’s acidity and curbs sugar cravings. Whilst sugars are a source of energy and calories for milk production, it’s not a source of energy we’d recommend. Whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding you are growing a baby, and you need good energy sources. One such energy source is good quality protein. Protein from spirulina will keep your energy levels more stable whilst offering your body the needed mineral base for more complete nourishment.

How to take: Start off first in the morning with hydrating your body & full spectrum minerals and protein for replenishing your cells. Take 500ml of water with spirulina tablets. If you’re used to taking spirulina tablets now is a good time to up your daily dose. The recommended amount of tablets during pregnancy is starting with 5tablets daily and building it up to between 10 and 15 tablets a day for optimal support.

Super greens: LEAN (Superfood Protein Shake)

Women often struggle with acidity during pregnancy, one way of supporting the body is to help balance its ph levels naturally by taking alkalising mineral-rich greens. The LEAN (Greens Alkalising – Superfood Protein Shake) offers a combination of supergreens, protein and minerals to balance the body’s ph and nourish the cells. It contains wheatgrass, barleygrass, moringa, baobab and hemp protein powder. Each one of these super greens act individually and synergistically on the body giving more than just basic nutrition as it comes with many health benefits.

Baobab is rich in calcium for healthy bone development and prebiotics which are gentle on the body’s metabolism and replenish the good gut bacteria that build your immune system. Wheatgrass & barleygrass offers a full spectrum mineral base and fibres that keep your gut functioning optimally. Hemp is a complete alkalising protein rich in essential fatty acids needed for healthy brain development.

How to take: Blend 1-2 Tbsp of powder with juice and a bit of water. You don’t need much more than that per day as these superfoods are called superfoods for a reason – and that is their potency. An alternative way of using the powder is to add it to a smoothie. If you cannot stand the taste of greens, you can also try making some healthy muffins (try our savoury protein muffins or sweet protein muffins .

Chia

Chia seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals essential to growing a healthy baby, including protein, calcium and essential omega 3’s; but it has one extra special feature that tops all the rest and is essential for busy or tired moms: it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare! All you do is add your chia seeds to plant milk, fruit juice or water and sip it throughout the day.

Hot to take: 1-2Tbsp of chia seeds soaked in plant milk, water or fruit juice of choice, stir until well mixed and wait 5 minutes for it to thicken. You can also add it to granola, sprinkle it over yoghurt or blend it into smoothies. Try these chia seed recipes: chia breakfast bowl , chia chocolate mousse, chia bubble tea

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are probably the most versatile of all the superfoods, making them super easy to use and an all-time favourite in terms of flavour and affordability. It is a complete alkalising protein that contains all 20 known amino acids, of which 30% is pure digestible protein. It is also a good source of lecithin which supports hormone balancing and building a baby’s brain, as well as being the essential antidote to ‘pregnancy brain fog’. Growing a baby and breastfeeding requires a lot of good fats (i.e. essential fatty acids or EFAs) of which hemp seeds are abundant. Hemp seeds provide omega 3 and 6 EFAs in a unique, near-perfect ratio for human nutritional needs. Because of this nutritional density, it is the closest natural nutritional source to match the nutritional profile of breast milk. When women struggle to breastfeed, we often recommend making home-made hemp milk to nourish their baby in need.

How to use: 1-2 Tbs per day. To make hemp milk you can easily use 5 or more tablespoons of hemp seeds with 300ml of water. The hemp milk can then be used to substitute your other milk. It can be used to soak chia seeds, in smoothies or used in sauces or to thicken soups. Try these hemp seed recipes: creamy past hemp sauce , hemp protein smoothie , hemp tahini sauce, hemp milk

Super Berries

Berries are low in sugar, high in vitamin C and high in antioxidants providing the perfect energy boost when you need it. Antioxidants help keep you looking and feeling young so you can keep up with your lively little ones.

Goji Berries, Golden Berries and Glow Superfood Protein Shake and Berry C Potent Plant  are some superberry products we recommend. Goji berries and golden berries are easy to snack on whenever you need a pick-me-up during the day. GLOW berry superfood protein shake is a great superfood blend that contains both protein and antioxidants. It’s easy to use to make smoothies and to have in the mid-afternoon to stabilise your blood sugar levels.

Pregnancy Superfoods do’s and don’ts

A list of superfoods that are considered generally safe to use during pregnancy that will boost your nutrient intake, and those that you should avoid.*

Superfoods-for-pregancy-dos-and-dontsA few things to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Highly detoxifying foods
  • Adaptogenic foods
  • High stimulants
  • Activity & foods that stimulate cortisol
  • Introducing new foods that you don’t usually eat or that are unfamiliar to your body could create unwanted reactions or effects. Please consult your healthcare practitioner for specific use on any new foods you want to try.

 

 

 

Top tips (other than superfoods) to recharge your physical and mental body

Meditation

10-minutes of sitting quietly in the garden is food for the soul. Your baby and any older children need your love, energy and attention throughout the day and along with all the other life commitments, it’s very easy to feel like there is ‘no time for you’ once the demands of motherhood really set in. 
One proven way to actually thrive and not just for sanity is to set aside 10 minutes a day for some sort of mindfulness practice.

Nature

Take time out in nature when you’re pregnant and postpartum take the baby with you for a walk and allow mother nature to nurture you. There is no place like nature to bring a sense of peace and calm to your tired body, which is feeling stretched too thin. Everyone needs fresh air and exercise, so although it may seem like an effort to get everyone dressed and ready for a walk, even just yourself – when in doubt get out.

Support

Nothing beats quality time spent with people you love and people who love you. You are not in this alone – reach out to your community for help. Just because you are a mom or mom-to-be, doesn’t mean that is all you are, nor that you are in this alone! As a woman, you need a community. If there is anything to learn from nature, is how female animals form groups to look after their young. It takes a village to raise a child and children thrive on being surrounded by people who love them. It’s all too easy to become isolated in our modern parenting realities, believing we are being social by posting some pictures of our baby on social media! Whilst we all need quiet time to recharge, we also need each other.

Your baby’s first superfoods

Babies learn what foods to eat based on what they taste in utero, then via what they taste in breastmilk, as well as watching what the family eats. If you introduced superfoods to your baby during pregnancy and through breastfeeding, you can safely continue to do so when it’s a baby.

Take-Away

Every day in every way you are making a difference. To all super-moms out there whether you are digging deep or flying high it serves us to remember that every day in every way it is our presence, love and care that is making the difference.

“It will only take one generation choosing gentle, compassionate, respectful parenting, to change the world for all future generations. This is OUR time. Let’s do our part to change the world, one little heart at a time.” – L.R.Knost

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