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Top Tips for Pregnancy Nutrition from Nutritional Therapist Janine McGee

Fertility, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition are subjects that are so close to my heart, so when Valentine asked me to write this blog post for you all, I was absolutely thrilled.

I see so much misinformation about the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy nutrition and I wanted to share some of my top tips with you.


PROTEIN

Protein is used by every single cell in the body and is involved in so many different processes that we need to make sure that we are eating plenty of it. I generally say to people to make sure that they are getting protein with every meal/snack. So many clients I see simply aren’t eating enough protein and having cereal or plain toast for breakfast. If you are reading this thinking “that’s me”, then try swapping that out for a healthy granola with added nuts and seeds, or try eggs or almond butter on your toast. Some snack ideas include; oat cakes with hummus/ almond butter or an avocado with seeds sprinkled on top.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is one nutrient that you should not be without ever… It supports so many things, from energy, mood, and sleep right through to aches and pains… I hear from so many pregnant clients that they feel run down, they aren’t sleeping properly, they ache all over and can’t get comfortable… Including more magnesium in your diet could really support all of this.

Magnesium rich food includes;

· Brown rice

· Oats

· Leafy greens

· Nuts and seeds

· Avocado

If you can’t tolerate this then it may be worth you looking at supplementing… Please get in touch and mention this blog post and I’ll happily chat to you about supplements.

HEALTHY FATS

It is so important to get plenty of omega 3 during pregnancy, omega 3 helps support hormone balancing for you, and support stretch marks! Not only this, but omega 3 helps support the brain development of your little one. EPA and DHA (types of omega 3) are seriously beneficial during pregnancy. There has been a considerable amount of research on this and getting plenty of DHA in your diet can support the prevention of premature births and low birth weights.

Both EPA and DHA can be found in;

· Salmon

· Mackerel

· Anchovies

· Sardines

· Herring

Omega 3 can also be found in plant based sources such as;

· Walnuts

· Flaxseeds

· Chia Seeds

If you do not eat oily fish then I’d highly recommend supplementing, please get in contact with me to discuss as there are significant variation in quality of supplements.

IRON

If you find your energy levels are dipping and your iron levels are not looking great then it is worth including more iron rich food in your diet;

· Lentils

· Spinach and other leafy greens

· Sesame seeds

· Kidney Beans

· Red meat (limit red meat consumption to no more than twice a week as it is linked to inflammation)

ZINC

Zinc supports cell division (which is so rapid in the early stages of pregnancy)… Zinc is needed to make healthy white blood cells and also supports the digestion of fat, protein and carbohydrate for both you and baby. Zinc is also a vital nutrient for hormone balancing; including oestrogen and progesterone (two hormones that change dramatically when pregnant). If you are deficient in zinc, you could be blocking folate absorption too so it is worth making sure that you include the following;

· Whole grains

· Meat (especially lamb)

· Pumpkin seeds

· Chickpeas

· Dairy (opt for organic where possible).

THINGS TO AVOID:

· Soft blue cheese

· Rinded soft cheese (such as brie)

· Unpastuerised milk

· Be careful of raw, undercooked eggs to reduce the risk of salmonella.

· Pate

· Raw meat

· Liver (this contains high levels of vitamin A, which can be harmful to your baby during pregnancy)

· Raw fish

· Caffeine (limit to no more than 200mg caffeine per day (remember that even chocolate contains caffeine!)

· Alcohol

Hopefully this helps and if you have any questions then please get in touch at;

mindfulnutrition@outlook.com

www.facebook.com/groups/mindfulnutritionskinbeautyandhome

www.janinemcgee.co.uk

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