Nutrition is always important, but especially when a woman is pregnant. Weston A. Price makes several recommendations that may or may not go along with what your doctor is telling you. Remember, many medical professionals rely heavily on prescription drugs and have little knowledge of nutritional benefits for the body. When thinking about nutrition, you always want to think in terms of quality, not quantity. The best option is eating nutrient-dense food so you feel full and your body is getting necessary vitamins and minerals.
Recommendations for pregnant and nursing women:
Avoid: processed foods, vegetable oils, trans fats, sweeteners, white flour, and soy. Soy can disrupt the development of hormones.
Vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy development in fetus:
This vitamin is linked to reproduction because studies with rats found they could not reproduce effectively without it. The human placenta makes a protein that transports Vitamin E. This vitamin can be found in high amounts in vegetable oils, however, they also contain polyunsaturated fatty acids which use up Vitamin E within the body. Obtain this vitamin by consuming Palm oil, grass-fed beef fats, nuts, seeds, freshly ground grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
This vitamin is necessary for all cells, tissues and organs in the body to be differentiated. Two examples of very specific cells relying on Vitamin A are the tiny hair-like cilia in the lungs that move debris out and the nephrons in the kidneys which are responsible for filtering. Without adequate Vitamin A, the developing fetus could be predisposed to health problems later in life. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends 20,000 IU every day for pregnant women, received from milk, butter, eggs, liver, and cod liver oil.
The most common way to obtain Vitamin D is from the sun. Despite popular beliefs in the medical world, the sun’s rays are actually good for you in moderation. Vitamin D is very important in the third trimester for the fetus’ rapidly developing skeleton; it has also been linked to lung development. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends 2,000 IU every day for pregnant women, received mostly from cod liver oil, and some from butter, fatty fish, and lard.
Not much is known about this vitamin in terms of a developing fetus. It is known that this vitamin helps to lay down proper calcium salts in bone tissue and prevent calcium deposits in softer tissues. There is a documented case in 1997 of an infant with severe disabilities due to the mother taking Warfarin during pregnancy. This drug prevents clotting by making the body Vitamin K deficient. The best form of Vitamin K is found in fermented foods and grass-fed animal fats.
This acid is important for the nervous system and brain development, as it helps to form and protect neurons. It can be obtained through consuming cod liver oil and fatty fish.
Cod Liver Oil
In addition to providing the body with DHA, Vitamins A and D, cod liver oil also contains EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid. When the pregnant and lactating woman takes cod liver oil, it has been linked to higher IQ in the offspring and a reduced rate of type 1 diabetes. The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends 1 ¾ teaspoons of cod liver oil every day.
Biotin is a B vitamin that may be linked to birth defects in humans, using evidence from an experiment on rats. This vitamin is found in liver and egg yolks. *Avoid raw egg whites when pregnant! Consuming entire eggs limits absorption of Biotin because of the egg whites. Cooking helps to lessen the affects of egg whites, but adding pure egg yolks to smoothies and ice cream would be even more beneficial. Additional foods containing Biotin are cheese, avocado, chicken and salmon.
Folate is probably the most common vitamin recommended during pregnancy. It helps produce new DNA, which in turn creates new cells. This is very important because the developing fetus is constantly making new cells and the mother must make new red blood cells to provide for the baby. Lack of this vitamin is linked to birth defects, reduced birth weight, miscarriages, and brain damage. Be careful that you are getting folate and not the synthetic version called folic acid. Folic acid must be converted in the body and it does not cross the placenta as folate does. It is recommended that pregnant women have 600 micrograms of folate per day. In addition to prenatal vitamins, liver, lentils, spinach, asparagus, beets and most greens have folate.
If needed, this mineral may be substituted for folate in some chemical reactions in the body. Choline’s direct role in the body, however, is developing the brain. Choline is very important for the nervous system and lab tests on rats have shown remarkable results when the pregnant mother was given high doses. Some results were an increase in memory, protection from neurotoxins, and better ability to multi-task. It is recommended that pregnant women have 450 mg per day, however studies on rats suggest an even higher amount.
This is amino acid is vital for protein synthesis and fetal growth. It is found in collagen-rich foods, such as animal skin and bone broth. Eggs and meat contain another amino acid which depletes Glycine. So, pregnant women need to be mindful to consume equal amounts of eggs and meat compared to skin, bone broth, liver, legumes, and greens. This will ensure they are getting enough Glycine in their diet.
Nutrition is always key, but especially for pregnant and nursing women!
Do your best to eat a healthy, balanced diet with all of these vitamins
and minerals to give your baby the best environment to grow!
Heather Brooks, Marketing Manager & Blog and Administrative Assistant
None of these posts have been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose any disease. As with any medical concerns, always consult your medical professional before trying any of the ideas presented on this blog. All information has been obtained from various sources and personal experiences.