NUTRITION DURING YOUR FIRST TRIMESTER (Part 2 of Pregnancy and Nutrition)

Did you know when you are  pregnant your baby feeds off your nutrient bank?

That the baby is like a little parasite that feeds off your nutrient stores .

Instead of eating for two ensure you are eating from all the food groups and meeting your daily calorie requirements.

During the  first trimester,your body is undergoing numerous changes and it is also a time when the baby growth is at its most rapid.

There is a lot of cell multiplication and many vital tissues and organs are formed during this time.

A good idea is to ensure you are very familiar with the food groups and ensure each meal you take has all the food groups in it.

The 5 basic food groups are:

1.Grains

2.Vegetables

3.Fruits

4.Milk

5.Meat and beans.

 

Important nutrients during the first trimester are:

Protein

The rapid growth and cell multiplication needs proteins which are the body’s building blocks.

These can me met by eating a variety of foods like  broccoli,cauliflower,avocado,cabbage’chick peas,lentils as well as proteins from animal sources like chicken and beef.

Vitamins

In order for the  body to make use of these increased intake of protein you need your fruits and vegetables

 

Folic acid

A very critical nutrient as it plays a role in brain and spinal cord development,formation of DNA as well as in tissue and cell development.

Rich sources of folic acid include green vegetables like spinach,kales,whole grains.

This nutrient is so important that women who are even thinking of becoming pregnant are advised to ensure they are meeting their daily intake of this nutrient.

Iron

A nutrient critical in  building up of hemoglobin the blood component that carries oxygen.

A pregnant woman has an increased need for oxygen because of the increased blood volume and to help her baby’s iron stores.

Babies are actually born with stores of iron that can last 4-6 months.

Dry beans,meat,oatmeal,kales,spinach ,broccoli and even pumpkin seeds.

Get part 1 of Nutrition in pregnancy here.

 

NUTRITION AND PREGNANCY-Part 1

It takes two to make a baby………

Photo credits as above.....
Photo credits as above…..

Bringing a  baby to life is a miracle…..

The Merriam-webster dictionary definition of a miracle is an  extremely outstanding or unusual event,thing or accomplishment.

In matters pregnancy it is very important for prospective parents to ensure they are in the best of health prior to conception.

Two risk factors that may affect your chances of pregnancy are.

1.Smoking

Indirect or direct cigarette smoke inhalation does directly affect your chances of pregnancy.

If either you or your partner smoke you need to kick the habit before you start trying out for a baby.

Smoking during pregnancy affects your baby as the cigarette smoke contains dangerous chemicals that cross the placenta  directly from your blood stream into the baby’s.

These chemicals affect your baby’s development as well as increase their chances of infections and disease .

2.Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the worlds most liberally abused drug and an increasing number of women who are of child bearing age are getting caught up in the misuse of alcohol.

It is a very wise choice to keep your intake of alcohol to the bare minimum if you are thinking of becoming pregnant  or have been trying to get pregnant.

In this case bare minimum means not more than 2 glasses  of wine in a week ,if beer  is your choice of drink not more than 2 bottles in a week.

It is even better to keep off alcohol completely

 

A couple that is in good physical health  should be able to achieve a healthy pregnancy ,any concerns should be raised with your health care provider.

DATES,RAMADHAN AND MORE

Image of dates thanks to pinterest.

 

It’s the Muslim fasting period of Ramadhan and a lot of dates will be consumed during this period.

An odd number of dates is eaten to break the fast before the evening meal.According to the Muslim site Sunni.net one to three dates and 2 glasses of water is considered a healthy way to break the fast.

Dates are the fruits of the palm tree and the fruits have been a major part of the diet of the Middle east and South Asia.

Here in Kenya I have come across them thanks to the Muslim community a large majority of whom are found on the Kenyan coast.

Nutritionally dates are a source of simple sugars i.e sucrose and dextrose and that is why they are a great way of raising your blood sugars after a fasting period.

They are rich in dietary fibre and hence a good laxative if you suffer from constipation.

Dates are also a good source of iron which is essential for the formation of haemoglobin a blood component that determines the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells.They are also rich in potassium an important mineral that helps in the regulation of blood pressure heart rate.

Boiling milk in which dates have been added is a great convalescence drink too.

Read more about dates health benefits of dates.

Dried dates are best stored in an air tight container they have no need to be refrigrated though i have kept some  in my fridge for a week.

“POOR” CABBAGE

History has been very unfair to the cabbage as for quite a long time it has relegated the cabbage to a nondescript position as a poor mans vegetable.

Yet the vegetable has been known to contain anti carcinogenic properties that may help fight cancer as well as prevent growth of malignant tumours.

Cabbage contains significant amounts of the B,K and E vitamins as well as Vitamin C and A.

Vitamins are an essential component in the regulation of body functions from playing a role in immunity to helping in blood clotting,a role vitamin K plays very well.

It is also rich in the essential minerals potassium and since it is low in sodium is good for anyone with hypertension or oedema.It also has considerable amounts of calcium and phosphorus which are known bone builders.

Cabbage is great in salads or steamed.It is best to cook it for as little time as possible as it loses a lot of its Vitamin component when cooked.

If cooking make sure it retains its bright color and crunchy consistency so that you get the best from it.

When shopping it is best to go for firm cabbages,with bright green and from leaves and keep off cabbages that have started to turn yellow.

You can make salads with them fresh from the market but i have found once i store them in the fridge then it is better to steam them with just a little olive oil and grated carrots.

Here and here are recipes to start you off.