All posts filed under: Nutrition

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Bone Broth: A Pregnancy Friend (+ Video)

What’s the difference between bone broth and stock anyway?  And why has it suddenly become so popular? Food goes through trends just like fashion does, and bone broth is no exception. Fashionista foodies and health enthusiasts alike have taken to bone broth by storm; it’s the new in drink to have on hand. Coffee is so last year. Okay maybe not, I have to admit that I have yet to see it on the Starbucks menu. But bone broth has really taken off lately, to the point that you can now even buy powdered bone broth protein shakes. And yet, like the fashion world, bone broth has been around for a long time. Perhaps it’s only now that we are finding out the health benefits it can provide. But I think instinctively we’ve always known that it’s what our bodies were craving when out of balance. Can you think of what your mom or grandma might have made you when you were sick? Did anyone say chicken soup? All around the world we have different …

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Top 5 Skin Foods to Avoid Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Don’t we all want to be one of those lucky 10% of women that don’t get stretch marks during pregnancy? The reality is that most of us get at least some stretch marks while growing another human being under our skin. And if you think about it, it’s understandable given that our skin would not normally stretch at such a speed under normal circumstances. Stretch marks are there to be celebrated in a way, a mark that shows a woman’s incredible ability to grow and bring life into this world out of just two cells. But like those wrinkles that appear as we get older and wiser, stretch marks are generally not a welcome side effect of pregnancy. The real question is, how can we avoid pregnancy stretch marks? Did I hear everyone say – moisturizing? Yep, we all thought that. The truth is, moisturizing will help you deal with the common dry skin itchy feeling that you get around your growing belly. But, according to the research, no matter how much cream or oil …

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How to eat yourself fertile

Is it oysters? No. Chocolate? Not quite (if only though!). Strawberries? Maybe. The answer to eating yourself fertile is not quite as exciting as a special valentines meal. But hey, the oysters and the chocolate at least might get you in the mood! Especially as it’s a common issue that when we have babies on our mind, we can’t get them off our minds. And let’s face it, that’s not always fun. In fact, planning a pregnancy can be such a daunting, exciting, disappointing, joyful and nerve-wracking experience that it certainly tends to raise a lot of questions in our mind. So, let’s start with some good news to brighten up your day! You’re in for some unexpected benefits. Firstly, women who planned their pregnancies seem to have a much lower rate of nausea & vomiting in the first trimester, especially the severe form of it, called hyperemesis gravidarum. Hooray! This is because women who have higher stress levels tend to have more problems with nausea in early pregnancy. And it goes without saying that unplanned pregnancies can be …

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Iodine & your baby’s IQ

Ever heard of iodine and its importance during pregnancy? Probably not, as its one of those minerals that is not often talked about. In fact, only in the last few years has its importance during pregnancy really started to be a talking point. But what is iodine anyway? And why is it important for us? Iodine is a trace mineral that we all require for our organs to function normally. Iodine is found in pretty much all of our organs, but the one that needs it most is our thyroid. Our thyroid produces hormones that control our metabolism, which is in charge of our heart rate, how fast or slow our brain, liver, and other organs work. If your thyroid is working slowly, you’ll have the tendency to gain weight, feel tired and cold often. The opposite would be the case should your thyroid be working overtime. Iodine deficiency is a big problem worldwide, and only in developed countries, with the availability of iodized salt and balanced diets, have we been able to minimize this …

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Christmas Party Survival Guide during Pregnancy

Christmas parties are not quite the same when you’re pregnant. These usually revolve around wine and cocktails, soft cheeses, meats, pates and smoked fish, all wonderful delicacies that will leave you feeling left out, and wondering if there’s anything that you can eat or drink at the party. Not only that, but if your colleagues still don’t know you are pregnant, they may be pretty certain that you are by the end of the party if you’re having to avoid everything. So let’s start with what you can eat, so you can relax a little and find things that you know are safe: CHEESE All those hard cheeses such as cheddar, goat’s cheddar, gouda, gruyere, gloucester, halloumi, lancashire, manchego, parmesan, pecorino, leicester, jarlsberg, are all fine to eat. Soft cheeses including mozzarella, mascarpone, feta, cream cheese, ricotta, quark, goats cheese without rind, roulade, cottage cheese are all safe as well. Brie & camembert are not safe to eat uncooked, but oven baked until piping hot they are absolutely fine. So if you have a say …

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The importance of Omega 3’s

Omega 3’s in Pregnancy If there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss out on during pregnancy its omega 3 fatty acids. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have heard about the wonders of omega 3 fats, and how important they are for our overall health. And not just in pregnancy that is. Omega 3 fatty acids are found primarily in oily fish (such as salmon, tuna, anchovies, etc), though there are some plant sources such as flax, chia and hemp seeds. But what’s all the hype about? Omega 3’s are essential fats that our bodies cannot produce. We require them for a number of processes such as making hormones, regulating blood clotting, maintaining adequate cholesterol, heart and brain health and much, much more. During pregnancy omega 3’s are very important for the adequate development of the baby’s eyesight, brain and central nervous system. Studies have also linked adequate omega 3 intake during pregnancy to higher child IQ scores. Not only that, but research has shown that it also helps reduce the risk of …

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Constipation in Pregnancy

Oh the joys of pregnancy! While you might not have expected to discuss any ‘toilet talk’ other than your baby’s nappies, constipation is an issue for many women during pregnancy, and often an embarrassing one to bring up. But why does it happen? Well, there are a few reasons, some of which you have zero control over (like hormones & the growing weight of your baby). But it’s not all bad news as there are lots of things you can do to ‘relieve’ yourself (you get me?). A yogurt a day keeps the toilet away… Okay, not exactly, but a lot of people think that eating yogurt a day alone will keep you regular. The truth is, that’s just the advertising trick to make you buy more of that yogurt. Natural yogurt does have live bacteria that can be beneficial to your gut, but that does not replace fibre. Dairy products actually do not contain any fibre. A question I ask all of you ladies that I see during your pregnancy that have constipation; do …

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Pregnancy Diet Do’s and Don’ts

Finding out you are pregnant is such an exciting, amazing, nerve-raking, scary, and emotional time, in addition to a whole range of other emotions. It comes with a huge sense of responsibility that what you eat/drink/do/experience is inevitably going to affect your baby (whether positive or negative). Your baby is 100% dependent on you for all of it’s nutrients to build his or her bones, organs, blood, skin (no pressure huh?!). That’s why it’s so important to make sure you eat healthily during pregnancy. Different countries and cultures have their own advice on what you should or should’t eat and drink, most of it pretty common sense and basic (such as alcohol and foods that might make you sick). To make things a little more confusing and add to your stress, advice changes from country to country. But don’t despair, I have made list for you considering all the different advice out there, so that you can have a bit more of a definitive list. Most importantly, I have included a range of foods that …

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Top 15 Tips to Relieve Nausea in Pregnancy

Morning sickness is what we all associate with  early pregnancy, and it seems that most pregnant women experience some form of nausea and/or  vomiting at some point during their pregnancy. It is called morning sickness because it typically affects women in the morning, however many still experience it throughout the day as well. Some are very unfortunate to develop hyperemesis gravidarum; a severe form of vomiting during pregnancy, though this is the minority. Nausea & vomiting usually starts around 6 weeks of pregnancy and continues up to 12-16 weeks, but can last longer in some cases. It is one of the most unpleasant side effects of pregnancy, and yet there is little out there that has been shown to be really effective. You may have heard about a drug called ‘Thalidomide’ that was given to pregnant women in the 1950’s to help relieve nausea and vomiting, but was later found to cause severe malformation of the limbs in their babies. Since then most women are very cautious when it comes to taking drugs for morning …

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Vitamin D for a Healthy Pregnancy

Vitamin D deficiency has been a hot topic in the media lately, and is associated with a whole range of maladies and health problems. But what’s all the fuss about? Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you might imagine. In a London antenatal population, vitamin D deficiency was found in 64% of Middle Eastern women, 58% of black women, 47% of Indian Asian women, and 13% of Caucasian women. This is because the more pigmented the skin, the less vitamin D is absorbed. Obesity is also associated with lower levels of vitamin D in both pregnant women and their babies, with 61% of women who were obese found to be vitamin D deficient. And although you may be someone who takes every opportunity to be out in the sunshine, when wearing sunscreen with factor 8 or over, the ultraviolet light the body needs to create vitamin D is blocked out. Without enough vitamin D the gut cannot absorb calcium and phosphate adequately, which can lead to a number of complications with both mum and …