Vitamins-and-nutrients

5 Nutritious Foods To Eat Whilst Pregnant

When you’re eating for two the responsibility of putting the right foods in your mouth becomes so much heavier because it’s not just your own health you need to worry about, but your unborn baby’s as well.  So to ensure you’re giving yourself and your bub the best nutrients during pregnancy consider stocking up on the following foods that not only benefit baby, but you as well.

Salmon

Whilst every type of fish contains some amount of mercury, Salmon is one type of fish that has very low levels so it’s safe to eat whilst pregnant.  Experts do recommend that you limit yourself to no more than two 6 ounce servings per week, just to be safe.  Salmon is commonly known for being a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which help with neurological and visual development in your unborn baby as well as contributing to your brain function and reducing the rick of heart disease.

Beans

Whether you eat black beans, lentils, pinto beans or chickpeas, the result is the same – you’re stocking up on protein and essential fibre which is important during pregnancy.  Protein is essential for the growth of your baby whilst the fibre can help alleviate constipation that can be very common during pregnancy.  Not only that, but beans are a great source of folate – an essential nutrient during the very early stages of pregnancy which can reduce the risk of neural tube defects in your unborn baby.

Eggs

Eggs contain more than 12 vitamins and minerals as well as protein which are vital for the growth of your baby and if you purchase omega-3 enriched eggs then they are even more beneficial.  The fatty acids in these eggs are essential for brain development and eye formation in the foetus.  Ensure you cook your eggs thoroughly to avoid any chance of contracting salmonella which can be extremely harmful for your baby and remember to avoid foods that contain raw egg such as some homemade mayonnaise, mousse and some salad dressings.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach are great to eat during pregnancy because of the number of vitamins and nutrients found within.  The beta carotene is vital for your baby’s eye, skin, bone and cell growth whilst the magnesium helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, helps to control cholesterol and may prevent poor foetal growth and preeclampsia.  They’re also a great source of folate which can help to reduce the risk of neural tube defects early on in the pregnancy.

Greek yoghurt

Compared to regular yoghurt, Greek yoghurt typically has twice the amount of protein so eat more of it in the third trimester, when your baby is growing the most rapidly.  The protein will help with brain development and blood production.  Greek yoghurt is also a good source of calcium which is extremely important during pregnancy, helping with strong bones in you and your baby.  If you don’t consume enough calcium your baby will take your limited supply, depleting the calcium in your bones.

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September 3, 2014

Dark Chocolate: Bad Or Beneficial?

Because dark chocolate is high in fat, some people have a hard time believing that it can be good for you. But one fat found in dark chocolate (oleic acid) is monounsaturated and this is a desirable fat which is good for your heart. Dark chocolate is also packed full of antioxidants but be sure that you’re choosing the right brand to get the greatest number of nutrients.

Dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% of cocoa will give you the most benefit. If you’re one of the people who don’t like dark chocolate because it can be bitter to taste, rather than being tempted to buy chocolate with more sugar in it, try and get accustomed to the taste by eating small amounts at a time. So with that in mind, here are some of the health benefits of dark chocolate:

Good for your cardiovascular health

The flavonoids in dark chocolate can help to lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and increase the flexibility of arteries and veins, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Helps to curb your sugar cravings

If you have a sugar addiction then consider eating a couple of squares of dark chocolate, rather than milk chocolate.  It has found to be far more filling than milk chocolate and it can lessen the cravings for sweet or fatty foods.

Reduces stress

Recent studies have found that stress hormone levels reduced significantly after people ate and 40g of dark chocolate every day for two weeks.  Now I’m by no means saying to go out and test this theory but perhaps when you’re stressed, consider reaching for the dark chocolate rather than the ice cream.

Slows the signs of aging

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants which can help protect your body from free radicals that can be the cause of some types of cancer and some signs of ageing.

Helps to boost your brain power

Since the flavonoids in dark chocolate can improve blood flow to the brain, eating dark chocolate can improve brain performance and alertness in the short term.

High in vitamins and nutrients

Dark chocolate is full of vitamins and nutrients beneficial for your health.  The potassium and copper can help prevent strokes while the magnesium can prevent high blood pressure and type two diabetes.

Next time you’re in the supermarket aisle reaching for a block of chocolate, consider the dark chocolate that will be much more beneficial for your health.

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August 24, 2014