My Top 5 Food-Supplements for Pregnancy
12th December 2012
Compiled for FittaMamma
Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable that grows in the inhospitable Andes- and it tastes like caramel, malted deliciousness! Any plant that grows well despite living in a harsh environment is inherently strong....its acquired adaptogenic properties will also help to nourish our body and enhance its ability to cope with changes. Maca can increase energy, help with adrenal function, and maintain a healthy libido!
Maca is available in capsules, but also available powdered. Sarah recommends using half a teaspoon of the powdered form for breakfast cereals, porridge, yogurt or smoothies, working up to one or two tablespoons over a few weeks. You can also use a tablespoon or two in raw food treats like these Energy Balls.
Bee pollen is quite the super-food, full of protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals. It's particularly high in zinc (needed for healthy hormones) and vitamin B6 which good for baby's immune and brain development. Just add a teaspoon to an energy drink or sprinkle on fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast.
You can get lots of essential vitamins and minerals from eating green leafy vegetables and fruits, but 'cereal grasses (usually seen in their powdered form as wheatgrass or barleygrass powder) can provide a superior nutrient boost. These green powders are incredibly nourishing and include a wide spectrum of easily digestible wholefood-source of antioxidants, proteins and vitamins as well as minerals such as selenium and zinc. They are also fantastic at helping to balance out blood sugar to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day so perfect during a time of increased nutritional need such as pregnancy. You can also add them to smoothies, salad dressings, soup, casseroles or mashed avocado. Sarah loves to recommend Pukka Herbs Wheat Grass Juice powder.
The benefits of the humble linseed (sometimes called flaxseed) shouldn''t be underrated. Linseed has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains along with a healthy fat profile and high fibre content. Flaxseeds are high in B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and are a great source of antioxidants. But linseeds must be ground to obtain these nutrients! Your can purchase linseeds already ground, or grind your own in a coffee grinder (this is best for freshness!). Add them to energy bars, or mix into a hot dishes to enjoy all the nutrients. Linseed oil is another way to include this important plant in your diet though the main benefit from consuming the oil will be the omega-3 content only (the other nutrients mentioned above are contained in the actual seed). The oil can be used in salad dressings or drizzled over vegetables. Aim for 1-2 tablespoons a day (but always keep linseed oil cold - store in the refrigerator and do not cook it).
Sarah''s other favourite for extra nutrition in pregnancy is Brewer's Yeast. It contains Chromium which supports healthy blood sugar and may help to prevent nausea. She recommends working up to 1-2 tablespoons throughout the day to maintain energy, vitamin B and healthy blood cholesterol levels. It can be added to your morning porridge or a high energy smoothie.