Good nutrition during pregnancy benefits both mom and baby in a number of ways, including lessening mom’s fatigue and the odds of gestational diabetes, plus healthy development of your baby at every stage in-utero.
Moving away from conventional meat and dairy products to consume grass-fed meat and dairy during pregnancy is ideal, says Dr. Corey, health expert spokesperson for Better Health Store and a board certified Naturopathic Doctor at Thrive On Life in Brighton. The health of the animal and its living conditions play a key role in why you should consider making the change.
“They are living in their native environment, they are getting out in the sun, they are eating their native diets — and they haven’t been given the antibiotics and recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is genetically modified,” she says of grass-fed animals.
And that is important as those animals tend to be healthier than those raised through conventional farming practices. When you are eating animals that have been given growth hormones and antibiotics, they are sick and diseased, “and we ingest that,” Dr. Corey adds.
Grass-fed meat is also higher in omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, as opposed to omega-6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory. Too much omega-6 can increase inflammation and, according to Healthline, chronic inflammation leads to heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and many types of cancer. Animals raised through conventional farming practices tend to be higher in omega-6 fatty acids, so if you’re consuming a lot of commercial meat, you’re setting yourself up for diseases down the road.
When it comes to dairy, opt for grass-fed, too.
“These cows that we get the commercial dairy from — they are sick,” Dr. Corey says. “There is an allowable amount of puss that is allowed in their milk and that’s why they give them these antibiotics,” and that’s not healthy for anyone.
So, if you’re ready to make some tweaks to your refrigerator and pantry, read on for some foods to stock up on for healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Foods to stock up on
Organic produce, grass-fed meat and dairy — these are just some of the staples. But, Dr. Corey says when it comes to dairy, opt for full-fat choices because you need a high healthy fat diet during pregnancy that aids in your baby’s development.
Purchase aged cheeses, which have been fermented. These are good for your gut health. In addition, cheese contains protein and calcium, which is essential for you and baby. Full-fat kefir or raw milk yogurt are some worthy additions, as well.
And while you don’t have to increase your calories during pregnancy too much, Dr. Corey says, that will change if you’re nursing, so you need snacks on hand.
Your need for nutritional value goes up a lot, so stock up on nuts, Epic bars with grass-fed beef, turkey or lamb, and black cherries that can build your blood.
Stick with whole foods such as nut butters, fruit, pieces of cheese, salads and smoothies. Add MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oils to your smoothies as a way to get the extra fat you need in your diet.
Overload your refrigerator with simple foods and get back to nature with things that have a shelf life versus prepackaged items that are filled with preservatives.
“We don’t have to supplement as much when we are eating real food,” Dr. Corey says.
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