Today VWJ is happy to host a guest post from Sarah Barber, the nutritional expert at FittaMamma, a clothing company for healthy, active mamas. Sarah has a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy with the College of Naturopathic Medicine, and is also a member of the British Association of Nutritional Therapists. A mother herself, Sarah’s special focus is pregnant women, babies, children and mums. Sarah provides advice and answers questions on pre- and post-natal nutrition at FittaMamma, where you can find more health information and recipes! pregnancy
Sarah Barber’s Top Health Tips for Pregnancy
Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable that grows in the inhospitable Andes- and it tastes like caramel, malted deliciousness! Any plant that struggles to survive naturally becomes rich in nutrients and adaptogenic properties, and will help to nourish the 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 in raw food treats like these Date Energy Bites or this Maca Smoothie.
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 ‘green drink’ supplements can boost your immunity even more. Green powders based on plants and algae (like spirulina and wheat grass) include a wide spectrum of natural antioxidants and vitamins as well as minerals such as selenium and zinc. Green powders are fantastic at helping to balance out blood sugar to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. You can add greens powders to smoothies, salad dressings, soup, casseroles or mashed avocado.
The benefits of the humble flaxseed shouldn’t be underrated. Flax has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains along with a healthy fat profile and high fiber content. Flax is high in B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and is a great source of antioxidants. But flax must be ground to obtain these nutrients! Your can purchase flax already ground, or grind your own in a coffee grinder (this is best for freshness!). Add ground flax seeds to energy bars, or mix into a hot dishes to enjoy all the nutrients. Flaxseed oil is another way to include this important plant in your diet. Flaxseed oil is very nutritious and can be used in salad dressings or drizzled over vegetables – aim for 1-2 tablespoons a day (but always keep flax oil cold- store in the refrigerator and do not cook it). Use flaxseeed oil dressing on superfood salads, and use flaxseeds for vegan baking and gluten-free bread recipes.