"What should I eat?", I hear this almost every day! It can be so confusing navigating all the nutritional advice for pregnancy and optimal fertility. I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents and give you a short list of 5 Paleo Powerhouse foods that are often overlooked in our diets. These foods support your fertile body as your grow a little Cavebaby and can help prepare you for pregnancy as well as breastfeeding.
#1 Fermented Cod Liver Oil: Fermentation allows the oil to be separated from its source without heating and without changing the structure of the oil. This optimizes the nutritional components and keeps all of the beneficial nutrients intact. Fermented cod liver oil is extremely high in fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K2 (stay tuned for a super informative micronutrient post), all of which are splendidly important for pregnancy and fertility. Does it taste good? Not in the least. There are however certain brands that taste better than others. Green Pastures carries a line of excellent flavoured oils you can buy online if your local store doesn't carry them.
#2 Pumpkin Seed Butter: Yes, PSB contains Omega-6 but in the context of a healthy paleo/primal menu, it has it's rightful place. Not only is this little gem high in protein (10g/serving), it's also high in zinc, multiple forms of beneficial vitamin E, tryptophan, magnesium and iron. All key nutrients for a pregnant Cavemama. Plus it tastes delicous...unlike powerhouse #1 and is has funky green colour, which will totally gross out your friends and family. There is value in that.
#3 Gelatin: A rich source of amino acids as well as protein, gelatin helps our connective tissues (which are stretching and growing), skin, nails and hair stay healthy and look great. It also helps to support the lining of our guts, aiding in digestion as well as essential liver function. Both of which can be challenged in pregnancy. You can get gelatin by making your own bone broth or by taking a Collagen Hydrolysate powder. I use Great Lakes Brand. It's flavourless and easy to use, either in a recipe (see my recipage for some ideas) or added to a hot liquid, like tea or soup.
#4 Liver: Sorry folks, but liver is great. Liver is one of the best sources of iron, b-vitamins, zinc and vitamin A. Gram for gram, it contains the riches sources of nutrients than any other food and it's also super affordable! I always recommend organic grass-fed liver, as conventionally raised animals may have come into contact with high amounts of hormones, pesticides or toxins, all of which will be present in their meats.
#5 Avocado: Besides being creamy and absolutely delicious, the avocado is an excellent food for pregnancy and fertility. Avocados have a unique nutrient profile being high in vitamin A, C, E, zinc, ALA omega-3 fats and selenium. What a total gem!
No I didn't forget coconut oil or eggs! I had to choose just 5! They deserves their own posts..so please standby !
What foods do you consume the most during your pregnancy or while trying to conceive ?