Nutrients during pregnancy – Vitamins for Women

Pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life as she watches the way her body changes and grows to accommodate her unborn baby.

Pregnancy fitness and health

How exciting – you’re pregnant! There’s never been a better time to look after yourself, so you can really sit back and enjoy your pregnancy while making plans to welcome your new baby.

Physical activity

Keeping physically fit and active during pregnancy offers many health benefits, such as improving physical and mental wellbeing while helping you to maintain a healthy weight. Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

Nutritional support

During pregnancy your dietary requirements increase to support your health, and that of your developing baby. Eating a wide variety of unprocessed foods is a good place to start and taking a specialised pregnancy multivitamin provides a broad-spectrum of important nutrients. In theory, a healthy nutritious diet should provide you with all the nutrients you need while pregnant, but there are some vitamins and minerals that are especially important during pregnancy:

Folic acid & vitamin B12

Folic acid, if taken daily for one month before conception and during pregnancy, may reduce the risk of women having a child with birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Folic acid and vitamin B12 are important for DNA replication, cell division and growth, and are necessary to produce red blood cells and to maintain normal blood in healthy individuals.

Iodine

Dietary iodine deficiency is re-emerging as a significant problem and recent research has identified Australian pregnant women to be at risk. Iodine requirements are increased during pregnancy and adequate maternal iodine levels are important for healthy brain development. To meet the increased demands of pregnancy, it is recommended that iodine supplementation be taken prior to trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Choline

Choline plays a key role in foetal development and is required for the healthy development of the brain and nervous system during pregnancy.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish oil provides a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy may be beneficial to both mother and development of the baby. DHA in particular is important during pregnancy for healthy brain, eye and vision development.

Birth preparation with Raspberry leaf

Raspberry leaf has been traditionally used as a women’s tonic and is taken during the third trimester of pregnancy to prepare the uterus for labour and to facilitate childbirth.

AN ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENT FOR VEGANS

Iron is an essential mineral, necessary to produce haemoglobin, which plays an important role in storing and transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, including the muscles for healthy muscle contraction.

There are two forms of dietary iron known as haem and non-haem iron:

Haem iron can be found in animal-based foods, including lean red meats, poultry and fish

Non-haem iron can be found in plant-based foods, including nuts, legumes, grains, fruits and vegetables

Iron levels are tightly controlled within the body, with levels regulated by absorption rather than excretion, and many factors can hinder the amount of iron absorbed within the gastrointestinal tract.

Iron absorption

Haem iron is more soluble and readily absorbed by the body when compared to non-haem iron. Non-haem iron is less soluble and poorly absorbed as it’s easily disrupted and inhibited by other dietary factors including tea, coffee, milk, wholegrains and chocolate. Combining foods rich in vitamin C with non-haem iron based foods, helps to solubilise and enhance the absorption of iron from the digestive tract. Haem iron is thought to have 2-3 times greater absorption than non-haem iron. Iron supplementation may be beneficial when dietary intake is inadequate, and deficiency is common in vegetarians, vegans, the elderly, and during infancy, adolescence and pregnancy.

Iron and B Vitamins – essential Vegan supplements

Some B vitamins, particularly vitamins B2, B6, B12 and folic acid, when combined with iron, provide important cofactors that help to maintain healthy blood in healthy individuals:

Vitamins B2 and B6 are important for the production of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen around the body in red blood cells

Vitamin B12 and folic acid are necessary for the production of red blood cells for oxygen transport

Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are necessary for oxygen transport in red blood cells

Types of iron

There are a number of organic (eg: ferrous bisglycinate) and non-organic (eg: ferrous sulphate) forms of non-haem iron available for supplementation. Ferrous sulphate is commonly prescribed medically, and while highly bioavailable, gastrointestinal irritation is common. Ferrous bisglycinate is also highly bioavailable and is well tolerated and gentle on the digestive system.

WHY CHOOSE CERTIFIED ORGANIC?

Did you know the term ‘organic’ isn’t regulated in Australia? The term is splashed across labels, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a product is really organic! Organic Certification logos, like the Australian Certified Organic Bud logo, guarantees you’re buying a truly organic product.

CEO of Australian Organic, Australia’s leading organic industry body, Mr Paul Stadhams, encourages us to look for a certified organic logo whenever we buy organic – like the Australian Certified Organic (ACO) Bud logo. “The Bud logo is your 100 per cent guarantee that you are buying real, honest organic products that have been audited all along the production chain – from paddock to plate – to comply with strict organic standards.” ACO is one of seven certification bodies nationally. Owned by Australian Organic, ACO is now Australia’s largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce and products, certifying in 16 countries and with auditors reviewing and maintaining over 17,000 products with the Bud logo. The ACO Bud logo means that product is cruelty-free, non-GMO, pasture fed, socially responsible, sustainably fished, biodiversity friendly and of course grown free from harsh synthetic pesticides, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics.  You can find it on a range of products from food and drinks to skincare, clothing, homewares, gardening, and pet food.

Why choose ORGANIC

Go Vita Tanunda give you 7 reasons to choose certified organic

  1. Good for the environment ACO works towards the future, focusing on organic, sustainable farming practices, land regeneration, and biodiversity protection.
  2. Certified organic products are the only true free range products Livestock must be 100 per cent free range to be certified organic. This means no caged chickens and no sow stalls. Animals must be given a high standard quality of life that allows them to perform natural social and physical functions.
  3. Certified organic food products are real Certified organic food is real food made without synthetic colourings, preservatives, additives or GM ingredients, items that can be linked with allergic reactions.
  4. If you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t put it on your skin! Skin products aren’t tested on animals and don’t use any synthetic colouring agents, fragrances, ethoxylated ingredients, silicones, paraffin or petroleum.
  5. No GMO Buying certified organic is the only way to know if a product is free from genetically modified organisms as there is no requirement in Australia to label GM ingredients.
  6. Be 100 per cent socially responsible. By buying Australian Certified Organic, you’re protecting workers’ rights.
  7. The Bud logo is a logo with integrity ACO has one of the strictest food regulatory programs in the world. Every ACO product has a certification number unique to the operator, allowing full traceability, and random audits and product testing ensure ongoing authenticity.

 

Adapted from Go Mag issue 44

GOOD FOR YOUR GUTS

We know Licorice as a delicious sweet treat, the herb itself has very different benefits. As a medicinal herb, licorice root has long been valued for the profound and positive effect it has on your digestive system.

Licorice has been used in many forms over the centuries. It is known that the glycyrrhizin in licorice root can cause high blood pressure. A procedure developed to remove this compound from licorice provides a new safer form known as DGL or deglycyrrhizinated licorice. Anti-inflammatory DGL is highly effective for soothing digestive disturbances, particularly gastritis and peptic ulcers.

The mechanism of DGL in peptic ulcer treatment is that it stimulates and/or accelerates the factors that protect against ulcer formation. Specifically, DGL improves both the quality and quantity of the protective substances that line the intestinal tract. The licorice produces a thick protective mucus gel that covers the lining of the stomach wall providing welcome relief for heartburn sufferers too.

Chewing DGL between or twenty minutes prior to meals seems to produce positive results as it must mix with saliva to promote the regeneration of salivary compounds that stimulate the growth and regeneration of stomach and intestinal cells.

DGL may also prove useful in eradicating Helicobacter pylori. Patients with duodenal and gastric ulcers may test positive to this bacterium.  Stress and anxiety were thought to be the main cause of ulcers, but H. Pylori causes damage to the stomach lining and DGL can combat this damage.
 
Licorice is also one of a group of herbs that has a marked effect upon the endocrine system. It was traditionally used as an adrenal tonic. Licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, similar to the hormones of the adrenal cortex, these glands have the task of responding to any stress the body is under, whether it is study, work or life.  
 
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) may help relieve:

  • Functional dyspepsia
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Gastritis
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Peptic ulcers

Licorice supplements contraindicate with anti-hypertensive or diuretic medications. Do not take if you suffer kidney insufficiency, liver cirrhosis or are pregnant.

IBS SOLUTIONS – Go Vita Tanunda

If you have tummy troubles you may be among the 20% of Australians suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Naturopath, Peter Balogh, outlines a six step process to help your stomach smile.

Stomach cramps, bloating, nausea, diarrhoea and constipation are common IBS symptoms. It’s best to visit your healthcare professional for a diagnosis as IBS can continue indefinitely if mismanaged.

Six steps to IBS relief

The key to overcoming IBS is the discipline to avoid allergens, eat mindfully, relax and take appropriate complementary medicines consistently.

1. Exterminate aliens
Remove parasites contributing to gut inflammation with wormwood, black walnut hulls, or oregano. Ask a Go Vita health specialist for the best product for you.

2. Cleanse the colon
Flush out toxins with magnesium oxide for two consecutive nights. Then take aloe vera juice for a week. This mild laxative softens stools, heals gut lining and reduces gut sensitivities seen in IBS.

3. Eliminate allergens
Every IBS sufferer has food foes. Along with food allergy testing, which can be done at Go Vita Tanunda, by Naturopath, Peter Balogh, an accurate way to identify allergens is to remove them from your diet and reintroduce them with awareness.

Common irritants include lactose, gluten, legumes and yeast.
Stimulants should be reduced including cigarettes, caffeine, and alcohol.
Sugars tend to feed IBS.

4. Focus on what you eat and how you eat

The following foods minimise post meal moans.

  • Peppermint tea has been shown to reduce all symptoms associated with IBS.
  • Fibre intake builds beneficial bacteria but too much can trigger diarrhoea and too little bogs up bowels. Try soluble fibre sources such as dates, prunes, figs, carrots and sweet potato. Eat flax seed oil for softer stools. If you get constipated, try psyllium as a bulking laxative.
  • Probiotic foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut banish bad bacteria and heal the gut.
  • Prebiotic rich foods such as bananas, garlic, and honey fertilise probiotic flora.
  • Fruits are less likely to ferment when eaten alone and before 6pm. Papaya is rich in enzymes and pineapple contains anti-inflammatory bromelains.
  • Add anti-gas herbs like cumin, dill, mint and ginger to dishes.

How you eat is as important as what you eat. Try these tips:

  • Don’t eat three hours before bed
  • Sit in an upright posture, breathing deeply
  • Take digestive enzymes with each meal
  • Chew each mouthful 20 times
  • Sip warm water
  • Take a stroll after dinner

5. Heal your gut
There are many complementary medicines important for gut health:

  • Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory turmeric provides improvement to IBS symptoms.
  • Slippery elm: Heals gut inflammation and softens stools.
  • Probiotics: Improve abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.

6. Dissolve stress
IBS sufferers often hold tummy tension. Therapies like meditation and yoga are recommended. Regular exercise is also important.

 

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