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.

The Unexpected Benefits of Going to a Naturopath

The human body is an amazing thing. It is made up of about 200 kinds of cells, each with a job to perform. Cells form the tissue of your beating heart, the hormones that control your moods, and the chemicals that trigger thoughts in your brain. Trillions of cells are performing processes during every second of your life.

Whenever something causes these processes to become unbalanced, the body no longer performs to precision. You may feel specific symptoms or an overall feeling of not being well. A naturopath uses natural resources to help the body restore balance so that you can achieve optimal health. These “resources” often include herbs, but they also extend to meditation, counselling, and other alternative treatments.

The Role of the Naturopath

A natural health provider, or naturopath, has in-depth knowledge of the tools he uses. This knowledge includes an understanding of natural resources such as herbs, and their innate properties. A skilled naturopath has a strong desire to improve the way you feel in body, mind, and spirit. He understands the impact that your physical, mental, and emotional symptoms have on your life.

Prevention is also a large part of naturopathy. The naturopath can look at the morphology of your blood or your genetics to assess your risk for health conditions in the future. He takes a more personalised approach to determining the types of treatments and therapies you need to achieve your best health and general well-being in both the present and the future.

What a Naturopath Can Do for You

Naturopathy is often used to complement medical treatment for chronic conditions. It may also lead to relief for symptoms of common conditions like allergies, food intolerances, digestive disorders, skin disorders, and stress. These conditions are often difficult to pinpoint. While most are not life-threatening, the symptoms you live with each day can greatly affect every area of your health and keep you from enjoying activities that are important to you.

The Dangers of Self-Diagnosis

Some of the conditions that cause a loss of well-being require some trial and error to detect. Many conditions cause similar symptoms in spite of being quite different from one another. This is why self-diagnosis is never a good idea, especially if you are already on medications. Making a wrong assumption or mixing homemade remedies or OTC medications with prescription medications can result in serious complications. Instead, you should put your care into the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced naturopath who knows how to find the best solutions for you.

What to Look for in a Naturopath

There are many levels of naturopathic care providers with varying areas of study. Some of the most important features to look for in a naturopath are training, experience, and the areas of specialty that pertain to naturopathic treatment.

Peter Balogh N.D. more than meets the criteria as a safe and trusted naturopath. He is a certified homeopath with an advanced diploma of nutritional medicine, diploma of natural science which includes herbal medicine, and an advanced diploma of nutritional medicine.

Pete has been providing compassionate care for more than twenty years. He has built a successful practice and the variety of services he offers continues to grow.

It’s that time of year when you should help your liver!

Do you …

  • Feel tired and lethargic all the time?
  • Have difficulty losing weight?
  • Experience poor immunity?
  • Suffer with poor skin health?
  • Experience symptoms of a sluggish metabolism including feelings of bloating, flatulence and nausea?
  • Have elevated cholesterol levels?
  • Experience severity of PMS and Menopausal symptoms?
  • Experience unstable blood sugar levels?

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If you have answered yes to any of the above, then it is time to give this vital organ a helping hand!

Every day, your body is exposed to a multitude of toxins, from alcohol, coffee, refined and processed foods, polluted air, chemicals we apply to our skin, and even the invisible pesticides and herbicides on our unwashed fruit and vegetables. The list is actually endless. A healthy, active liver will recognise, filter and remove toxins from your body. It is also important for:

  • The metabolism of carbohydrates and assisting with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
  • The metabolism of fats, for example the manufacture of cholesterol and its subsequent breakdown into the bile salts
  • Supporting a healthy immune system. The liver filters micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses from the bloodstream
  • Supporting healthy weight as the liver is the body’s fat burning organ.

However when the liver is not firing on all cylinders it might need a helping hand by way of some proven liver tonics including:

MILK THISTLE: traditionally used to support liver and gall bladder function. Silymarin, a substance found in the seeds, exerts a highly protective effect on the liver, helping to support its function as well as preventing damage from toxic substances such as alcohol and environmental pollutants. The herb contains bitter ingredients, responsible for its action as a digestive tonic. This helps to stimulate the flow of bile from the liver and gall bladder. Bile is essential for digesting fatty foods.

GLOBE ARTICHOKE, the prickly Mediterranean vegetable plant you are all familiar with, benefits the liver by protecting against toxins and infection. This bitter herb helps improve digestion by stimulating bile flow from the liver making it useful for the treatment of gall bladder problems, chronic constipation and fatty liver. It also helps alleviate symptoms of indigestion, nausea, bloating and helps lower mild blood cholesterol levels.

SCHISANDRA,contains lignans which have liver protective actions as well as antioxidant properties helping to protect the liver against damage and helping regenerate damaged liver tissue, proving beneficial in the treatment of hepatitis and poor liver function. Schisandra has been used in traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2000 years as an overall tonic and restorative. The berries tone the kidneys and sexual organs, strengthen the nervous system and cleanse the blood, proving beneficial for herbalists treating skin conditions such as eczema.

TAURINE, an amino acid needed by the liver for removing toxic chemicals from the body and assisting with the elimination of waste. Taurine is a major constituent of bile and helps with maintaining healthy digestion. Inadequate levels of taurine are common in patients with chemical sensitivities and allergies.

ANTIOXIDANTS destroy free radicals and help to protect the cells of the body from toxins. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant vitamin for the liver and helps to reduce toxic damage to the liver cells from chemical overload. Selenium supports cellular health and healthy immunity.

How to give your liver a helping hand

  • Start your day with a squeeze of lemon juice in water to supercharge your liver and aid digestive secretions
  • Eat fresh pineapple or papaya after main meals. These fruits supply digestive enzymes to naturally help improve digestion
  • Sprinkle a tablespoon of lecithin granules on breakfast cereal, stir into yoghurt with fruit or in smoothies. Lecithin aids the digestion and absorption of fats
  • Take a daily liver formula.