- Concentrate on eating foods that provide optimal nutrition to you and your baby. Those foods would include fish, eggs, beef, poultry and combining legumes (bean family foods) and brown rice.
- Complex carbohydrates that provide Vitamin A, C and B complex are also very important. Those nutrients are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Whole grains are in cereals and breads.
- Low-fat dairy products provide protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and Vitamins B-12 and D. You will find these nutrients in milk, yogurt and cheese. Our body makes Vitamin D when we are exposed to sunshine.
- Long chain omega-3 essential fatty acids should also be on your list of fabulous foods for growing a baby. These essential fatty acids are found mainly in fish.
A few years ago the government released a statement warning that too much fish could lead to mercury poisoning. This has lead to a sharp decline in consumption of fish. That was not the intent of the people that wrote that paper.
The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition recently released a paper titled “Brainy Kids, Healthy Kids.” In this paper they address the concerns so many people have about mercury in ocean fish.
In order to meet the needs of the growing baby, the mother needs to include in her diet fish that are rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docoshexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is very important for the development of the baby’s nervous system. Studies have shown that adequate intake of DHA is important for visual, cognitive (thinking), motor and behavioral skills.
New research is supporting the benefits of eating fish. It is also supporting the fact that the possibility of mercury toxicity from eating ocean fish is very rare. In fact, there is evidence another nutrient found in fish, selenium, may actually counteract potential negative influence of mercury.
The new recommendations for fish consumption during pregnancy are that you eat a minimum of 12 ounces of seafood per week.
Oily ocean fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel are natural sources of DHA and EPA. They are also a great source of protein as well as vitamins B, D, zinc, iodine and selenium. Tuna provides DHA and EPA and is a great source of protein.