As parents become more aware of the toxic chemicals in the environment, information on ways to reduce and prevent exposure to the chemicals becomes increasingly important. The Environmental Working Group has published three ways parents can reduce their children’s exposure starting before birth. The information includes ways to reduce chemical exposure while pregnant, when feeding kids, and when cleaning the house. Following some of these important steps will keep the chemicals away from children when it matters most.
Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’
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An interesting new study has demonstrated a relationship between folate supplements and the prevention of premature delivery. The study, involving 34,480 pregnant women, saw the greatest reduced risk of premature delivery in women who had been taking folate for a year or longer before getting pregnant.
Another study, published in the online edition of the British Medical Journal, has shown a reduction in the birth of babies with heart defects since the mandatory addition of folic acid to grain products in Canada. A reduction in the number of infants born with spina bifida or anencephaly has been noted in the United States since the FDA in 1996 required pasta, rice, and grain products be fortified with folate
The RDA recommendation for folate is 400 mcg daily increasing to 600 mcg daily for pregnancy. Best sources are fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, legumes, orange juice, and fortified breads.
Knowing what foods to avoid when you are pregnant may be as important as knowing what healthy foods to eat.
- Soft cheeses such as Brie, feta, Camembert, blue cheese, and Latin-American soft style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, queso de hoja, queso de crema and queso asadero may have harmful bacteria and are to be avoided.
- Some seafood may contain potentially dangerous levels of mercury. Avoid Shark, Swordfish, King mackerel, and Tilefish. These are larger and older fish and have therefore spent more time in the water accumulating higher levels of mercury in their fatty tissue.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are fully cooked. Reheat deli meats and hot dogs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees to prevent Listeriosis.
- Avoid raw eggs and any foods containing raw eggs such as Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custard, cookie batter, unpasteurized eggnog, or Hollandaise sauce because raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella.
- Because raw sprouts have been associated with incidents of salmonella outbreaks, pregnant women are advised to cook them before eating or avoid them altogether.
- Use natural sweetners like honey, sugar, and fruit juices.
- Don’t overdo the vitamin A. Vitamin A has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects so reduce your intake of liver and cod liver oil supplements.
- Avoid alcohol.
The following are nutrients deserving special consideration during pregnancy and examples of the foods rich in these nutrients.
- Calcium – leafy greens (kale, spinach, broccoli), fortified cereals and orange juice, milk, yogurt, cheese, and tofu with calcium sulfate.
- Essential Fatty Acids – walnuts, fish, ground flax seeds, soy products, vegetable oils such as canola, corn, and soybean, margerines made with vegetables oils, soy products.
- Folate – legumes, orange juice, green leafy vegetables, fortified breads and cereals.
- Vitamin B12 – animal sources such as eggs, milk, meat, fish, and poultry.
- Iron – beans and peas, green leaft vegetables, eggs, beef, poultry, and fish, enriched and fortified breads and cereals.
- Vitamin D – vitamin D fortified milk and cereals, sunshine.
- Magnesium – potatoes, seeds, whole grain breads and cereals, beans and peas, nuts (especially almonds and cashews), green leafy vegetables.
How did you meet your nutrient needs during pregnancy? Did you change your diet? If you are planning a pregnancy in the future, are you planning a diet change?
Fish is one of the best sources of the essential omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids may play an important role in control of inflammation, in growth and development in moms and babies, and in the reduction of the risk of heart attacks. Unfortunately fish is contaminated with mercury, some types of fish more so than others. The FDA has issued guidelines that recommend fish intake in moderation. An article, featured on the American Pregnancy Association website, lists those fish to best avoid and recommendations for those fish that are safe for a pregnant mom to consume.
Did you eat fish when you were pregnant?