So you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant – Congratulations! Now is a great time to assess your diet and consider making the all important switch to organic foods. Going organic will positively help to reduce the impact of exposure to the many antibiotics, pesticides, artificial hormones and genetically modified foods that are found on our standard everyday shopping lists , which will not only maximise the quality of your nutritional intake at this important time but will also boost your baby’s growth and development.
Organic foods will provide you with higher concentrations of essential vitamins and minerals, including iron and calcium, as well as the all important antioxidants required to support women’s health. It’s best to choose from a variety of foods and ensure that you eat small amounts at regular intervals to maintain your energy levels and minimise the symptoms of nausea and heartburn often experienced during pregnancy.
The top 5 organic foods to eat during pregnancy cover all of the major food groups to ensure that each part of your diet can be as nutritionally rich as possible;
Pregnancy heightens your body’s requirement for iron so you must consider how to ensure that good quality, iron rich foods are integrated into your diet. You should avoid high mercury fish such as Tuna and high-fat meat products that have shown to be accountable for prenatal nervous system and hormonal damage.
Organic beef is produced from grass-fed cows which are raised naturally to produce a far leaner cut of beef with much higher levels of omega 3s. This way you are sure to get the most from your protein source and ensure that the all important iron levels are maintained.
Other good sources of iron can be found in green leafy vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals and certain breads. Ensure that you take some fruit juice that is high in vitamin C alongside your iron intake in order for your body to absorb the iron more easily.
Milk is often one of the first and easiest choices to make when considering switching to organic foods. Readily available and only slightly more expensive than standard milk, it’s a simple and important transition to take to ensure the health of your family. Organic milk offers the security of hormone, pesticide and antibiotic free milk with the added benefit of extra high levels of omega 3s and beta carotene.
During pregnancy, opt for a diet that is rich in a variety of vegetables to allow for the highest intake of vitamins possible. When considering switching to organic vegetables, potatoes should be at the top of your list due to the high levels of pesticides they are subjected to and the sheer volume of potatoes we tend to consume.
High in potassium and vitamin C, switching to organic will guarantee that you are receiving all the nutritional goodness with none of the nasty chemical pesticides. Other vegetable sources that you might want to consider switching to organic with are bell peppers, celery and spinach.
When considering switching your fruits, the first to add to your organic shopping list should be apples. Not only do organic apples taste far superior to the standard varieties, they also contain more nutrients per bite.
Apples have shown to be one of the fruits that contain the highest levels of pesticides, in particular – organophosphate chemicals, which are closely linked to low intelligence and high attention problems in children, as well as hormonal issues for adults. Other fruits to consider going organic with are strawberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches and pears.
Soy products are now widely available as a nutritional addition to your diet, particularly if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Soy is also present in many standard processed foods so it pays to always check the labels before buying.
A huge proportion of soy crops are grown genetically modified and test with high levels of organophosphate pesticides so it really is worth the switch to organic if you consume these foods.
For complete peace of mind during your pregnancy it really is worth embracing the organic way of life to carry into the future with your new family.
Try to use local suppliers where possible and get into the habit of checking labels before you buy. Even better, why not consider attempting to grow your own food if you have a spare plot within your garden.
Nothing will encourage your children to eat fruit and vegetables more than involving them with planting, cultivating and picking healthy produce themselves. After all, it’s the ultimate way to get the whole family to go organic!