By Renata Trister DO
Prenatal nutrition is important as it provides nutrients to support development of a healthy baby and the well being of the mother.
Prenatal supplementation is necessary today because for many the typical diet of processed quick foods is very poor in nutrients. In addition many of our foods have been chemically altered, genetically modified and even irradiated. Supplementation is needed during pregnancy to make up for deficiencies this type of diet can cause.
Dr. Weston Price studied different cultures of the world and their nutritional habits. He noted that it takes only one generation of nutritional deficiency to compromise the health of the next generation. The best way to avoid this is to eat healthy foods, with lots of vegetables, healthy proteins and avoiding too much sugar. All the prenatal vitamins in the world will not fill the gap created by a poor (fast food) diet. As a nation, we eat poor-quality foods that have been stripped of nutrients. We do not consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables. We also eat a tremendous amount of prepackaged, pre-made meals and consume instant rice, refined wheat breads, pastas, and cereal. One-quarter of Americans eat at fast food restaurants each day. Americans are overfed and undernourished.
Luckily, with proper nutrition, the human body has an amazing ability to heal and repair. Whole food supplements can help fill the nutritional gaps.
“Whole food supplements” are made by concentrating foods/plants. When made correctly, this type of supplement can provide multitude of the plant’s components. Eating whole foods – an orange for example – provides not just isolated vitamin C, but a whole host of other nutrients that work synergistically. They work together to provide you with optimal nutrition that is more readily available for your body to absorb and utilize.
CHOOSING A QUALITY SUPPLEMENT
There are hundreds of supplements available and it can be very confusing to choose. Understanding the labels will help.
To be effective, don’t I need to get at least 100% of the daily value?
We often think that “the more the better”, however quality is far more important than quantity. A small amount of a vitamin in whole food form is far more effective in the human body than a large dose of an isolated vitamin that is not absorbed or used by the body.
Where do the ingredients come from?
Certified organic farms further enhance the quality of these ingredients.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR PREGNANCY
Catalyn (Standard Process): Catalyn is a combination of 12 live foods that are dehydrated under low temperature. It contains all the vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, and other nutrients, known and unknown, that are normally found in food. Catalyn is made from organic plants and organ meats, which are high in vitamins and trace minerals. Formulated from whole food sources, processed with low heat and only the fiber and moisture removed. Catalyn supplies multiple essential food factors to provide general nutritional foundational support.
Dosage: 2 tablets, 3 times per day with meals.
Folic Acid B12 (Standard Process): A synergistic formula to support neural tube formation in the early developing fetus (prior to six weeks) and subsequent CNS development.
Dosage: 1 tablet, 3 times per day with meals.
Calcium Lactate (Standard Process): A growing baby needs a considerable amount of calcium during development. If the baby is not getting enough, the body will release calcium from the bones of the mother (most of the calcium in the body is inside the bones) to meet the baby’s requirements. Inadequate dietary calcium intake during pregnancy can increase the mother’s risk for osteoporosis later in life. Calcium lactate provides a readily available form of calcium balanced with magnesium. A diet high in green leafy vegetables during this time is still critical.
Some Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium
• Almonds • Broccoli • Beet greens • Kale • Mustard greens
• Bok Choy • Spinach
Dosage: 3 tablets, 3 times per day on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.
For those who do not or will not eat vegetables, the following may be added:
1. Cruciferous Complete TM (Standard Process): Combination of Kale and Brussels sprouts. Kale is a rich source of the vitamin C complex, beta-carotene, chlorophyll, vitamin E complex and trace minerals along with the known and unknown phytochemicals. Brussels sprouts are also a rich source of vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium and phytochemicals.
Dosage: 1-2 capsules, 3 times daily with meals.
2. Betafood (Standard Process): Brussels sprouts, kale, alfalfa, buckwheat juice powder (high source of magnesium, the bioflavonoid rutin and a source of essential amino acids), barley grass juice powder (supplies niacin, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium and zinc), and alfalfa sprout powder (trace mineral and vitamin K source).
Dosage: 1 capsule, 3 times daily with meals.
Omega 3 oils: Omega 3s improve circulation and reduce the risk of heart disease. They also support the immune system, joints, and skin. Omega 3 fatty acids are necessary for normal brain and eye development during pregnancy and for the first few years of life. NOTE: In pregnancy it is critical to make sure your omega 3 supplement is free from mercury.