Within my health coaching practice, it is not uncommon for me to see clients that are taking ALL the right supplements, but still aren’t meeting optimal nutrient levels based on their lab work.
In the article that follows, I will share how your nutrition can support your body’s ability to use these essential vitamins and minerals to produce the best possible outcomes as it relates to fertility, fetal development, birth, and keeping you healthy through every stage!
Here are 4 key steps to optimize your nutrient status and get the most out of your WeNatal.
- 1. Add Healthy Fats
Did you know that some vitamins need dietary fat to be absorbed and utilized? Important vitamins found in your WeNatal like Vitamins A, D, E, and K are known as “fat-soluble” and should be consumed with healthy fats to reap the full benefits. Some studies show, up to 80% of women are deficient in vitamin D, a crucial hormone involved in egg quality, ovulation, and fetal development. So, to get the most out of these fat-soluble vitamins take your WeNatal with a meal that contains healthy fats like avocado, eggs, nuts, seeds, olives or olive oil, fish, grass-fed meat, and/or coconut products.
- 2. Support Your Gut
- If your gut is inflamed or chronically leaky, it could mean you’re not really absorbing the nutrients you’re consuming. Overtime, an inflamed gut can deplete your nutrient stores and can trigger bigger issues like an autoimmune response, which is basically when your own immune system attacks your own tissues. Common ways GI issues manifest are bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, lethargy, acne, joint pain, and eczema. If you suspect you have a GI issue, it’s worth getting a GI map run (stool test) with your doctor to see how well you’re digesting and absorbing your nutrients. To give your gut some extra love and support, practice good sleep hygiene, limit antibiotic, alcohol and NSAID use, eat plenty of fiber, opt for organic foods when you can, drink filtered water, and limit sugar, industrial seed oils, and refined grains. You may also consider an elimination diet which is the best way to determine if a certain food (or foods) is triggering your gut issues.
- 3. Reduce Inflammation
- Food is a great way to fight the oxidative stressors we come into contact with daily. By simply prioritizing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rich foods, while also minimizing our exposure to toxins/inflammatory triggers we can actually achieve a more optimal nutrient status for pregnancy by assimilating and storing nutrients better. Some of the main antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods include: cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, salmon, berries, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (arugula, broccoli, cauliflower etc.), pomegranate, cranberry, avocado, citrus, and dark chocolate. To minimize your exposure to oxidative stress, limit refined flours, sugars, and industrial seed oils, get fresh air, opt for organic foods, drink filtered water, sweat it out with exercise, ditch the plastic in your kitchen, and clean out the beauty cabinet of endocrine disrupting chemicals.
- 4. Enjoy a Variety of Whole Foods
- Lastly, there are many nutrients we have not yet discovered or have not studied enough in real foods that are likely beneficial to fetal development. For example, choline which we now know is so vital for neural tube, genetic, and brain development only became an essential nutrient in 1998. I believe we’re really at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding optimal nutrition for fetal development. That’s why it’s important to include a variety of nutrient dense foods from high quality protein sources, healthy fats, and plenty of plant foods. By prioritizing variety in our diets, we’re likely reaping benefits and nutrients that we aren’t even aware of yet.
If you’re already taking a high-quality prenatal like WeNatal you’re ahead of the curve! If you’re interested in further supporting your nutrient needs for pregnancy check out my Prenatal Nutrition Course where I’d love to support you every step of the way!