time flies when you're being a mum

27 Jun, 2012

It’s a bit of a shitty time at the moment – Mike is going away to Sri Lanka tomorrow for 2 long weeks, then I’ve got money worries, house renovations and I have to decide the colour of the baby’s room right NOW. And to add insult injury I woke up yesterday crying my eyes out after a very vivid dream that my little brother had thrown himself off a balcony in front of me. So I’d say that all in all I’m feeling a wee bit stressed!

In a bid to keep it light today, I’m going to talk about Calcium instead! When in doubt think about food (I also tried the exercise circuit (by Abigail Kluttz that I told you about on Monday), which was hard and made me feel a bit better).

So, calcium. Why is it so important in your pregnancy diet? Well, it primarily makes junior’s teeth and bones. It also regulates nerve impulses and releases hormones, which is apparently important for lots of things (very technical, egg head). We need to be getting 8.5-10mg/day.

Once again you can have too much, known as Hypercalcemia, and according to Livestrong an excess of calcium can cause depression, headaches, fatigue and anxiety. It may also increase blood pressure. It’s pretty hard to have too much as anything up to 2500 mg/day is OK, so in order to get enough calcium, you should be able to get it through your diet as it is in lots of things we eat. For example:

  • Dairy products
  • Fish with edible bones
  • Dried fruit
  • Bread
  • Almonds
  • Green leafy vegetables (watercress, broccoli, spinach, curly kale, etc)
  • Chickpeas and kidney beans

Happily, lots of these foods are good for getting the other vitamins we need in our pregnancy diet. In addition, almonds, green leafy veg and chickpeas fall into the prevent stretch mark diet too, so get stuck in!

After getting everything on my prevent stretch mark shopping list I was then faced with the issue of what the hell do you do with curly kale? One solution is to juice it with lots of nice things to disguise the taste but I was also hoping I might be able to actually eat it AND enjoy it and then I found this gorgeousness…

kale recipe pregnancy diet

Kale Veggie Slaw with Sesame Miso Dressing, by Shira of inpursuitofmore.com – I was going to put the gist on here but having revisited the post I think you should go there yourself as it’s such a lovely site and the pictures are amazing and will really whet your appetite (something I thought I would never say in conjunction with Kale!). She also talks about having a good laugh, which is just what I need at the moment! – This avocado reminds me of a time when I dropped half an avocado on the floor – doesn’t sound funny but Alex (best mate) and I had hysterics for a good half an hour about it.

The other important thing to note about Calcium is that you should eat it with Vitamin D to help your body absorb the Calcium. So maybe add a hard boiled egg or a salmon fillet to the salad above! For tips on what to eat, please see my post on Vitamin D in your pregnancy diet. Happy munching!

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08 Jun, 2012

Following on from my Prenatal Vitamins post and the decision to eat my vitamins rather than trying to gag down those massive tables, I thought I’d continue what I started ages ago about how to get all the vitamins you need from your pregnancy diet. I’ve hunted through various advice websites to get a good overall picture of what specifically you need to make sure you have covered by your diet.

spinach pregnancy diet

Meet your best mate, Spinach, an essential for every girl’s pregnancy diet!

The main culprits are Folic Acid and Vitamin D, and nearly always cited as being the most important vitamins in pregnancy.

However, these vitamins and minerals are also very important:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Omega 3

I’ve already covered Vitamin K and Vitamin D, and through the anti-stretchmark post and the prevent-stretch-mark shopping list post, that has covered Vitamin A, Omega 3 and Vitamin C, to a certain extent. So, I thought I’d go back to basics with Folic Acid.

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that the powers that be deem Folic Acid (or Vitamin B9) as such as important vitamin in your pregnancy diet that they highly recommend taking a supplement of 400mg/day (NHS). It is recommended that you take this supplement from 2 months before becoming pregnant to 3 months pregnant in order to prevent neural tube defects, such as Spina Bifida.

If you have just found out you are pregnant I certainly wouldn’t suggest only getting folic acid from your food (plus the tablet is only titchy!). But, if like me, you weren’t taking it for the 2 months prior to getting pregnant, I wouldn’t panic too much either as folic acid is in lots of food. Even if you are taking your supplement everyday, there’s no harm in stocking up from your food too (if it is anything like Omega 3, your body may absorb it better from food).

Folic Acid Fancies 

  • Fruit
  • Green Leafy Veg
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Brown Rice
  • and food fortified with FA such as Special K and Orange Juice

Hooray, I love peas and I put them in everything. I also eat loads of fruit and vegetables and I’m learning to like brown rice (it’s the cooking time that’s the issue not the taste!). So, like I said, I’m not too concerned about not taking my supplement prior to becoming pregnant.

When you look at all the lists of foods for each vitamin or mineral, I have started to think… how the hell I am meant to eat all my vitamins in one day?! Fortunately, there are loads of things, like Mr Spinach, as featured above, that have loads of goodness in them so they tick a few boxes. I’ll do a post about the superstar foods and also a daily meal plan as an example.

Has anyone got any good folic acid recipes (sounds like a science experiment!)? Do share!