A Healthy Pregnancy Diet



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We all know that a healthy pregnancy diet is very important but what is eating healthy while pregnant? Here we`d like to share some healthy eating ideas that are followed in Japan. I found that I was pleasantly surprised by not having a bunch of symptoms and problems that in the West, are considered "usual" or "normal" for pregnant women. Here are some things I didn`t experience:

  • heartburn
  • excessive weight gain
  • the mask of pregnancy - a brown tinge on the face
  • yeast infection
  • exhaustion
  • constipation
Was this because I ate healthy Japanese food and kept active? Well, I really think so. My health has always fluctuated depending on the type of food I have eaten and lifestyle I have kept. I was just so pleased with the general healthy pregnancy diet that is a tendency here in Japan.

Tips for Healthy Pregnancy

The Good Stuff
1. Drink plenty of water
Great for you and so important for the baby. The doctor always said that so many of her patients feel really tired often because they are dehydrated.
2. Eat plenty of watery foods
My brother went to go see a traditional healer in Thailand. He gave a great tip: The western diet doesn`t have enough water in it. So, alot of food and waste just gets stuck in our systems causing a whole lot of problems. Watery food includes: vegetables, soups and herbal tea.
3. Eat fruit but don`t over do it.
Fruit is cooling and contains sugar. 2 servings a day was recommended to me during my pregnancy here in Japan.
4. Fish is better than meat
But do have some beef now and then for Vitamin B12.
Fish to Avoid:
Large predatory fish:
Shark, swordfish, king mackerel and white tuna (albacore tuna) These may contain high levels of mercury and are especially dangerous to pregnant women and children.
Tilapia A very popular fish in America, Tilapia contains high levels of omega 6 fatty acids and can cause inflamation in the body and cause damage to blood vessels, the heart, lung and joint tissues, skin and the digestive tract.
Atlantic Salmon: "Atlantic Salmon" is the commercial name for farmed salmon - fish that are given antibiotics and other drugs to control diseases often found in farming pens. Choose Wild Salmon.
5. Tofu is a great protein source that is easily digested.
6. Eat Seaweed Seaweed is a truly great super food packed with calcium and other minerals. There are so many varieties and different ways to eat them. We`ll add some great japanese food recipes for you to try out.
7. Eat Miso Soup
Miso soup is so nourishing and full or pro-biotics. It`s also good for healthy skin.
8. Eat Pickled Plums or Umeboshi
These are salty and vinegary in taste and an excellent condiment. They have alot of nutritional value and they help to balance your blood sugar levels.
9. Eating a Healthy Breakfast is essential to a healthy pregnancy diet.
For healthy breakfast ideas, click here.

The Stuff to Avoid
Avoid means...if you absolutely need it, go ahead but do your best to have it as a special treat and not a regular thing. And don`t punish yourself for letting loose now and then.
1. Food and drinks that swing your body out of balance such as: coffee, tea, juice, sugar, and junk food. Dr. Oz on Oprah did say that 1 cup of coffee a day was fine. I was so relieved! I happily followed his advice and my morning cup was the happiest part of my day.
2. Dips & Chips - so full of junk and undigestible fats just screaming "heartburn!"
3. Processed foods - this includes anything in a package or can - even the semi healthy stuff. Definitely stay away from the junk (chips, sugary cereals, canned soups) and limit the other stuff (crackers, biscuits)

Healthy Pregnancy Snacks

A healthy pregnancy diet can include:

  • Vegetable Sticks (keep a bunch on hand at all times and go crazy)
  • Rice Crackers - even though they are processed, they don`t usually contain so much junk and fat
  • Pickles - if you crave salty, they`re very satisfying and can level out blood sugar levels.
  • Frozen mashed fruit - a delicious alternative to ice cream.
  • Cereal crackers - at least they`ve got fiber and vitamins.

Healthy Pregnancy Tip:
Cravings are cravings and hunger is hunger. Why torture yourself? Eat food. Just try, as much as possible to choose the healthiest options. Take care of yourself, nurture yourself and get plenty of rest.

Healthy Pregnancy Awareness

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The Japanese Healthy Eating Team From left to right: Lisa, Angela, Sachi & little Tinashe.

Angela at 8 months pregnant.