A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on.
-Carl Sandburg, poet
By KC & Monica Craichy
Say the words "pickles and ice cream" and pregnancy immediately comes to mind! And for good reason. Everyone knows expectant moms often experience unusual food cravings. What many people may not realize is that these cravings are related to nutritional deficiencies in the mother's diet. In fact, cravings are the body's way of crying out for the particular nutrient that is missing!
Of course, pregnant women aren't the only ones susceptible to nutritional deficits. Men, women, and children of all ages can find their health, energy level, and concentration compromised when they're not getting enough of any given nutrient or combination of nutrients.
Moms-to-be, however, are particularly vulnerable because their bodies need higher levels of omega 3, calcium, iron, folic acid, and protein. Unfortunately, the typical American diet doesn't contain enough of these nutrients to meet the levels demanded by pregnancy. In addition, some expectant moms don't get the nutrients they need because they're afflicted with nausea during their pregnancy. Still others don't get the nutrients they need because they're worried about their waistlines, despite the fact that doctors and common sense say that pregnant women should eat clean, healthy diets and not concern themselves with weight gain.
The Big Five
Doctors typically refer to folic acid, calcium, and iron as the elements and vitamins most important for the health of a developing baby, and also as the most likely in which mothers are deficient. To these three we've added taurine and foundational multi-nutrients. Let's take a quick look at each of these nutrients and why they are so important:
1. Folate (Folinic Acid)
Folate is a B vitamin (B9) found naturally in green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits. We typically hear about folic acid which is a synthetic version of folate. Because synthetic nutrients may not be absorbed as effectively by your body, natural supplements and a healthy diet is your best source of folate.
If you are a woman of child-bearing age, it's important for you to take folate regularly, whether you're pregnant or not. This is because folate reduces the risk of certain birth defects that develop in the first 28 days after conception, before many women realize they are pregnant. Folate reduces the risk of defects in the brain and spinal cord. The most common of these is spina bifida, in which the baby is born with a spine that isn't closed. The exposed nerves are damaged, resulting in various degrees of paralysis, incontinence, and sometimes mental retardation.
Developing babies need calcium to develop strong bones and teeth, healthy hearts, nerves, and muscles, as well as normal heart rhythm and blood clotting abilities. Every mom-to-be needs sufficient calcium, too, to keep from losing her own bone density as her fetus uses the minerals for bone growth. Pregnant or not, there's a good chance you're not getting enough calcium in your diet. Great sources include two cups of cottage cheese (300 mg), a cup of low-fat yogurt (414 mg), and 3 ounces of wild salmon (211 mg) or one serving of Living Fuel SuperGreens (450 mg) or SuperBerry® (500 mg).
Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells. When you are expecting a baby, the amount of blood in your body expands until you have almost 50% more than usual. All this extra blood means extra hemoglobin which requires--you guessed it--more iron. If you are taking iron supplements, make sure you are taking chelated iron. However, the best way to get iron is from food. Heme iron tends to be easier for your body to absorb and utilize than non-heme iron. Heme iron can be found in particular animal sources such as beef and chicken liver, sardines, and turkey. Also, to maximize iron absorption avoid wine, coffee, tea, and soy products when consuming iron-rich foods.
Taurine is an amino acid found throughout the body and particularly in muscle and nerve tissue. During pregnancy, taurine deficiency in the mother can negatively impact her baby's growth, impairing the central nervous system, and pancreas. These babies often grow up to experience impaired glucose tolerance as well as neurological and vascular dysfunction. They can also develop gestational diabetes and transmit these defects to the next generation. In adults, taurine has been used with varying degrees of success to treat a wide variety of conditions, including: cardiovascular diseases, hypercholesterolemia, epilepsy, and other seizure disorders, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, hepatic disorders, alcoholism, and cystic fibrosis. You can get taurine from high protein foods including meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish.
5. Antioxidant Omega 3s and Foundational Multi-Nutrients
Living Fuel Super Meals contain all of the essential nutrients discussed in this article--and more! Whether you're expecting or not, the most important nutritional steps you can take are adding Living Fuel SuperGreens or SuperBerry® to your diet along with SuperEssentials® Omega 3EDA+. For expectant mothers, the benefits of taking this combination are even greater. Next to clean air and fresh water, SuperEssentials Omega antixoidant essential fatty acid complex is the best step you can take for your own health and your baby's health. Liberal amounts are critical for numerous benefits including baby's brain development.
In the same way that food is the body's fuel, essential fatty acids are the body's oil. We recommend moms-to-be take one softgel capsule per 25 pounds of body weight daily plus one extra for the baby. One serving of Living Fuel Foundational Super Foods SuperGreens and SuperBerry® contain more calcium and vitamin D than a cup of milk, more potassium than bananas, more protein than half a dozen egg whites, more friendly bacteria than 10 cups of yogurt, and more phytonutrients than a basket of fruits and vegetables.
In addition, Living Fuel SuperGreens and SuperBerry® are two of the most antioxidant rich foods in existence and arguably the most nutritious food on earth. Living Fuel is the ideal foundation for the type of nutrient dense diet that expectant mothers and their growing babies need and deserve! Living Fuel is also great for the mother and child as the baby is nursing.
Preeclampsia is one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy and can have serious consequences for both mother and child. It affects up to 8 percent of pregnancies and is typically characterized by high blood pressure, excess protein in the urine and excess swelling from water retention. It can also be accompanied by headaches, excessive weight gain, vision problems and pain below the ribs.
Some women are more susceptible than others but there are ways to minimize your chances. A balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fiber while minimizing processed foods and processed sugars has been shown helpful. The recommendation of exercise and yoga are also supported by research.
In addition to some of the nutrients listed above, studies show choline, the amino acid L-Arginine, the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamins B and D are useful in preventing preeclampsia.
Super Pregnancy Made PersonalOn April 24th,2006, Monica gave birth to our fifth child, Joshua. During her pregnancy, we were committed to creating the healthiest environment for our developing baby and maintained a very pure diet. Here's how Monica describes her regimen: "Along with having three or four Living Fuel smoothies throughout the day (in addition to 2-3 meals), I hydrated with lots of water and took SuperEssentials® Omega 3EDA+ daily for the baby's brain and other organs. I also followed the 7 Golden Keys in KC's book Super Health -- hydration, nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep, environmental hazards, and meditation & prayer.
I also found Jackie Mize's book, The Supernatural Childbirth, to be very beneficial as I prepared to give birth." The result? Monica reports, "I'm 42 and home-school our four children every day, yet throughout my pregnancy I felt vibrant and had plenty of energy. I also knew I was providing superior nutrition for my baby. In addition to keeping me 'regular,' the Living Fuel smoothies and oils also improved my body's elasticity and helped me heal quickly after Joshua's birth with very little blood loss. Joshua was the first of our children to be born at home, weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces, perfectly healthy with APGAR* scores of 9/10. He was born in just three hours and his birth was drug-free and less painful than my previous pregnancies. Now, two months later, he is nursing great and sleeping through the night!"
Monica Craichy's SuperBaby Smoothie
1 scoop of Living Fuel SuperBerry®
1 scoop of Living Fuel SuperGreens (to get the benefits of both)
1 scoop of the Living Fuel LivingProtein®
A splash of orange juice
16 ounces of spring water
Mix in a blender for 10-20 seconds and enjoy!
Another Great Testimony
I began taking Living Fuel eight weeks into my pregnancy. It helped me maintain my glycemic level, which helped eliminate my hypoglycemia. It was the best source of folate, B vitamins and anti-inflammatory nutrients that I could have for my pregnancy. I felt great!
My labor and delivery were flawless and my child's APGAR* score was a 9. She was alert and ready to eat the moment she was born. Two years later, my daughter herself drinks Living Fuel smoothies and SuperEssentials® Omega 3EDA+. I've been most impressed with her language skills, comprehension, and alertness - better than any child her age!"-- Kristina Bradley, Licensed Massage Therapist, owner of Body-Mechanic, LLC and mother of daughter Eden, 2
Note: Please remember that everyone is an individual and your results may vary from the testimonies above.
3. Craichy, K.C. Super Health: 7 Golden Keys to Unlock Lifelong Vitality . Bronze Bow Publishing, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 2005.
*The very first test given to your newborn immediately after birth, the APGAR score was designed to quickly evaluate a newborn's physical condition after delivery and to determine any immediate need for extra medical or emergency care. The test was named for its originator, Virginia Apgar, but it also stands for Activity, Pulse, Grimace, Appearance, and Respiration.
During childbirth, a critical step is to delay the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord until the umbilical cord has stopped pulsing. Early clamping may interrupt humankind's first 'natural stem cell transplant. This one to four minute delay can have enormous benefits. For more information visit: