Copyright 2006 Eva Moffat
The unborn child is fully dependent on its mother for everything.
Therefore most of the food she eats will be used by the unborn child so it can grow and survive inside her.
A great many things are essential for both the mother and her unborn baby.
What Does Baby and Mother Need?
Good nourishing food. The mother should eat well balanced meals.
A well balanced meal should consist of:
Proteins Carbohydrates Fat
Are essential for bodybuilding. This does not mean making us fat, but rather building bulk and muscle. We need good strong muscles for practically everything. The heart is a muscle and that has to work really hard for the whole of our lives. When the heart stops working properly, we get Heart Failure, Heart Attacks etc.
We need good muscles to be able to digest the food we eat. Then we have muscles that keep us upright so that we can walk and run.
We have muscles in the eyes that help us to see by focussing.
Now this Protein is made up of blocks that interlock to form amino acids.
There are about 20 Amino Acids. 9 of which are called First Class or Essential Amino Acids. Without these First Class or Essential Amino Acids the body would be a mess, with very little working, as it should.
What Foods Contain Protein?
Most dairy products, for example Meat, Milk, Cheese, Fish and Eggs are called Complete Proteins.
Milk is a complete protein in that it has all 9 essential amino acids.
Egg whites are a complete protein as well.
Protein is also found in other Food Sources, eg Whole Grains, Rice, Corn, Beans, Legumes, Oatmeal, Peas and Peanut Butter.
Vegetarians, Vegans and others who do not eat Meat, Dairy Products or Fish, must make sure to eat the above foods in order to keep healthy.
Are major sources of energy and an active adult should be burning 50 60% of Calories each day.
Carbohydrates are converted into sugars and starches within the body.
· Sugars are found in Fruits, Milk and Soft Drinks and Sweets
· Complex Carbohydrates are found in Whole Grain Cereals, Flour, Bread, Rice, Corn, Oats, Potatoes and Legumes.
We are inclined to eat more Carbohydrates than we should. This is because of the sweetness and the feeling of fullness we get when we tuck into a Cream Cake.
Too much Carbohydrate will, if we are not active enough, turn into fat, which is what happens when we put on weight.
Yet not enough Carbohydrates would mean the body would not function at its best. Therefore a certain amount of Carbohydrates each day is essential.
So the lesser evil would be to fill up on the Complex Carbohydrates like Whole Grain and Cereals. In other words plants and nuts. These have the added advantage of also providing us with Proteins, so we get two for the price of one.
Three Types of Fat
· Saturated Fat
· Polyunsaturated Fat
· Monounsaturated Fats
Saturated Fat is found mostly in meat and dairy products and some vegetable oils.
Saturated Fats tend to increase Blood Cholesterol levels.
So if the mother has a well balanced diet, so will her unborn child.
Folic Acid Another Essential For The Unborn Child
The Mediterranean Diet has been found to provide all the nutrients the body needs. So what is good for mother must be good for baby.
The Global Report on Birth Defects written by the American Charity March of Dimes says 8 million babies a year are born with defects.
And a lot of these babies would have a much better chance of being born without the defects if only the mothers would eat foods containing Folic Acid.
What Are These Defects?
Lack of Folic Acid can mean the unborn child is born with such defects as Congenital Heart Problems, and Spina Bifida.
In the UK 43.8 out of 1 000 live births have birth defects.
The number of babies born with these birth defects would be a lot less if only their mothers had eaten more green leafy vegetables.
Professor Bernadette Modell of the Royal Free and University College Medical School believes that boosting Folic Acid Levels in pregnant women is the most important nutrient to prevent birth defects.
So mothers, do your best for your unborn child and give it what it wants and needs. Plenty of Folic Acid.