Prenatal Gut Health–Part Two
In Part One of this series, we learned about how making simple diet and lifestyle changes can positively affect moms health and the health of her baby. In part two of this series, I would like to offer some recipes and strategies specific to incorporating nourishing foods.
First, a quick trip down memory lane for me…In case you are wondering why I am so diligent about my health and the my kids’ health through nutrition. Here is the girls’ amazing birth story. They are here! One week old!
Next, my story of the girls’ hospital stay. What a powerfully difficult time! Just as their birth is grooved in my memory, the eight days I spent in the hospital with them is also heavy in my heart. That was one of the most challenging times of my life, being separated from the boys and eager to get my girls home safely. Here is my story…Home sweet home: NICU, sleeping at the hospital and meeting the brothers
OK, NOW ONTO THE ARTICLE: WHAT TO TAKE OUT AND WHAT TO ADD IN.
Looking back at my article, Gut Health During Pregnancy Part 2 I made some key points, including the cascade affect that an unhealthy gut can have on your whole system.
Once you remove the harmful, inflammatory foods discussed in Part One, here is what you can add in…
Eat plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber to feed your beneficial bacteria. Here’s a list of some other sources of Paleo friendly fermentable fiber:
Vegetables: alliums (garlic, leek, onion family), artichoke and Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, burdock root, chicory root, dandelion root, mushrooms, okra, yams, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, carrots, and other root vegetables
Fruits with an edible peel: apples, pears, berries, carob, citrus, stone fruits (apricot, peaches, plums, etc.)
Nuts and seeds, including seeds used as spices: Again, the fermentable fiber concentrates in the skins, so purchase nuts with skins.
Eat plenty of home fermented foods to restore your beneficial bacteria. Home fermentation is key because the most jarred sauerkraut and kimchi found in the stores are pasteurized and do not contain live cultures. Bubbies brand of sauerkraut does contain live cultures and is not pasteurized. Examples of home fermented foods include: beet kavas, sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented vegetables, Lacto-fermented mayonnaise or applesauce, and kombucha.
Make soups and stews with a rich base of bone broth made from pastured (preferably grass fed) bones. Sarah Ballentyne, author of The Paleo Approach describes the healing effects of bone broth. Balentyne writes, “…the resulting liquid is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (especially calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, which are essential for bone health), and gylcine.” Glycine is a key component of connective tissue. Consuming glycine rich foods is essential for healing microscopic damage done to the gut barrier.
Consume organ meats on a regular basis. Organ meat is a rich source of glycine and collagen and elastin, which are essential for healing and repair.
If you tolerate dairy, organic (raw, if possible), full fat fermented dairy is an excellent source of live cultures. Examples include yogurt and knifer.
You can also use supplements to aid in rebalancing the gut if you are unable to use a whole food approach. Some key supplements include: vitamin D, glycine, probiotics (especially soil based probiotics), and antioxidants such as vitamin C.
How to incorporate these foods into yours and your family’s meal plan.
Here are a few recipes to incorporate organ meat, fermentable fiber, and bone broth.
Here are some simple home fermentation recipes that you can do with a couple of simple ingredients.