For many of us, the discovery that we are expecting is the beginning of a life-long journey to ensure that we feed our children healthy food. Of course, a growing body of research shows that what a mother eats during pregnancy has a significant impact on the future health as well as physical and brain development of the child.
First to mind is the use of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics when raising livestock and planting vegetables, fruit, and grains. While much of this use is justified by farmers who mean to feed a growing population and want to shorten production periods while increasing yield, researchers are showing that it is not the best choice in the long term.
As such, there is an increasing number of people who insist that all the food they consume is grown organically and sustainably without the use of harmful pesticides or growth hormones. With that in mind, let's talk about what meats are safe to eat during your pregnancy. After all, protein is an essential building block in human development.
First of all, stick to the basics – ensure that your meat is properly cooked and avoid raw meat (carpaccio) and pre-prepared meats that could carry bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli, toxoplasma gondii and campylobacter. None of them are friendly, and all could cause serious diseases that could impact the fetus’s health. Buy grass-fed, hormone-free meat as far as possible and supplement your protein intake with nuts and legumes.
Secondly, choose meat and dairy that are free from added hormones and antibiotics. Consider fruits and vegetables that are pesticide free. While it may not be practical to eat a 100% organic diet, you can minimize your risk by making informed choices. Luckily the push for food that is grown sustainably is rising; resulting in a wider choice for the conscientious shopper.
Get into the habit of cooking your own healthy meals, using the freshest ingredients you can find. You will certainly reap the benefits of a healthy diet in every aspect of your life. When you bring your greens back from the market, do wash them before eating or cooking them and take care not to eat anything that may be off. Luckily a heightened sense of smell will help you to identify any possible culprits.
In the end, it is important to keep a balance. A healthy diet that contains all the nutrients you need is still preferable to a diet that is organic but does not fulfill the nutritional requirements of the baby or you.