100 Best Foods For Pregnancy Health III

06 GUAVA

The antioxidants in guava
protect every part of the
body from free-radical
damage. This damage can
penetrate our DNA and
affect our ability to
reproduce.

Free radicals come from
sunlight, pollution, fried food,
and even the essential process of
creating energy. Free-radical damage occurs in every part of our body all
the time, and we need a constant and varied supply of antioxidants to stop it
from causing harm and to protect the egg and sperm from damage. The
fiber in guava also carries toxins out of the body. Guava is especially
supportive of sperm health, because vitamin C increases the number of
sperm produced, beta-carotene boosts their concentration, vitamin E aids
their ability to travel, and zinc improves their quality. All these antioxidants
protect the egg, too, and make it ripe for fertilization. The zinc in guava aids
normal fetal development, and the antioxidant proanthocyanidin, which
helps to make the guava flesh red, encourages blood to flow to the penis.

High-antioxidant levels and fiber protect both egg and sperm from the
free-radical damage that naturally occurs every day.

Contains a range of nutrients, including vitamins C and E, that help
create healthy sperm, able to travel to and fertilize the egg.

Proanthocyanidin supports blood flow to the male reproductive area,
enabling sexual function.

Practical tips:
When selecting guavas, avoid any that are spotty, mushy, or very green and
choose those that are yellowish in color and that yield slightly when
pressed. Eat on its own as a snack, or use as any other fruit; try it juiced, in
salads, or with cereal.

DID YOU KNOW?
The red flesh of the guava is the clue to the rich fat-soluble antioxidants it
contains. Lycopene, beta-carotene, and vitamin E all help to support the
environment in which sperm are stored and carried.

Guava smoothie

SERVES 2 G A V Q
14 oz of canned guavas, drained (2½ cups)
1 cup ice-cold milk

Method:

  1. Place the guavas in a food processor or blender and pour in the milk.
  2. Process until well blended.
  3. Strain into glasses to remove the hard seeds. Serve.

07 LAMB

Lamb is a dense, goodquality protein meat with a
useful vitamin-B profile.
Consumed in moderation, it
can help the body make the
structures and cells needed
for fertility.


Lamb provides all nine of the amino acids, the protein building blocks necessary for
healthy sperm, womb lining, and cell replication, as well as the B vitamins
needed to make these new proteins. It also contains good levels of the
antioxidant trace minerals selenium and zinc, which protect the egg, sperm,
and uterus from damage and help the liver remove the toxins that can
interfere with reproductive processes. Zinc deficiency has been linked to
infertility and miscarriage, because zinc is needed for all body tissues and
organisms to grow.

Lamb also provides another antioxidant, coenzymeQ10, that may help conception by improving blood supply and energy in
cells within the reproductive organs.

A good-quality protein that also contains the B vitamins, promoting a
healthy uterus, sperm, and efficient cell division, all of which
encourages chances of conception.

Contains the antioxidants zinc and selenium, which protect the
reproductive organs from damage.

Coenzyme-Q10 content supports a healthy blood supply and energy
within the reproductive system.

Practical tips:
Lamb contains high levels of saturated fat, so do not eat more than once a
week. Chops are the healthiest cuts. Choose free-range, organic lamb, if
possible, to ensure the best-quality fats and minimum levels of damaging
hormones and chemicals.

DID YOU KNOW?
In common with all red meat, lamb contains saturated fats, which should be
eaten in balance with a diet that is high in fiber and essential fatty acids and
low in sugar. In this context, the saturated fats of lamb will encourage the
cell communication needed for conception instead of being harmful.

08 Stir-fried lamb with orange

SERVES 4 G A Q
1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
1 lb ground lamb
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 red onion, finely sliced
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 orange, peeled and segmented pepper
snipped fresh chives, to garnish

Method

  1. Heat a wok or large, nonstick skillet. Add the oil and lamb and stir-fry
    for 5 minutes, or until evenly browned. Drain away any excess fat
    from the wok.
  2. Add the garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, and red onion to the wok and
    stir-fry for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the orange rind and juice and the soy sauce, mixing until
    thoroughly combined. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring
    occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, increase the heat, and add the orange segments. Stir to
    mix.
  5. Season with pepper and heat through for an additional 2–3 minutes.
    Serve immediately, garnished with chives.

09 MILK

Milk provides a complete
protein source, supplying the
building blocks needed for
conception, to make new
sperm, and for a healthy
womb lining
.


This versatile food is
particularly good for
vegetarians, who do not have
many other sources of complete
protein in their diet. Milk also supplies the body with the macrominerals
calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which are needed in large amounts for
a growing baby’s skeleton. A lack of these minerals in the mother can
increase a baby’s risk of growth and development problems and impaired
muscular function, so it is important to keep up maternal intake. Increasing
calcium intake before pregnancy has been shown to reduce risk of
hypertension (high blood pressure), and the related complication
preeclampsia, later in pregnancy.

A complete protein that is suitable for vegetarians, which enables the
body to create sperm and the new cells needed for reproduction.


Helps the mother-to-be stock up on calcium, potassium, and
phosphorus in anticipation of the baby’s bone growth and
development.

Calcium helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure developing later
in pregnancy.

Practical tips:
You won’t get the goodness of milk by using it in tea or coffee, because the
potentially damaging effects of caffeine outweigh its benefits. Enjoy it on
cereal or in a smoothie, and don’t overdo milk consumption if you tend to
get nasal or digestive problems.

DID YOU KNOW?
Choosing organic milk will reduce the amount of hormones and antibiotics
you take into your body. These are regularly added to the feed of cows on
nonorganic farms, and can interfere with the ability to conceive.

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