Many young adults today that are ‘healthy’ don’t worry as much about proper nutrition or eating right. What many don’t understand is this is the time when a woman especially should be most concerned. Nutrient deficiencies and poor eating habits in the mother even years before she is pregnant can cause serious birth defects and issues in the child. It is important for all those who wish to have children to realize that nutrition is absolutely essential of proper development. Down’s Syndrome, for instance, has been shown in clinical testing to be caused by inadequate levels of essential fatty acids (omegas 3 and 9), as well as a mixture of vitamins and micronutrients. There are other conditions that are caused by the mother not consuming the right foods, and others that are caused by the consumption of the wrong foods. Consuming foods that contain lactose (the sugar found in most dairy products) has been shown to cause child-onset, type-1 diabetes in children; this is especially true when the mother has a lactose-intolerance that she is unaware of, or blatantly ignoring.
All this dooms-speak can be intimidating, though. So: “What can I do?”
First and foremost: all those even thinking about having children should reduce or eliminate their consumption of gluten. There is another multiple-part blog on this subject that I highly recommend reading. Additionally, the mother should start giving her body the nutrition that it needs. The proper protein, carbohydrate, and fat quantities should be considered. However, so too should the supplementation of micronutrients. Some key micronutrients to think about are: selenium, copper, and zinc. These are especially important as they are almost completely missing in the soils of North America. Additionally, many people are deficient in macro-minerals including: calcium, magnesium, sodium, and chromium.
In addition, the removal of lactose from the diet only during the pregnancy could help to eliminate the chance of the child developing type-1 diabetes.
This may seem silly, but all humans should ensure that they get proper levels of water. This means that for every 2 pounds someone weighs, they should drink 1 ounce. And, for every ounce of carbonated beverage (which is best avoided), or for every 2 ounces of coffee/tea, the person should drink another ounce of water. To simplify:
If someone is 100 pounds, they normally need 50 ounces of water every day. Let us assume that this person drinks 20 ounces of coffee and 30 ounces of a carbonated beverage every day. That means that this person would need 140 ounces of water. This also increases if this person exercises. Remember, water and nutrients are lost when people sweat, so it is important for everyone to replenish all their nutrition.
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