Optimal Diet for Pregnancy

As I move into a discussion on the optimal diet for pregnancy, I want to remind
the reader that from the conscious eating perspective there
is no one optimal diet for everyone. The secret to a successful vegetarian,
vegan, or live-food diet is understanding your dominant dietary type and
Ayurvedic dosha. This applies to everyone at any time and not just during
pregnancy.One additional point is that people often confuse a therapeutic diet with
building or long-term healthy optimal diet. Therapeutic diets such as only
fruits for cleansing, less than 10% fat diet for heart disease, or prolonged
juice fasting have specific roles and specific effects. For some who stay on
them for the long term or for pregnancy, they may actually create deficien-
cies. Therapeutic diets aim to cure disease and restore health. They are not
necessarily the best diets for long-term use or for pregnancy.
Keeping these ideas in mind, I want to state strongly that vegetarian,
vegan, or live-food women can continue their basic diets during pregnancy
and have very healthy if not healthier babies than if they decided to add red
meat, chicken, or fish. There are many reasons for this, such as significant
pesticide and radioactive contamination, bacterial, viral, and parasite con-
tamination, and heavy-metal toxicity in the flesh-food diet, all of which I
discuss in other chapters in this book. A diet free of flesh foods has pro-
duced healthy and strong people for centuries in cultures around the world.
A study from The Farm, an intentional community in Tennessee, reported
on eight hundred vegan pregnancies. It showed that all had normal preg-
nancies and bore full-term, normal-weight infants. A healthy pregnancy
and infant can be achieved easily even with our modern industrialized and
polluted planet. It does require some conscious effort and thoughtfulness.
The first step is to understand and master the basic principles of healthy
nutrition and to learn the most important foods for every woman to eat
during pregnancy. Depending on one’s constitution, the ratios of these foods
will vary, but they will still be your main foundation.
During pregnancy there needs to be an increased protein intake by at
least thirty grams, to approximately sixty to seventy-five grams per day
depending on your constitutional type. A fast oxidizer or parasympathetic
type will need to be higher in protein, and a slow oxidizer or sympathetic
type will do better on the lesser amount of protein. For the general health
of the mother and the fetus, and specifically for the optimum development
of the immune system, endocrine system, central nervous system, and brain
of the fetus, there needs to be a significant intake of the following: essential
fatty acids (EFAs), calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper,
iodine, the full range of the vitamin B complex (especially B6, B12,
and folic acid), vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E. All of these can be
obtained from the following basic vegetarian foods, food concentrates, and
food-grown supplements. Food-grown supplements are organic supple-
ments still in their organic matrix and which are extracted from foods.
The first part of this general approach is to eat whole, organic, natural
foods, and primarily living foods. I expand on this in Chapter 13,
“General Guidelines for a Healthy Diet.” As our environment becomes more polluted
and the soils more depleted of nutrients, going 100% organic, if possible, is
the best thing one can do for oneself, a developing fetus, and the environ-
ment. Pesticides, herbicides, and other forms of pollution interfere with the
metabolic pathways of many nutrients and thus indirectly interfere with
the development of the immune, endocrine, and neurological systems. Eat-
ing as many of our foods in their live (or biogenic) form or raw form preserves
70-80% more vitamins and minerals. I rarely see live-food mothers or children
who are deficient in vitamin B12, but it is not an uncommon occurrence in
mothers who follow a strict macrobiotic diet in which all the foods are cooked.
Grains, nuts, and seeds are the most potent health-building foods of all.
Eaten raw or sprouted if possible (some grains need to be cooked), they
contain all the essential nutrients for human growth, sustenance, and ongo-
ing optimal health. These foods contain the germ power of the plants. They
are the reproductive power and energy that ensures the perpetuation of the
species. Particularly when eaten in their live form, they release this regen-
erative and reproductive growth power and energy into us. Sprouting the
seeds, nuts, and grains activates them and enhances their general nutritive
content and specifically the vitamin content. The seeds, nuts, and grains
contain high-quality protein. Buckwheat, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds,
sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and almonds are complete proteins.
Nuts, seeds, and grains are the best natural sources of unsaturated fatty
acids and lecithin. They have a high vitamin and mineral content, especially
vitamin E and the B-complex vitamins. Vitamin E is important for general
endocrine development and hormonal building for the fetus and is specific
for healthy pituitary gland development. Vitamin E increases fertility for
men and women and helps to prevent miscarriages and stillbirths. The B-
complex vitamins help protect against stress and are important as meta-
bolic intermediates in the brain and central nervous system. Nuts, seeds,
and grains are high sources of magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper,
molybdenum, selenium, chromium, fluorine, silicon, potassium, and phos-
phorus. All of these minerals are needed during pregnancy. Paciferins, which
have an antibiotic-like resistance to disease factor, boost the immune sys-
tem. Grains, nuts, and seeds provide organic natural fiber and roughage,
which helps protect the pregnant mother from constipation, a common
problem during pregnancy. The best seeds to use are flax, sunflower,
chia, sesame, and pumpkin. Flaxseeds are excellent and the highest
vegetarian source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, important for the
immune system, nervous system, and brain development. I recommend one
to two tablespoons daily of the uncooked and unheated oil or 3 to 6
tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds.
Flax is a highly mucilaginous food and so it is excellent for keeping the bow-
els moving during pregnancy. However, depending on your bowel sensitivity,
too much ground flaxseed can cause loose stools.
Almonds are the best nuts to use in the diet because they are the most
resistant to rancidity. Hazelnuts (filberts) are also a high-quality nut for preg-
nancy. According to Paavo Airola in Every Woman’s Book, buckwheat and
millet are the most beneficial grains for pregnancy. Buckwheat is a complete
protein and is high in magnesium, manganese, and zinc. As explained in
Chapter 3, “A Revolutionary Breakthrough in Personalizing Your Diet: Link-
ing Food Ratios to Physiological Types,” in the section “Blood Type Approach,”
wheat is a lectin food and also a panhemagglutinin. It reacts to form anti-
body-antigen complexes with all the blood types. It seems to cause allergy
reactions in general, especially for many women who are blood type O.
Vegetables are the next most important food for pregnancy. The leafy
green vegetables are complete proteins as well as excellent sources of min-
erals, enzymes, and vitamins. They are high in calcium, magnesium, zinc,
vitamin C, and the B-complex vitamins. They also contain small amounts
of the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. These leafy greens include
alfalfa sprouts, green beans, broccoli, bokchoy, Brussels sprouts, vegetables
in the cabbage family, collards, cucumbers, kale, leeks, mustard greens, pep-
pers, romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip greens. Yellow veg-
etables are high in the fat-soluble vitamins A and E. These yellow vegetables
include carrots, corn, pumpkin, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, and acorn, but-
ternut, Hubbard, spaghetti, and summer squashes.
Fruits are an important food group for pregnancy, providing a good
source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and biological water. Raisins and
apricots are high sources of iron. Citrus is high in vitamin C, and melons
are high in vitamin A. Fruits have an important role in cleansing as well.