Flu season is in full swing but being pregnant or trying to get pregnant can make it more difficult to stay healthy. Here are some prenatal tips you can do to stay healthy without harming your baby or reducing your chances of getting pregnant.
Sugar weakens the immune system which makes it more difficult for you to fend off an infection. Sugar also increases insulin which affects hormones that support a healthy pregnancy. Cut added sugar to 2 Tbsp or less per day. Try more nutritive sweeteners like honey, molasses, maple syrup, or coconut sugar, and remember you don’t have to eat the whole thing. If you need a dessert, try berries with whipped cream (not Cool Whip) or cut up some apples or pears and cook them in some butter with cinnamon and ginger. Are you singing the sugar blues? Click here to learn more.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is safe for pregnancy and may even help you get pregnant and carry a baby to term. It also supports glutathione production, the master antioxidant in the body, respiratory health, and it inhibits the replication of viruses so it can be quite handy during cold and flu season.
Get Adequate Sleep
Shoot for 7-8 hours every night to boost your immune system and support healthy hormones. Try to get to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. The more sleep you get before midnight, the better. Click here for our top ten tricks to get the best sleep ever!
Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C not only supports a healthy immune system, it also helps you absorb iron and produce progesterone which supports a healthy pregnancy. It’s great for men, too, as it keeps sperm healthy and mobile. It’s easy to tell if you are taking too much C. If you have diarrhea, cut back on your dose.
Get Some D
The best source of vitamin D is sunlight but that can be difficult to get during cold and flu season. Vitamin D is only found in animal foods like fatty fish, dairy fat, liver, and egg yolks so be sure to include those foods in your diet. You can also take supplements. When taking vitamin D, it is also good to take vitamin A (not beta carotene) and vitamin K2. You want to limit vitamin A to 5000 IU daily. These three nutrients work together and prevent toxicity. Vitamin D supports a healthy immune system and can reduce complications from pregnancy like gestational diabetes and preterm birth. Healthy vitamin D stores can also help you get pregnant. Click here to learn more about the importance of K2.
You can get through cold and flu season with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and a few key supplements. Also, don’t forget to move every day, take a walk, swim, do some yoga or even some gardening; just move instead of sitting all day. Click here for more information on prenatal yoga.
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Annette Presley RD, LD, is a functional nutritionist, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She enjoys helping people live their lives well so they can stay out of hospitals and spend more time with their families and doing the things they love.