A pregnancy diet plan must include a regular intake of lacto-fermented foods. These are foods preserved the old fashioned way (before refrigerators or freezers). Eating these foods provides a natural food form of a probiotic.
Lacto-fermented foods to include in a pregnancy diet plan are:
o Live sauerkraut, pickles, salsa and chutneys (fruit or vegetable)
o Grass-fed cheese
o Crème fraiche
*Live means they are not shelf stable and must be refrigerated. This is because they were not heated (pasteurized) or made with vinegar, but with whey and/or salt.
There are many health reasons why these foods are an important part of a pregnancy diet plan.
1. Help reduce constipation
2. They are a great natural vitamin C source
3. Increase B vitamins
4. Increase intestinal good bacteria
5. Help neutralize anti-nutrients (those substances in food that make it hard on your body to absorb the good stuff).
6. Strengthen the immune system
7. Post-baby benefits-encourages lactation and helps baby build their good gut bacteria
They should be used as a condiment in a pregnancy diet plan. When looking for pre-made lacto-fermented foods-remember they have to be refrigerated (cannot be stored on the shelf), made with whey and/or salt (not vinegar). You also have the option of making your own which is worth the time to reap their benefits.
Below is a recipe for a lacto-fermented food to get you started on your way to having a healthy pregnancy diet.
4-5 pickling cucumbers 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
2 Tbsp fresh dill, snipped 2 Tbsp Celtic sea salt
1c filtered water
Wash cucumbers well and place in a quart-sized wide mouth mason jar. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over cucumbers, adding more water if necessary to cover the cucumbers. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to the refrigerator. (Note: recipe from Nourishing Traditions)