A ‘Wholefood’ Approach to Prenatal Nutrition

Updated: Nov 10, 2020


This post was written by Georgia and Renee from Nurture the Seed.


This word ‘wholefood’ comes up a lot when referring to a nutritious diet. But what does it actually

mean? It’s really got nothing to do with eating the whole food as opposed to half…sorry!


What is a wholefood?


Wholefoods are minimally processed and dense in nutrients. Our bodies absorb nutrients best when they come from real wholefoods. They don’t need to be fancy or expensive, it’s about going back to basics and nourishing yourself with what you and your baby need.


What does this have to do with pregnancy?

Everything. The way you nourish yourself during pregnancy has profound effects on your child’s

health and development. We all know the general prenatal nutrition advice – eat ‘healthy’, take

prenatal vitamins and avoid foods that could pose a risk. But what if we could do better? What if,

through education, we empowered conceiving, pregnant and postpartum women to consume a

nutrient-dense wholefood diet?


What kind of nutrient-dense wholefoods are we talking about?


Oily fish – The best fish to eat during pregnancy are those that are low in mercury and high in the

omega-3 fat, DHA. DHA is essential for your babies brain development. Choose salmon (fresh and

tinned), trout, mackerel, herring and sardines. Aim for 2-3 serves/week.

Eggs – Have you heard off choline? Eggs are full of it (especially the yolk)! Choline is another brain- boosting nutrient. Eggs are also rich in protein and vitamin D.

Liver – Gram for gram, liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods. It’s full of absorbable iron, a

nutrient that carries oxygen to your baby. Enjoy up to 50g of liver each week.

Seasonal fruit and vegetables – Fibre, antioxidants and vitamins galore! Reach for the leafy greens

for that extra boost of folate. Folate is essential in early pregnancy for the development of your

baby’s neural tube.

Nuts and seeds – High in plant protein, natural fats and many vitamins. Include them daily in some

way or another; they add crunch, texture and flavour.

Legumes – Another great plant protein that is full of fibre for your gut loving bacteria. Choose from

chickpeas, lentils and the many types of beans.


A wholefood recipe in action – Pumpkin Loaf


This is a personal favourite lunch meal, topped with ricotta, hummus or avocado. It is simple to

make with no pre-cooking required - just chuck everything in a bowl and combine. It’s easy to freeze and particularly helpful if you have gestational diabetes, as it is low in carbohydrate, has a low glycaemic index, and it's high in protein and healthy fats. It is also gluten free for anyone with coeliac disease or a gluten sensitivity. 


Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups ground almonds (180g) 

1 cup buckwheat flour 

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

450g raw grated pumpkin

4 eggs 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1 tablespoon pepitas 

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a loaf tin (roughly 10cm x 20cm) with baking paper.

2. Place the almonds, buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt and turmeric in a large bowl. Mix together then add the pumpkin and continue to mix until well combined.

3. In a separate smaller bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and oil until combined. Pour into the pumpkin

mixture and mix thoroughly.

4. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Top with pumpkin  

seeds and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  

5. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack. Once cool, slice into ~12-14 slices. It will keep in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Toast to serve (sandwich press is the best). 


As two women who have been through the pregnancy journey, we believe every woman deserves

access to the most accurate information and wholesome recipes available. If you found this article

interesting and you are planning on becoming pregnant or already are, we encourage you to come on this journey with us and allow us to guide you according to your personal needs at this special time in your life.


Follow us @nurturetheseed

Email: hello@nurturetheseed.com.au

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