Pregnancy can be regarded as the waiting period as it paves way for the growth of one or more offspring’s inside a woman. Numerous physical and hormonal changes takes place during pregnancy and the way one nourish their body during this time will affect the health of both mother and the baby. “Eating for two” is necessary but it doesn’t mean eating twice as much. Instead it means that the foods one eat which contain protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid are the main source of nutrients for their baby. These foods include eggs, milk, beans, legumes, broccoli, beef, berries, pasteurized cheese, salmon, yogurt, and coconut oil.
Coconut oil is highly beneficial as it acts as an immunity booster, great natural alternative to the many expensive skin creams, hair conditioners etc and as a perfect replacement for traditional cooking oils. Coconut oil and milk are proved to be highly beneficial for pregnant women because of the following reasons.
1. Anti-Infection Properties Of Coconut Oil
The anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of coconut oil are effective in preventing colds, flu, and other viral infections so that one can minimize your intake of over-the-counter medications. It plays a major role in the development and strengthening of the immune system of the baby.
2. Coconut oil and breast milk
Coconut oil is a good source of lauric acid which is an essential ingredient of the baby formula. Lauric acid helps in milk production during and after pregnancy so that the baby ends up getting high-quality breast milk that will keep him healthy. Studies reveal that consuming foods that contain virgin coconut oil will in turn increases the amount of lauric acid in the breast milk by about three-folds and thereby makes breast milk far more nutritious for their babies. The studies also claims that a single portion of coconut oil will significantly affect the breast milk composition for up to three days that causes maximum improvement in the quality of breast milk in the first 10 hours post consumption.
3.Can Substitute Dairy
For those who are missing out on milk and other dairy products, can use coconut oil as a great alternative with almost the same qualities.
4. Helpful In Overcoming Pregnancy Side Effects
Coconut oil is a perfect natural solution for all adverse side effects and minor troubles during pregnancy such as morning sickness, constipation or heartburn. The soothing effect of oil on the stomach can contribute to reducing the impact of acid reflux. Coconut oil can be used as an eye cream to lessen the visibility of those unsightly dark circles.
5. Nourishing Dry Scalp
A common problem during pregnancy is dry scalp and this problem can be treated with coconut oil. Just by applying little oil on your scalp, leaving it overnight and then washing it off with lukewarm water will nourish your scalp and keep away dryness.
6. Treating Stretch Marks
When used topically, coconut oil can be used as a natural moisturizer that prevents the harmful effects of chemical-based moisturizers and it prevents stretch marks on the stomach.
7.Preventing leg and foot pain
The high electrolyte content in the coconut water provides better blood circulation in the body, helps in preventing common leg and foot pains that most expectant mothers experience with advancing gestation.
Certain animal surveys resulted in a conclusion that including supplements of coconut oil in regular diet, can avoid low birth weight birth problems. Moderate consumption of coconut oil (probably about two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily) is recommended during pregnancy. As coconut oil is almost 100% saturated fat, it is advisable to limit your intake of saturated fats. But at the same time it is important to understand that not all saturated fats can have an adverse impact on your body and it is essential that saturated fats should make up no more than 5 to 6% of your daily calorie count.
The lauric acid mentioned earlier is a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) and has a positive impact in regulating cholesterol levels. The antimicrobial features present in them convert them to the ‘safe’ saturated fat category. Consuming coconut oil in moderation, will ensure that the pregnant body absorbs fat-soluble vitamins and this in turn will help mother and baby derive the maximum nutrition.The best part is to continue using coconut oil even after giving birth. The oil also act as a brilliant baby massage oil. These nutrients penetrate to the baby’s skin to develop strong muscles and bones.
There are many ways to incorporate coconut oil to the daily pregnancy diet which includes the following:
1. Replacing Milk with Coconut Cream
Using coconut cream instead of milk allows to stay away from caffeine during pregnancy and cream base is best suited for smoothies. Also coconut milk can be a nutritious alternative to regular milk.
2. Healthy Snacks and Coconut Oil
Sautéing healthy veggies in coconut oil is a good option because the oil has a high tolerance to heat and therefore best for frying and cooking without worrying about toxins in super-heated oil.
3. Coconut Oil and Smoothies
Adding about a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil to the smoothies will give a share of lauric acid on a consistent basis and also provide filling and energizing drink.
4. Choco Spread and Coconut oil
Mixing coconut oil with chocolate powder and fiber-rich fruits and spreading it healthy brown bread can provide a great dish.
5. Coconut Kefir
Coconut can be used as an excellent drink. Take coconut water in a jar and add to it the kefir starter. Let the water stay for four to five days. After the content become cloudy add a dash of lime and an organic sweetener and use.
1. For Improving Fertility
Body fat cells (or Adipocytes) produce estrogen, which is essential for a healthy reproductive system of a woman. It is essential to have a balanced rate of body fat to avoid fertility problems. Lacking adequate amount of body fat causes trouble with ovulation and fertility. On the other hand, excess production of estrogen may also cause fertility issues.
Coconut plays a positive effect on your fertility. Moderate amount of oil is required to produce small amount of saturated fats to produce cholesterol and maintain a proper hormonal balance. Coconut is a medium-chain fatty acid and it helps body to metabolize the oil.
2. For Treating Yeast Infections
One of the microorganism that causes yeast infection in women is Candida albicans. Candida is usually present in our body in small numbers, in warm, moist areas but may yield to infections due to proliferation of Candida. The anti-fungal properties of coconut oil can be used to treat it either by applying oil directly on the infected area or by including it in diet.
3. For Treating Thrush
A thrush is a form of yeast infection that interferes with breastfeeding with common symptoms like pain in the breasts, sore highly tender nipples, and the presence of small, white blisters around the nipples. Rubbing a little coconut oil over the nipples can help in alleviating the symptoms of thrush and also facilitate healing.