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Tag Archives: preventative pregnancy health

  • Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Snacks

    Lemon Poppy Seed 1Breakfast? Snack? Desert? It’s all three! These delightful muffins will satisfy pregnancy cravings and support your prenatal health (and make your house smell heavenly!). Summer is leaving, but lemons are available year-round to make treats that remind you of those warm, sunny, laid-back summer days. The poppy seeds add texture and a little crunch while the quadruple citrus hit (extract, oil, zest, and juice) makes these muffins truly lemonicious!

    These are best right out of the oven (not pun intended!), but can also be stored in the refrigerator and saved to…

    -a crumble on top of vanilla ice cream

    -take as a small snack when on-the-go

    -re-heat and enjoy with coffee in the morning

    -add icing and serve as cupcakes (birthday parties, baby/bridal showers, thank-you gifts)

    These muffins are wholesome, delicate, perfectly sweet, a bit tart, and irresistible!

    Now for the pregnancy and postpartum health benefits:

    Poppy seeds are high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that lowers LDL (the "bad cholesterol") and increases HDL (good cholesterol). The outer husk is a good source of fiber, which helps with healthy digestion and further reduces bad cholesterol.

    Poppy seeds are also high in pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, pyridoxine, folic acid, and niacin. These seeds also have good amounts of minerals such as iron, copper, calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium. Copper is used in the production of red blood cells. Zinc is a “co-factor” in many enzymes that regulate growth, development, and digestion. Potassium is a vital element of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure which is also a vital health check for expecting women, particularly in the latter stages of pregnancy.

    Lemon Poppy Seed 2Oat flour is the primary source of flour, along with some amaranth and corn meal. WebMD considers whole grains a pregnancy superfood and recommends including them as a staple in your diet. WebMD stated that, “Whole grains contain more fiber and trace nutrients than processed grains, such as white bread, white rice, and white flour.” The combination of whole grains and only 5 grams total of sugar guarantees you won’t be crashing after you eat these.

    Ingredients: (makes 9 medium muffins)

    ½ cup applesauce

    ¼ cup coconut oil

    ½ teaspoon lemon extract

    4 drops orange oil

    Juice and zest of 1 meyer lemon

    ¾ cup almond milk

    1 flax egg (1 tablespoons ground flax and 3 tablespoons warm water)

    ¼ cup maple syrup

    1 cup oat flour

    1-3 tablespoons poppy seeds (however many you like)

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    ⅓ cup amaranth flour

    ½ cup cornmeal

    ¼ teaspoon vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups.

    Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 3 tablespoons of warm water. Let soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

    Whisk the baking soda, amaranth flour, oat flour, cornmeal, poppy seeds and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    In a small bowl, mix the applesauce, maple syrup, almond milk, lemon extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and orange oil. Melt the coconut oil and stir into the wet mix.

    Fold the wet and dry mixes together. Pour into muffin cups. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden and set.

    Lemon Poppy Seed 3

    Nutritional Facts: (per muffin)

    calories: 212

    protein: 4

    fat: 9

    sugar: 5

    carbs: 30

  • Folic Acid during Pregnancy may reduce Baby’s risk of Autism

    Most of us have received the news flash that we should take our prenatal vitamins and in particular we should take our folic acid when we are pregnant. Folic acid is an important vitamin for helping prevent neural tube defects in babies. However, did you know that it may help reduce autism?

    Now this is even more relatable a reason for most of us as autism is almost always in the news, seemingly on the rise or at least on the rise in terms of diagnosis and is surrounded by a shroud of mystery and debate over how a child can get it or be born with it.

    A new study in Norway found a very strong correlation between a reduction in autism and women who took folic acid supplements four weeks before their pregnancy and through at least the 8th week of their pregnancy. Women who took Folic Acid daily during this time period saw a 40% reduction in autism in their children (when they were tested about 8 years later) as compared to the children of the pregnant women in the group who did not take folic acid for this time period. This is a huge reduction in autism!

    Apparently timing does matter. The earlier you can start supplementing with folic acid prior to conception, the better. The study found that in terms of autism risk that the folic acid supplements did not seem to have any impact beyond the 22nd week of pregnancy. The crucial time interval was from four weeks before conception to eight weeks into the pregnancy.

    Of course it does not hurt to continue on with folic acid throughout your pregnancy and who knows, maybe there’s further benefits or risk reductions that are yet to be uncovered from continuing with folic acid beyond the first trimester. However, what researchers have uncovered so far is enough evidence to start any woman even thinking about having a baby to be popping a folic acid supplement right away.

    So what is folic acid? It is the B vitamin that helps with the construction and repair of DNA molecules which is the genetic code that controls all of the body’s cells, including the brain cells. It is especially important to take it early in pregnancy during the development of the baby’s spine and nervous system to prevent neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Doctors typically recommend that all women who are planning on getting pregnant to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from a multivitamin and continue taking this amount throughout their early pregnancy.

    Now with 1 out of 88 children diagnosed with autism we hope that this research will help us reduce the risk of childhood autism and increase awareness of our ability to potentially prevent this disability by supplementing with Folic Acid early in our pregnancy and even before. Knowledge is power so let’s empower ourselves and those we know with this scientific knowledge and preventative health measure of supplementing daily with Folic Acid if we are pregnant or hope to become pregnant. It’s an easy lifestyle adder that can reap benefits in our child’s health and well-being for a lifetime.

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