Labor can be difficult. That’s why it’s called labor, and not “fun” or “vacation”! The last thing a pregnant woman wants to do is make this important part of pregnancy any more difficult than it needs to be.
Inflammation can, unfortunately, do exactly that – but don’t worry. As a Paleo devotee, there are plenty of foods at your disposal that is natural inflammation fighters. They reduce the effect of inflammation and keep it from developing in the first place.
Here are a few Paleo eating tips for minimizing the presence and effect of inflammation during pregnancy and labor.
Eat Plenty of Vegetables
Vegetables are powerhouses of anti-inflammatory benefits. Eating a wide variety of vegetables during pregnancy can make labor easier by lowering the possibility that inflammation will make things worse. The best vegetables for anti-inflammatory benefits include the following…
- Leafy greens
- Brussels sprouts
Anthocyanins are the magic ingredients in berries that fight inflammation. Eat strawberries and blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and you can prevent inflammation, while also lowering the risk that you or your baby will contract a disease.
Leafy greens like spinach and chard, turnip greens and collard greens deliver multiple vitamins and minerals that are known inflammation fighters. Vitamins A, D, E and K can prevent inflammation and these nutrients are found in leafy green vegetables. Many of these same veggies contain alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fat known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Choose darker leafy greens for the most benefits.
Brussels sprouts deliver antioxidants and other compounds that reduce inflammation levels. Broccoli is a nutritious and versatile Paleo food. It can be eaten raw, steamed, baked into a casserole, juiced, or added to soup. It delivers between 5% and 245% of 24 essential nutrients the human body needs to stay healthy. Broccoli is also where you find sulforaphane, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant.
Tomatoes are similarly nutritious. They deliver elevated levels of vitamin C and potassium, vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber and 17 other essential nutrients. They are also home to lycopene, another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
Fall in Love with This Superfood… Avocados
However, you eat them, avocados certainly deliver on their superfood title. They are Paleo-approved powerhouses of nutrition that fight inflammation while offering up valuable magnesium, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin B6 copper, folate, and vitamins C and E.
We talked earlier about how some omega-3 fatty acids are good for lowering levels of inflammation. This is true of the long chain, omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in several fatty fish sources. Eat more salmon, sardines and herring and your payoff might be an easier labor. Mackerel and anchovies also qualify. EPA and DHA fatty acids are linked to multiple health benefits in addition to being excellent inflammation fighters.
Drink Green Tea
This Paleo-friendly beverage has been used for thousands of years as an all-around health booster. It reduces your risk of developing heart disease and cancers. Drinking a couple of cups each day also drops your risk of experiencing obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and a lengthy list of other serious health problems. Guess what else it does? Yep, it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.