Tag Archives: pregnancy

Delightful Dates

  Dates are Great….the fruit that is…not the going out with another person sort of date. I mean I’m sure that can be great too, but that’s not what this blog’s about.

The Date is the fruit of the date palm, thought to originate in Iraq, but now grown all over the world, from Australia to Spain, from China to America. Not surprising that it has spread so far when you know that it has been cultivated for at least 8000 years and even appears in fossil records from 50 Million years ago!

Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients, and are a very good source of potassium. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80% so it is pretty high on the Glycemic Index (between 30 and 50 depending on the type of date). That doesn’t make them particularly healthy, but it does make them a great ingredient in cakes where they can be used as a substitute for refined sugars. Banana and Date loaf is a classic ‘healthy’ cake and is ideal for using up browning bananas.The rest of the date consists of protein, fibre, and trace elements including boron, cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc.

Having enough fibre in your diet can help to maintain a healthy gut. It is believed that one of the causes of colon cancer is that food has too slow a transit time in the gut leaving the the colon to interact with carcinogens for a longer period. Low levels of dietary fibre also lead to constipation and bloating as well as making it uncomfortable to go to the toilet. During times of life when constipation is more likely e.g. during pregnancy, it may be a good idea to increase your fibre intake, and adding dates to your diet is an easy way to do this.

There has also been a study which suggested that eating dates in the final four weeks of pregnancy has positive effects regarding labour. Women who had six dates daily were compared to women who did not eat dates. The date-consuming group had greater mean cervical dilation, higher proportion of intact membranes, higher proportion of spontaneous labour and shorter latent phase of labour.

Dates have even been suggested as a healthy and delicious way to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body, which is a major contributing factor heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke. Therefore, when taken twice a week, dates can seriously improve the overall health of the heart.

I hope you enjoy your dates this week – fruity or otherwise 🙂

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Classy Cauliflower

Despite being a paler relation of the brassica family, Cauliflower has many of the same health benefits as Broccoli (see Brilliant Broccoli ) and should be considered in a healthy diet.

It has a low GI index and is High in Vitamin C, K and Folic Acid as well as being a good source of dietary fibre.

Most people are aware of how good Vitamin C and K are for you, but what about Folic Acid? We often hear about it being used a s a supplement during pregnancy, But what is it and why do we need it?

Humans cannot synthesize folic acid themselves; therefore, it has to be supplied through the diet to meet the daily requirements. The human body needs it to synthesize and repair DNA, as well as to act as a cofactor in certain biological reactions. It is especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as in infancy and pregnancy. Both children and adults both require folic acid to make healthy red blood cells and prevent anaemia.

It is believed that having a good supply of Folic acid

  • Supports red blood cell production and help prevent anaemia
  • Help prevent homocysteine build-up in your blood
  • Supports cell production, especially in your skin
  • Allows nerves to function properly
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis-related bone fractures
  • Helps prevent dementias including Alzheimer’s disease

Signs that you may need more Folic Acid in your diet include

  • Irritability
  • Mental fatigue, forgetfulness, or confusion
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • General or muscular fatigue
  • Gingivitis or periodontal disease

Cauliflower is an incredibly versatile food. It can be cut up finely and steamed or stir fried to use as a substitute for rice or potatoes in a dish, it can be a side dish to a main course or it can be the main event in a curry or soup. However you choose to eat them, fresh fruits and vegetables help us to maintain a healthy mind and body, and are delicious too…

….How will you be eating yours this week?

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