During pregnancy, it's essential that you take care of your body, ensuring it has everything it needs to grow a new life. Healthy eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation are all important during these vital months, not to mention adding nutrient-rich natural supplements to your diet. Supplements like folic acid, probiotics and magnesium are all linked to prenatal care, but there's another natural supplement that you may not have heard of: Baobab.
Packed full of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants, this superfood has been used for centuries to support healthy pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Supplements
It's important that we consume a wide range of vitamins, nutrients and minerals, whatever stage we are in life. However, during pregnancy this becomes even more vital, both to support the baby's development and promote the mother's health too. To help ensure a healthy pregnancy, doctors often recommend that women take prenatal vitamin supplements on top of a healthy diet. The most common ones are those containing:
- Folic acid – helps to prevent neural birth defects
- Calcium – helps prevent loss of bone density
- Iodine – important for healthy thyroid function
- Iron – helps blood carry oxygen
For a tailored supplement regimen, it's important to visit your doctor in the early stages of pregnancy. On top of recommending prenatal vitamins that promote all-round health, they'll be able to advise you on whether you need any extra supplements to compensate for any deficiencies you might have.
Pregnancy and Baobab
Baobab has long been connected with pregnancy and childbirth. Known as the ‘Tree of Life,’ the baobab tree is considered by many tribes in Africa to be the resting place of their ancestors. As well as serving as ceremonial altars, in Tanzania the hollowed out trunks are also birthing places. For the women of the Hadza tribe, for example, the baobab tree provides a shelter in which to give birth, offering warmth, privacy, as well as protection for their ancestor's spirits.
It's not just the tree itself that is connected with pregnancy. The fruit from the baobab tree is also full of important prenatal vitamins and nutrients, helping to promote a wide range of health benefits.
Packed with Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important for a healthy pregnancy, and luckily Baobab offers it by the bucketload. Containing six times more Vitamin C than oranges, just 2-3 teaspoons of baobab provide you with 33 per cent of your daily requirement.
So why is Vitamin C so important during pregnancy? It all comes down to collagen. This vital vitamin supports the body's production of collagen – a structural protein that's a component of skin, tendons, bones and cartilage. Known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C promotes bone growth, wound healing, healthy skin tissue repair – vital functions, especially for you and your baby during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, you might be left feeling tired and sluggish – and that feeling is likely to stick around for the first few months of the baby's life too. So to increase your energy levels, it's important you add foods to your diet that will invigorate and energize. That's where Baobab comes in. One of the key nutrients needed for energy release is Vitamin C, making Baobab an effective natural energizer.
Help Ease Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. In fact, 70-80 per cent of women experience nausea and vomiting while pregnant. There are many natural remedies for morning sickness, many of which contain Vitamin C. The effectiveness of Vitamin C was tested in one study on pregnant women. The participants, who were given 25mg of Vitamin C combined with 5mg of Vitamin K, reported improved symptoms of nausea and vomiting within just three days. Since Baobab is full of Vitamin C, it's a useful supplement to add to your diet, especially in the first trimester.
Easy to Add to Your Routine
With it's chalky white appearance and zingy taste, Baobab may not look like any superfood you've seen before, but it couldn't be easier to add this supplement to your daily routine. Thanks to its fresh and citrusy taste, Baobab powder is delicious when blended into smoothies or juices, or sprinkled over yogurt or an acai bowl.