Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful things to happen in a woman’s life. It is also one of the times that she is most vulnerable. During pregnancy, the mom-to-be’s immune system is suppressed, and for good reason. This change is necessary so that the woman’s body doesn’t reject the dad’s semen as well as the fetus itself as foreign objects, according to Dr. Brad Douglas, M.D. With the mom-to-be’s weakened capability to fight harmful elements naturally, she is more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
If you’re expecting, it goes without saying that boosting your immune system during your pregnancy is imperative to keep both you and your baby healthy. With the threat of Zika looming over us, you could definitely use all those immune cells to be functioning properly. FoodFacts.com shares some ways you can do to fortify and strengthen your body’s defenses.
A diet rich in carotenoids, ellargic acid, flavonoids, resveratrol and other phytonutrients is highly recommended as they are helpful in enhancing your body’s immune system. Colorful fruits and vegetables are a great source for them. Eating them whole, meaning in their original form, best provides you with their nutrients.
We couldn’t talk more about antioxidants, the best sources for them and how great they are for the body. Antioxidants, which are present in several vitamins and minerals, protect us from the free radical damages that may contribute to diseases such as cancer, heart disease and more.
Practice food safety
During pregnancy, you’re more at risk of contracting foodborne illnesses. Food poisoning doesn’t only hurt you, it also poses serious consequences to your baby’s health. Here are some quick food safety tips:
- Wash hands and kitchen utensils, and keep surfaces clean.
- Avoid raw and undercooked foods such as cold cuts, deli meat, sushi and eggs.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them. Do not eat raw sprouts.
Avoid toxins and chemicals
Toxins and chemicals can be found in the pesticides used to produce the fruits and vegetables, and other foods that we consume everyday. Choose organic, or wash foods thoroughly, as previously mentioned. Toxic chemicals are also present in the body and home products that we use on a regular basis. Use products made from natural ingredients as much as possible, or make your own such as this homemade insect repellant.
Physical, mental and emotional stress can greatly affect your immunity. Employ ways to avoid negativity by doing simple breathing exercises or doing things that bring you joy. These things relieve tension and enhance your stress resilience. Practicing yoga as well as meditation exercises are proven to calm the mind and strengthen your immune system.
Just like antioxidants, we can’t talk about the wonders that water does for our overall wellbeing enough. Other than hydrating, you need plenty of ounces of water to flush unwanted toxins out of your body. Be cautious of where your water comes from – avoid tap and invest on a good water filtration device.
If you’re struggling to get sleep due to your growing belly, you are not alone. A lot of pregnant women are on the same page. If eight hours of good quality sleep per night seems elusive, try taking 20- to 30-minute naps during the day, if possible. Sleep is important in building your immune system as it gives your body the chance to restore itself and prepares it to fight off harmful elements.