Healthy Mom Habits
Whether it's using olive oil or taking an afternoon nap, mothers around the world have their own little secrets to stay healthy before, during, and after pregnancy. Laura Kalehoff, Executive Editor of American Baby Magazine, uncovers simple tricks and secrets that help mothers stress less, shed pounds and live healthier.
French women, even moms, savor a glass of wine at least several times a week. They prefer red wine or Champagne which both have health benefits. They may even help you stay slim once you've lost the baby weight. Women who drink moderately are less likely to put on pounds over time. Researchers speculate that this could be because drinking may give women a slight metabolism boost. Even if you're not in France, you can unwind with your husband over a single glass of wine at the end of the day to connect and toast your health. If you're breast feeding, drink responsibly. Wait two hours to breastfeed for each drink you consume. You can also pump before sipping.
Icelanders eat an average of 225 pounds of fish per year. This is a smart move because fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids that keep the brain sharp and protect against heart disease. Plus, moms to be who ate more than 12 ounces of seafood a week, about two or three servings, had children with higher IQ scores than those who ate less fish. Pregnant and nursing women should stick to low mercury fish such as wild salmon. If you're not a fish fan, make sure that your prenatal vitamin has at least 200 milligrams of DHA, the omega 3 that's responsible for baby's brain development.
In Gambia, mothers typically use peanuts in their soups and stews instead of meat. Peanuts are a super source of reservatrol, the antioxidant found in wine that's touted for its anti-aging, anti-cancer benefits. Peanuts are the ideal on the go snack for moms and moms-to be. They are high in fiber and protein. As long as you don't have a peanut allergy, they're safe to eat while pregnant or breastfeeding. For an extra bonus, eat peanuts with their skin on to score double the antioxidants.
In Spain, workers nap post lunch. Siestas are good for your heart. Adults who log at least three 30 minute afternoon naps weekly cut their chances of heart attack by more than 1/3. Another reason to nap: dieters who get only 5 ? hours of sleep lost less body fat than when they slept for 8 ? hours each night. If you have the chance to nap take it! When your baby goes down for a nap, doze off instead of doing dishes. Or consider having a friend hold down the fort while you relax. Until your baby is on a better sleep schedule, do what you need to do in order to rest.
For more information on being a healthy mother and other parenting tips, click here.
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