I visited my lovely pregnant friend a couple of weeks who has been suffering terribly with morning sickness, well Hyperemesis Gravidarum actually (the really severe type).
She had difficulty eating anything at all, and only fancying really specific foods such as salad dressing and crumpets only to develop an aversion to these things afterwards! (Poor thing!)
I noticed she had a big stash of sesame snaps, something that she was able to tolerate. She said to me how she so wished that they weren’t made with glucose syrup and processed sugar so she could feel less guilty about eating them, so immediately I thought about re-creating a healthier version.
Say goodbye to the toxic and heavily processed glucose syrup and hello to lovely low GI, antioxidant and anti-bacterial rich honey! I have also added ground almonds in these too to add an extra source of protein and vitamin E. There is also a little coconut oil in there to hold things together.
It’s such a shame that the classic snap is made with rubbish ingredients because they could be so healthy otherwise, as they are predominantly made from sesame seeds (full of protein!).
Now if you didn’t know the benefits of sesame seeds then listen up… They contain:
Lignans (Sesamin and sesamolin) – These are a type of phytoestrogen which gently mimics oestrogen in the body which can help to balance hormones.
Phytosterols – are similar in structure to cholesterol, which means they block the harmful cholesterol from being absorbed in the body which is great for heart health.
All of these are really important in pregnancy and in general. So you can rest assured that you are nourishing yourself when tucking in to these as a little healthful snack.
What strange pregnancy cravings have you had? Have you heard that they often are a sign of what your body needs?
The craving of non-food items such as clay, coal and soil (known as Pica) – thought to be linked to low levels of iron or zinc in the body which manifests in these cravings.
Likewise women who are anaemic are more likely to be seen chewing on ice, since it can relieve inflammation of the mouth and tongue – a common symptom of anaemia.
Cravings for chocolate can indicate a deficiency in magnesium, which incidentally the dark stuff has high levels of.
It is much the same with the aversions that pregnant ladies develop against things that may be harmful such as coffee, alcohol and cigarette smoke which often become repulsive.
Not a coincidence that the body knows and craves what it needs! It is so difficult when the sickness takes over and ruins your intentions of eating really well. But it is so important to try and get your nutrition right during pregnancy, to help the baby to develop into the healthiest that it can be, and also so that you are feeling optimal as well.
Women suffering with morning sickness and struggling to eat healthy foods would benefit from speaking to a nutritional therapist and introducing a proper supplement plan. If you require support with any of your pregnancy including reducing morning sickness, preventing anaemia, preventing gestational diabetes, increasing your energy levels, supporting healthy development of the baby then feel free to book a consultation with me.
DID YOU KNOW? That a growing foetus will take everything it needs from the mother in order to survive and develop. Of particular importance to the baby is the development of its brain, which requires the fatty acids EPA and DHA. If the mother does not have adequate stores of this due to a diet that is low in essential fats, then the baby will actually take DHA and EPA from the mother’s own brain which can have a detrimental impact and has been linked to post-natal depression in some studies. It is therefore imperative to make sure your EPA and DHA levels are optimal, always seek the advice of a professional when supplementing in pregnancy.
Just remember to listen to your body in these instances of cravings, and where possible if you can make a healthy version (whether pregnant or not) then you will actually be benefiting your health and nourishing your precious body & baby rather than filling it with empty calories and junk! Often it only takes a few small swaps of ingredients to a more natural version and you have pretty much the same outcome.
It is particularly important to avoid processed foods: With up to 200 chemicals found in the umbilical cord blood of some babies, there is certainly good reason to avoid any unnecessary chemicals in foods or environment. Processed foods also offer little nutrition and can lead to constipation and blood sugar instability (which can cause morning sickness). Another one to avoid it vegetable Oils: As I’ve explained before, vegetable oils and other omega-6 fats are foreign to the body and there is no need for them. They have even been linked to cell mutation and cancers, and should especially be avoided by pregnant women due to the rapid cell development of the unborn baby.
If you have any requests for a healthy version of a classic favourite, please send me an email through the contact page and I will be happy to experiment on some new ideas.
Now on to today’s recipe, in celebration of Sarah’s pregnancy!
2 cups sesame seeds
1 cup ground almonds
½ cup honey
¼ cup coconut oil melted
Preheat oven to 180 degC.
Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.
Split the mixture in half and place one half between 2 pieces of baking paper. Roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/2cm thickness.
Carefully peel off the top layer of baking paper and transfer to a baking tray.
Repeat with the other half of the mixture.
Place both baking trays in to oven for 10 mins or until golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before chopping or snapping in to sesame snaps!
Wishing you a happy and healthy week