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Lindsay Opie is a Dietetic Intern at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The photo is she and her family visiting the Walden Farm Pumpkin Patch in Smyrna, TN.

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Eating Healthy For Moms To Be
By Lindsay Opiey

Are you a mom-to-be and want to avoid getting sick during those extensive nine months of pregnancy? Instead of opening up your medicine cabinet when you sniffle, how about opening the refrigerator door before symptoms start and eating immune enhancing foods?

According to the American Dietetic Association, "Some of the key components of a health-promoting lifestyle during pregnancy include consumption of a variety of foods in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005; and timely vitamin and mineral supplementation."

By adhering to these guidelines and the "Basic Rules of Fridge Physics" listed below you will create a defensive powerhouse against common illnesses so you and baby can soar through nine months with no hiccups or "spit- ups."

Follow the Three Basic Rules of Fridge Physics to obtain the best choices for mom and baby.

MOMMA's GOAL- Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.To maximize vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants consumed, shoot for two different colored vegetables and fruits at each meal.
When first opening your fridge, feast your eyes on the _fruit and vegetable_ compartments, remember farm fresh and organic is best! Filling your plate with fruits and vegetables especially those containing Vitamins A and C is essential in providing antioxidants that promote immune function. These nutrients kill invading bacteria so that lymphocytes (cells that attack germs) can do their job. Excellent examples include farm fresh and organic: peaches, oranges, kiwi, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, sweet peppers, tomatoes, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and avocados.
MOMMA's GOAL- Eat 2-3 servings of lean proteinday such as fresh fish, seafood, free range hormone free poultry (without the skin), eggs, dried beans, pasteurized low fat dairy, and soy products. Consider it a BONUS for baby to eat meats containing Omega-3's (salmon, tuna, mackerel). These also are immune boosters for white blood cells.
The next focus area in your fridge are _lean protein sources_ of meat and dairy. Proteins found in meats are made up of amino acids. These are the "building blocks" of our body's cells, especially those powering your immune system. When you do not consume enough protein white blood cells go to war with bacteria in your body, resulting in fewer cells being made. This leaves momma and baby more prone to infection.
MOMMA's GOAL- Eat one pasteurized product a day containing live cultures.
Your final fridge focus is _consuming friendly bacteria_. Not the funny green stuff growing on last weeks casserole, but friendly bacteria found in yogurt, kefir, cheeses, pasteurized sweet acidophilus milk, and cereals. These products provide your immune system with prebiotics and probiotics that stimulate immune cells in the gastrointestinal tract to colonize and resist invasion from enemy germsviruses. Pre- and probiotics are fire starters for immune cell production system wide.

By following the Three Fridge Physics during pregnancy you now have set up your body with the right resources to sustain a sickness free nine months. Your body will thank you, and most importantly so will your baby.