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Morning sickness… ugh!
Do you or someone you know struggle with morning sickness?
It can make the first few weeks of pregnancy miserable!
What if I told you that most morning sickness can be easily prevented by adding a simple food into your pregnancy diet?
Would you like to know the actual cause of morning sickness and the easy real food solution to remedy it?
Early Pregnancy Morning Sickness
The early weeks of pregnancy are filled with anticipation, excitement and wonder.
I still remember the absolute joy that I felt when I found out that I was pregnant with my first baby. It is still one of my favorite memories!
Early pregnancy is a time when we are inspired and motivated, like never before, to learn all that we can about how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
We literally spend hours pouring through books and websites.
But, for many women, the first trimester comes with its share of difficulties too.
As the pregnancy hormones begin to work their magic, many new moms experience some pretty extreme symptoms of nausea and fatigue.
Morning sickness, or pregnancy nausea, usually occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Women experience this nausea in varying degrees. In some cases, the nausea can be quite severe*. Instead of motivating moms, these symptoms can sometimes bring everything to a screeching halt. Ugh!
What Causes Morning Sickness?
What many people don’t realize is that morning sickness (or all day sickness) in pregnancy is often preventable.
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins to make large amounts of pregnancy hormones.
One of these hormones is the hCG hormone (Human chorionic gonadotropin).
This is the hormone that is primarily responsible for maintaining the pregnancy.
The detection of this hormone is the most common diagnostic tool in confirming pregnancy.
The good news is that when you experience nausea, it usually is a strong indication that your hormones are working properly to maintain the pregnancy!
So, does the hCG hormone make you sick?
Well, not exactly. But the high levels of this hormone do trigger a response from the liver. The liver is stimulated to produce large amounts of a digestive enzyme known as bile.
Simply put, it is the excess bile that makes us sick! (source)
The Solution to Morning Sickness!
How do we assist the body in ridding the excess bile and its accompanying waste?
The answer is soluble fiber.
When we eat soluble fiber, it binds with all the excess bile in our system. The soluble fiber acts as a magnet of sorts, helping to clear out the excess bile and waste.
Unfortunately, our western diet is sorely lacking in soluble fiber.
How do we get this soluble fiber then?
There are two great ways!
Once again, real food to the rescue!
The absolute best way to get soluble fiber into your diet is by eating legumes…. that is….beans.
Okay…I know what you are thinking…
“Ugh! How can I possibly stomach beans when I feel so sick?
Trust me, ladies… THIS WORKS!
What are Legumes?
Check out this list to get you started: pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, black beans, red beans, navy beans, white beans, great northern beans…
If you are a fan of refried beans or hummus, that is an easy way to get legumes into your diet.
Spread some refried beans on a tortilla and voila!
Hummus, which is a spread made from mashed garbanzo beans, makes a delicious spread for bread, or a dip for veggies or chips.
The easiest way to make sure you get your beans, is to stock up on some convenient ready-made beans or soups.
I don’t like buying food in cans, so I either soak and cook my own dried beans, or buy beans in a carton or glass.
Did you know that properly soaking beans as this post describes, will eliminate gastrointestinal “disturbances” that often occur after consuming beans?
Yes, it’s true!
Most store-bought beans have not been soaked or cooked properly, thus the gassy side-effect.
If you don’t have the time or energy to soak your own, at least buy organic beans in a carton or glass container.
This is my favorite organic brand.
What is the Proper Serving Size?
According to Karen Hurd, Nutritional Practitioner, you should eat 2-4 tablespoons of cooked legumes to stop acute nausea in pregnancy.
You may also eat more than that, if you wish.
You should feel relief in about 20 minutes!
The nausea will most likely return at some point, but continue the “bean regime” as needed.
Within a few days, you will no longer need to be continually dosing with beans all day, since your body will have cleared out the excess bile. Yeah!
You will, however, still need to keep the beans in your diet with a “maintenance dose”, which will be approximately 1/2 cup at each meal.
This will keep your nausea at bay and give you your life back!
For a more detailed explanation of why soluble fiber works to prevent and cure morning sickness, read Karen’s amazing explanation here.
2. What if You Absolutely Cannot Eat Beans?
There is another alternative source of soluble fiber that is called psyllium husk powder.
Psyllium husk powder is the key ingredient in some laxative medicines. (Yes, soluble fiber will also keep you regular but you MUST drink plenty of water!)
You can either buy the powder or the capsules.
Sprinkle the powder on oatmeal or mixed with water or juice. (But drink it fast before it gels!)
Take the capsules with plenty of water.
How much should you take?
Start slowly to see what works for you and take the minimal dosage to stop your nausea.
Again, remember… with any increase in soluble fiber, make sure to drink plenty of water!
Eat a Healthy Real Food Diet
It’s also a really good idea to clean up your diet during pregnancy.
Make sure you follow a healthy diet and eat plenty of real food.
I have written a 2-part series on real food and how to eat clean.
Check out part one here.
Pregnancy is a great time to start eating healthier!
*There is a severe form of morning sickness that causes dehydration, due to excessive nausea and vomiting.
Hyperemesis can be debilitating as the nausea and vomiting are constant and do not go away at the 12-14 week mark.
If a mom is vomiting more than 4 times a day, lost more than 10 lbs. due to vomiting or inability to eat, she should contact her primary health care provider.
Have you ever tried soluble fiber for morning sickness?
I’d love to hear your comments on how soluble fiber worked for you. Please make sure you give it a few days to allow the fiber to really kick in!
*Disclaimer – The information in the post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be medical advice. Please make sure you talk with your doctor or midwife if you are experiencing morning sickness or nausea in pregnancy.
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