The key position players

SO what are those key micronutrients and more importantly what foods are they in.

Well… folate, iodine, iron and Vitamin D.

The really interesting point about folate is the key time point for its involvement may even be before your aware your expecting, this is when ‘nueral tube’ development occurs, a very complex system this involves the development of the spinal cord and other parts of the nervous system. For that reason if your planning to fall pregnant or of child bearing age, I would recommend eating fortified breads and cereals (most breads in Australia are) and also most greens vegetables are really high in folate our favourites are asparagus and (a fruit) avocado . Most doctors recommend supplementation and while I am a food first advocate this is something we took the advice of our GP on. You may also come across certain literature that refer to folic acid, rest assured folate and folic acid are the same thing, its one of those curly ones that differ on where your from as to how you say it.

Iodine is a really important micronutrient found in differing amounts in fruits, vegetables and fish. It is only required in small amounts but is important in brain and nervous system development. You might come across iodised salt in the supermarket and a lot of manufacturers in Australia use iodised salt as well, please don’t be alarmed by it, it’s a good thing and will mean your requirements are met.  This has been really well researched and the side effects of inadequate amounts can be quite dramatic so embrace the iodisation!

Iron, every dads favourite word, we all love doing the ironing! Seriously though, iron needs throughout pregnancy only increase so it’s important to have sources regularly apart of your diet. Lean red meats and fortified bread and cereals are good sources while supplementation is also something regularly recommended by GP’s. The supplementation can sometimes lead to side affects of constipation or gastro intestinal upset so just watch out for that and ensure your partner is staying well hydrated throughout, a topic I will cover in a couple of blogs time. An interesting point to note though, in the human body we don’t have a storage mechanism for iron apart from the blood and what sits in our gastrointestinal system so its absorption and secretion (what we get rid of) is very tightly regulated. If you can consume iron with sources of vitamin C (citrus fruits and kiwi fruit) you immediately increase its level of absorption, equally if you can avoid consuming it with calcium which competes for absorption with iron then you’ll be making the most of every mouthful.

Finally, Vitamin D a really difficult micronutrient to explain that I feel provides insight into the complexity of the human body. In short the vitamin D we consume through our diet in the form of oily fish and eggs is absorbed and lies within our skin before being activated by sunlight. The reason this is so important is because of its involvement in the absorption of calcium essential for strong bones and teeth. That’s all a bit complicated but basically we need to make sure our mums to be are getting a regular serve of oily fish (salmon, tuna) or eggs and then also spending some time in the sun each day. I won’t get into minute by minute recommendations but if you can try and make it a bit of a focus to get out and about 4-5 times a week taking the dog for a walk or road testing prams while making sure fish is on the menu a couple of times a week then you will be doing your best to support you’re partner.


So wrapping the last couple of posts up speaking from the different hats the take home messages are:

Dad: Your going to be a dad, congratulations your son or daughter is developing as you read this, your mother to be is your baby’s only source of nutrition, everything that passes your partners lips is what your baby receives, good, bad or indifferent.

Husband: Your partner is now going through some significant physiological change, expect them to be fatigued and maybe even experience some morning sickness, this is all very normal and the best thing you could do is provide unbias non-judgemental support! Take it upon yourself to form that team of health professionals around your family and listen to your partner!

Dietitian: Unprocessed and fresh is best, listen to your GP on the supplementation front but key nutrients to understand are folate, iron, iodine and vitamin D. With fortified bread and cereals, lean red meat, regular serves of fish and eggs with green vegetables a regular feature of your family diet from now on! Its never been more important to make nutrition a priority in your household.

Say hi to the kitchen for me!


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Just over three years ago my life changed, I started training with Sean! I was unfit, weighed over 100 kilos and hadn't exercised in years. Initially I had three goals I wanted to achieve - I wanted to lose 14 kilos, to be fit at 40 (I’d just turned 39) and I wanted the "bicep vein". I honestly thought 14 kilos was never going to happen, too hard, but with an ever-changing exercise routine (you definitely don't get bored) and some positive changes to my diet I achieved it in only four months and just in time for Christmas! Fast forward another couple of years and I’ve now lost a total of 26 kilos, am fitter than I have been since my early 20’s and I can see the bicep vein! More importantly Sean and Amy have helped me make positive lifestyle changes that will stay with me for life. I never thought I would like exercising, never thought I would be under 100 kilos let alone 77, and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would love boxing! Sean is an awesome trainer, a top bloke and I wouldn’t be this fit in my 40's without his amazing support.
Damian Brunow