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Heart Healthy Foods for Mummy and Baby

Eating a cholesterol-lowering diet during pregnancy may reduce your risks of delivery too early. Studies show that 11 out of 149 women who ate their usual diets delivered preterm compared with only one of 141 women whose diets emphasized fish, low-fat meats, dairy products, whole grains, healthful oils, fruit, vegetable and legumes. The latter mothers also had lower blood-cholesterol levels.

Many foods can help keep your heart and baby’s heart at best. Some help lower your blood pressure, while others keep your cholesterol in line. So, be sure to add these healthy foods listed below into your diet and don’t forget to grab them the next time you are out grocery shopping!


This fish is a top choice because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have an anti-clotting effect, so they keep your blood flowing plus they also help lower your triglycerides (a type of fat that can lead to heart disease).

Aim to have at least two servings of oily fish a week. Per serving should be about 3.5 ounces, which is roughly slightly bigger than a computer mouse. If you don’t fancy or are allergic to salmon, try substituting it with tuna, trout, sardine or mackerel.


Nibbling on about five ounces of nuts each week can cut your risks of heart disease in half. Walnuts have a lot of ‘good’ fats. When you use these monounsaturated in place of saturated fats, such as butter; you cut your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and raise your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.

Although not similar to fish, they are also a good source of omega-3 fats. In replacement of walnuts, try consuming almonds, cashews, pistachios, flaxseed or chia seeds.


These berries are loaded with polyphenols — antioxidants that mop up damage-causing free radicals in your body. They also deliver fiber and vitamin C, which are both linked to a lower risk of stroke.

There are some people who don’t enjoy eating raspberries. Try replacing raspberries with any berries — strawberries, blueberries, blackberries — are great choices. Fruits and vegetables in general are excellent choices because of their nutrients and fibre.

Fat-free or low-fat milk or yoghurt

Dairy products are high in potassium, and that has a blood-pressure-lowering effect. When you choose low-fat or fat-free dairy, you get little to no saturated fat, the kind of fat that can raise your cholesterol.

If you happen to be lactose intolerant and cannot agree with dairy products, do substitute them with these options; most fruits and vegetables also have some potassium. Bananas, oranges, and potatoes are especially good sources.


Chickpeas and other legumes (lentils, other kinds of beans) are a top-notch source of soluble fiber — the kind of fiber that can lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol. If you buy canned beans, look for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties (sodium can raise your blood pressure). Rinse them in water to wash off any added salt.

Feel free to substitute them with eggplant, okra, apples, or pears as they are also good choices for soluble fiber.


Oats have a type of fiber (called beta-glucan) that lowers your LDL cholesterol. One and a half cups of cooked oatmeal or a little over a cup of cooked barley gives you the amount of beta-glucan you need daily to help lower your cholesterol. You can also find beta-glucan in barley, shiitake mushrooms, and seaweed.


These fruits get their creamy texture from “good” (monounsaturated) fats, which lower your “bad” cholesterol.

They also seem to have an anti-inflammatory effect, so you don’t get chronic inflammation that makes atherosclerosis — the hardening of artery walls – worse. Use mashed avocado as a spread in place of butter, or add cubes of it to salad, or over black bean chilli. As delicious as they are, avocados are high in calories, so keep your portions modest.


These juicy fruits have resveratrol, which helps keep platelets in your blood from sticking together. That may partly be why red wine — in moderation — may have some heart-healthy advantages over other types of alcohol. But experts don’t recommend that anyone start drinking, because alcohol does have some health risks.

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