Our bodies all function optimally when we have adequate nutrition. We did not come up with this idea. It's basic science. When we skip out on or just don't consume enough of the very nutrients our bodies need most in our perinatal years then we can easily say they aren't functioning optimally.
Critical brain nutrients:
-MFP factor (for iron absorption)
Vitamin b12 is another incredibly common deficiency, one that I never really understood was so serious until a few years into clinical practice myself. With ideal levels being in the 1,000's and most women and children in the 500's I began to wonder, what is going on and what do we need to be doing about this. To start we need to be consuming the foods that provide b12 and those are only animal foods! Vitamin b12 heavily supports the brain and when deficient can certainly contribute to anxiety, depression, fatigue, learning + behavioral issues.
Anemia, or iron deficiency is also very common in both pregnant women and infants, probably because there is such a high need during this time, but I would also add that I found most women are usually avoiding the most iron rich foods. Or have in the past. Why? Because they thought it was the healthier choice. They might eat red meat here and there, eggs maybe a few times a week. Well what I found then was their chronic iron stores were more often than not extremely depleted and their hemoglobin or 'quick iron' was also deficient. The results; infants, babies and toddlers with anemia. That means infants, babies and toddlers with less than ideal levels of iron in their blood, that means bodily processes that require iron are not happening as efficiently or effectively as they should be in these early years of development.
Iron is critical for transporting oxygen throughout the body and to the brain, so like all the other nutrients we focus on, iron is essential for optimal brain function. Anemia is easily resolved when you provide the body with adequate heme iron rich foods + MFP factor. which increases iron absorption. Heme iron, the most bio-available form of iron is only found in animal foods while non heme iron, the less absorbable form is found in plant foods. MFP factor is also only found in animal foods, so when you include animal foods in your diet you provide the body with MFP factor to help increase the absorption of non heme iron you are also getting from plant foods.
Foods rich is these vitamins:
-grass fed red meats
-liver, yes we mean liver ;)
-dark ground turkey meat
We don't love supplements, we love food. So we advocate for consuming animal food along with a diet containing liberal plant food in order to provide the full spectrum of nutrients needed during your perinatal years.
Xo Dani and Whitney