Can lemons help cure morning sickness? Does eating dark chocolate and drinking coffee help decrease certain pregnancy concerns? Dr. Robert Greene says yes! Dr. Oz talks to Dr. Greene about his advice for soon-to-be moms and his book Dr. Robert Greene's Perfect Hormone Balance for Pregnancy: A Groundbreaking Plan for Having a Healthy Baby and Feeling Great
. He shares four foods women can benefit from during pregnancy:
- Lemons: Dr. Greene says keeping a lemon handy at all times and sniffing it when you feel nausea coming on can help curb morning sickness. "The part of our brain that is most directly connected with the nausea center is our sense of smell," he says. Just as certain smells make you feel sick during pregnancy, Dr. Greene says the strong, cleansing fragrance of a lemon can rapidly help nausea subside. "If you ignore and don't correct nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy, that increases the risk of preterm labor and blood pressure problems in the third trimester," he says.
- Iodized salt: At least a half teaspoon of iodized salt a day should be a part of a pregnant woman's diet. Dr. Greene says women who use little salt or use "designer salts" and sea salt without iodine added can negatively affect their child's IQ. "We need to have enough iodine in order to produce enough thyroid hormones," he says. "Ten to 15 percent of women may have below-normal thyroid levels during pregnancy, and it can have a measurable effect on a child's IQ."
- Dark chocolate: Some of the highest amounts of antioxidants are found in dark chocolate, and Dr. Greene says eating it in moderation is very healthy for pregnant women. "Eating foods that naturally have a significant amount of antioxidants can help reverse or improve the ability of the blood flow through the placenta and reduce preeclampsia," he says.
- Coffee: Dr. Greene says the theories of why coffee is bad for pregnant women have been proven false, and he says coffee can in fact help an expecting mother. "Coffee seems to reduce the instance of gestational diabetes," he says. "Moderation is the key, but clearly we don't have the concerns with coffee that we once thought existed."