6 Bad Habits Pregnant Women Should Avoid

The obesity epidemic, especially as it relates to children, is nothing to kid about. Seventeen percent of children and teens in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control, putting them at risk for adult problems including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

There are many factors that contribute to this growing problem, and there’s now research to suggest pregnancy may be an especially influential time in determining the risk a child faces of becoming obese.
Here are 6 mom-to-be habits researchers say may influence the trajectory of weight gain in the next generation.


Bad Habit #6

Watching TV during mealtimes

Pregnant women who watch TV while eating are more likely to continue that habit during their baby’s feedings, which is tied to a childhood obesity risk for newborns later in life, according to a new study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada. TV watching during meals is discouraged because it is associated with poorer quality diet, and mothers may miss the subtle cues that indicate their baby is full, said study author and associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Mary Jo Messito. Though this is preliminary research, the study’s findings are a great reminder that distracted eating leads to unhealthy habits like overeating and ignoring satiety cues. Pamper yourself by eating at a set dinner table; your body and your baby will thank you.

Bad Habit #5

Regularly eating red meat

In a recent commentary published in the journal Evidence-Based Nursing, author Philippa Middleton (not to be confused with Duchess Kate’s hot sister) warns of a link between regular red meat consumption and a higher rate of gestational diabetes in pregnant women, which poses risks to the health of both the mother and baby. Women with the highest intake of red meat showed an risk elevated by as much as 49 percent! A separate study in the journal Diabetes Care found that a child’s risk of obesity increased dramatically among those whose mothers had developed gestational diabetes. Middleton hypothesizes that excess fat and additives present in red- and processed meats (as opposed to the iron) may be to blame for the elevated risk. The good news is that non-meat sources of protein seem to have the opposite effect. Middleton notes: “Just over half a serving of nuts per day can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes by 40%.”

Bad Habit #4

Gaining too much weight

Mothers who gain excessive weight over the course of a pregnancy may permanently affect energy balance mechanisms like appetite control in their offspring, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine. Researchers found 39.4 percent of children born to women who gained more than 40 pounds to be obese. According to the Institute of Medicine, recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds for normal weight women (BMI 18.5-24.9).

Bad Habit #3

Not gaining enough weight

Call it the Goldilocks dilemma. Researchers say gaining too little weight during pregnancy may also increase the risk of having an overweight or obese child. The large-scale study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that women with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement before pregnancy who gained less than the Institute of Medicine’s recommended amount of 25 to 35 pounds were 63 percent more likely to have a child who became overweight or obese.

Bad Habit #2

Not considering your antidepressants

Research from McMaster University suggests that maternal use of a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, may predispose infants to fat accumulation around the liver, type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life. The study authors note that the findings do not suggest women should avoid taking antidepressants during pregnancy, only that there may be associated risks. More studies need to be done to verify these conclusions, but if you have concerns, you should consult with your doctor.

Bad Habit #1

Not sharing your traumatic stress with your doctor

A study from Aarhus University published in PloS ONE indicates that unborn children who are exposed to severe stress levels have an increased risk of becoming overweight or developing obesity as adults. Young men whose mothers had been exposed to bereavement during pregnancy showed an increased risk for obesity, the degree of which varied depending on the closeness of the relationship the mother had with the deceased. If the woman had lost her husband, her son had twice the risk of developing overweight in adulthood. Though not all associations are clear, the study underscores the fact that emotional well-being is just as important as physical health and the importance of being open with your doctor. Sharing your emotional as well as physical stress allows you and your doctor to work closely together to ensure the health of your child.


8 health benefits of Plum

Plum Health Benefits:

1.  Great for Relieving constipation and digestive problems.
Filled with dietary fiber, sorbitol and isatin.

2.  Protects your heart.
A medium fresh plum contains 113 mg of potassiumthat helps manage high blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.

3. Protect against cancer and cell damage.
Cleans up harmful free radicals thanks to anthocyanins, the reddish-blue pigment in some plums.

4.  Prevent diabetes.
Plums have a low glycemic index, so eating plums can help you control your blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes according to the Dietitians of Canada.

Plums promote bone health.

5. Improves bone health.
In a study one group ate prunes, the other group ate dried apple and both took calcium and vitamin D supplements. The prune group had substantially higher bone mineral density in the spine and forearms. (Florida State and Oklahoma State Universities)

6. Low in Calories.
This is very beneficial when dieting. A small plum contains only 30 calories.

7.  Plums destroy breast cancer cells.
Plum extracts can kill aggressive breast cancer cells; the surrounding healthy cells were not harmed by the treatment.

8. Improves brain memory.
Plums are full of antioxidants that have been shown to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease. (The University of Harvard Health Research)  They also contain anthocyanin and quercetin, beneficial for preventing brain cell breakdown.

Food Musings: Why You Need More Ugu In Your Life

Food Musings: Why You Need More Ugu In Your Life

Editor’s note: Ugu, also called fluted pumpkin leaves – scientific name, telfairia occidentalis, is mainly grown in Nigeria and a few other countries in West and Central Africa. It is cultivated as an edible leafy green vegetables an for its edible seeds. 

Ugu leaves.

If there is any vegetable that is grown in abundance in Nigeria and one of the most versatile edible plant that could be found growing easily on Nigerian soil, it would be ugu.

Growing up, a family friend had a small ugu farm and every time I would see the large fluted gourds springing forth and had thought that was the major reason for growing ugu. I loved it when the gourds were ready to be harvested and then the large oil seeds were scooped out from within the gourd in the midst of the pulp and then cooked. When ready, the cooked seeds are split to reveal a protein packed, tasty, juicy flesh within the seeds shell.

As a child, I didn’t care for green vegetables so at the time, I couldn’t care less for the green vegetable called ugu leaves but the seeds where our “thing” as children! The fluted pumpkin seeds contain a high proportion of healthy fats and oil. We loved it!

The understanding of just how nutritious green vegetables from ugu are, which is more popular and more widely eaten than the seeds in Nigeria, became clear many years later.

Here is a rundown of delicious and healthy reasons why you should chow down on enough ugu this year!

1. The deliciousness of edikang ikong

Yes, this had to be number one! Delicious food had to be first on the list! If you don’t care for any of the other reasons why you should eat more ugu, I trust that you will eat more edikang ikong any day without being cajoled! Ugu, which is an essential ingredient in our very beloved edikang ikong is enough reason to go to the market for some fresh ugu! This soup, which is chock full with the green leafy vegetable, is absolutely delicious!

2. The leaves are believed to boost immune system

Ugu leaves reportedly have anti-anaemic, anti-diabetic, antimalarial, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties otherwise referred to generally in layman’s language as “e dey give blood”.

3. Juicing for nourishment

For an unadulterated burst of nutrition, juice or blend ugu and drink straight up or mix it with other fresh fruit juices or smoothies.

I beg to digress on this juicing matter but had to mention that I used to know a lady whose answer for every ailment any member of her family had was “Drink ugu water”. Malaria = “ugu water”, typhoid = “ugu water”, headache = “ugu water”, hunger = “ugu water”! No kidding! While that is quite excessive, it will definitely help anyone, ailing or otherwise by giving him or her a nutrient or vitamin boost in the form of juice from ugu leaves

Fresh juicing of the leaves involves plucking the leaves, washing and then squeezing, blending or processing the leaves with some water and for the most benefits, drinking immediately on its own. Ugu is nutrient packed and is an excellent source of protein, fat, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc dietary fiber, copper, folate, riboflavin, vitamins A, C, K and E among others

4.Because sweet boiled yam is even better with vegetable sauce

We aren’t joking here. We can count very few things that are more delicious than vegetable sauce (which could be made with ugu leaves) over sweet boiled yam! So make some quick vegetable sauce with ugu and serve it over yam for a wholesome and satisfying meal every time

5. Everything is better with a handful of chopped ugu leaves

We could start listing them point after point but we wouldn’t because we know you totally get it when we say “everything is better with a handful of chopped ugu leaves”!

So whether you are enriching your yam pottage, plantain pottage, beans and plantain pottage with that final finish of chopped vegetable just before you take it off the heat, adding it while frying eggs or egg sauce, or whether it is added at the top of some delicious nkwobi, or mixed into some isi ewu or African salad, used in finishing soups such as egusi soup, ogbono soup, okro soup or whether it is added in a dish so that you feel good about getting some green vegetables into your diet, (never mind if it is an unhealthy dish or not with the green vegetables in it, it is healthy right? That’s our story and we are sticking to it!), adding some Ugu sure makes “everthing” better!


As an expectant mother, you should understand that it is no longer the usual that must go into your stomach as the growth of your unborn child is determine by whatever you put into your system.

In recent times, many pregnant women have faced birth related issues due to poor choice of diet during pregnancy. To avoid this, you must decide to quit certain unhealthy foods for pregnant women.

Find below a list of the top four foods to avoid.

1. Alcohol

Research has proven that mothers who are alcoholic have a greater risk of still birth and miscarriages. In fact after delivery, more percentage of women who indulge in alcohol during pregnancy bring forth children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which manifest in the form of facial deformities and some level of retardation in reasoning as the child grows up.

2. Sea foods

Some certain sea foods are found to contain high level of mercury. High dosage of mercury causes certain developmental conditions. The older the sea foods, the higher the concentration of mercury in them. While sea foods contain a level of mercury, there are some that can be occasionally consumed. They include shrimps, salmon and catfish.

3. Semi cooked egg

Eggs are loaded with adequate amount of nutrient and protein which can be said to help in the growth and development of mother and child even during pregnancy. Semi cooked eggs can cause salmonella poisoning due to the bacterium salmonella. If you are to eat egg, ensure it is properly cooked above 100°C within the normal time frame to avoid the existence of poultry kinds of bacteria.

4. Papaya

While ripe pawpaw can be of great use for pregnant women, there is need for every pregnant women to avoid the consumption of both unripe and semi ripe. These kinds of papaya contain pepsin in its sap that could contract the womb and cause miscarriages in certain women especially those who have history with still birth and miscarriages.


Lemons are vitamin C rich in citrus fruits that enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within bringing a glow to your face. One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves way for losing weight faster, thus acting a a great weight loss remedy.


Lemon water flushes out body toxins and is extremely beneficial for the body.

Warm lemon water serves as the perfect good morning drink , as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste product from the body easier. It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore.

Boosts your immune system

Lemona are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting cols and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.

Balances pH

Lemons are an incredible alkaline food, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they are alkaline and a great wat to ensure that your pH balance is accurate. As your wellness warriors know, alkaline body is really key to good health.

Aids digestion

The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis- the waves of muscle contradictions within the intestine wall that keeps things moving.

Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic

Lemons juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released as a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.

Helps with weight loss

Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings; it also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.

Clears skin and keeps skin beautiful

The Vitamin C helps to decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.

Freshens breadth

Besides fresher breadth, lemons have been known to help relieve tooth pain and gingivitis. Remember not to brush your teeth just after drinking your lemon water. It is best to brush your teeth first, and then drink your lemon water.

Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter the experience of your day.


The Lagos State Chapter, Nutrition Society of
Nigeria (NSN) has told Nigerians to boost their
immunity, they would need to eat more fruits
and vegetables in their diets.
The Chairperson of the society, Dr Abimbola Ajayi
said this at the World Breastfeeding Week and
inauguration of the Lagos State chapter on
Ajayi revealed that the virus attacks the immune
system, which defends the human body from virus
She said: “Since there is no known cure presently for the
disease, the goal of nutrition care therefore, is to protect
and boost the immunity among other care provided for
affected persons.
“People must ensure that they take foods that are high
antioxidants, majorly foods rich in vitamins and minerals
in their daily meals.
First Consultants Medical Center Releases
Statement On Their Time With Patrick Sawyer
“Take yellow fruits, red fruits and vegetables to boost
immunity and fight Ebola Virus in the country,’’ she said.
The National President of the Society, Prof.
Ngozi Nnam was also at the event and said: “We
need the support of governments, relations, families and
the community to promote exclusivebreast feeding to
achieve high breastfeeding rate.
“Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants
and we need to raise awareness on the importance of
right nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life.’
According to the latest figures from the World
Health Organization (WHO), 1,350 people are now
believed to have died from the Ebola virus, which
has been raging in the region since March.
The WHO said it was concerned that families were
hiding infected loved ones in the belief they will
be more comfortable dying at home.