Meat and Poultry

Meat contains completel protein, minerals, B-vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, and several other nutrients that can be difficult to match in other foods.

essential nutrients from meat and poultry

IRON + ZINC

Animal foods provide the most readily absorbed forms of iron and zinc. 37

This explains why vegetarians are more at risk for deficiency in both of these minerals 38, 39

The consequences of iron deficiencies of iron deficiency in pregnancy include maternal anemia, miscarriage, premature delivery, impaired thyroid function, and problems with fetal development.

Zinc deficiency is linked to miscarriage, preterm delivery, fetal growth restriction, stillbirth, and neural tube defects. 40

B6

Meat is also rich in vitamin B6, a nutrient that 40% of women of childbearig  age in the united sates are deficient in.

And yet deficiency is tied to miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight, and low APGAR scores at birth. 41,42

B12

In addition, animal foods are the only food sources of vitamin B12, SEE LIVER CHAPTER

Glycine

Glycine is a conditionally essential amino acid – meaning most of the time your body can make plenty of it from other amino acids. But, during pregnancy the body requires additional glycine in the diet. Researchers have found that “the demand for clyine during pregnancy may already exceed the capcity for its synthesis, making it conditionally indispensable” 44

Glycine is needed for synthesis of fetal DNA and collagen, among other functions. It’s particularly important to include enough glycine in your diet in later pregnancy when your baby is gaining weight rapidly. Your baby’s developing bones, connective tissues, organs, and skin need glycine in the highest amounts at this state. 45 Glycine is also protective against ocidative stress, a hallmark of preeclampsia and has been shown to reduce blood pressure and blood sugar in studies 52

In addition, your body is depending on glycine just as much as your baby is in order to support your growing uterus, breasts, and stretching skin. Your uterus contains 800% more collagen at the end of your pregnany compared to pre-pregnancy 46 Collagen is one-third glycine by weight 47

The most reliable food sources of glycine include bone broth, slow cooked tough cuts of meat,

Wings, thughs, or whole rasted chickens (skin-on, bone0in poultry)

Sausage or ground meat as these are often made from tougher cuts

Another option is to add pure gelatin powder or collagen powder to other foods, as these are naturally very rich in glycine (not the pre-sweetneed kind of golatin, or course!).

bone broth

The bones, skin, and connective tissues of animals are rich in protein, gellatin, collagen, glycine, and minerals. Bones contain more minerals per ounce than any other body tissue. When you simmer a big pot of bone broth, some of these minerals leach into the broth, making it a source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and many trace meinerals. Bone borths and slow cooked meats also procide gelatin and collagen, the two richest sources of an important asmino acid called glycine.

sourcing your meats

With all animal foods, source your meat and bones from pausture raised and grass-fed animals whenever possible. They are often more expensive, but one way to offset the cost is to purchase toughter cuts of meat (which are both less expensive and higher in glycine), as opposed to fancier cuts, like steak. I actaully prefer these cuts because they are more flavorful and easier to make. As consumer demand rises, mroe grocery stores are carrying pasture-raised and grass-fed meat. Stock your freezer when good meat goes on sale. Also be sure to talk to your local butcher – some will give away soup bonse or sell them for a very low price. Another option is to purchase direct from a farmer, animal share programs. Which brings down the cost-per-pound significantly.