The history of Cinco de Mayo is rooted in the French occupation of Mexico in the mid to late 1800s, but the celebrations as we know them today are based in the United States. Mexican-Americans living in the western United States began celebrating Cinco de Mayo as a way of commemorating the struggles and successes of their people. Over the years, Cinco de Mayo celebrations have spread across the United States and certain regions of Mexico (primarily the state of Puebla), where food and drink are a large part of the celebration.
The Foods of Cinco de Mayo
At the heart of many Mexican celebrations are elaborate menus based on authentic Mexican cuisine and Cinco de Mayo is no different. Common staples of Mexican cuisine include beans, tortillas and rice, all of which can provide healthy nutrition for pregnant women.
Beans are rich in fiber and folic acid. Fiber is crucial for regular bowel movements and colon health, which could help pregnant women fight off pregnancy constipation. There are also studies associating increased fiber intake with reduced risk of gestational diabetes. Folic acid intake is extremely important before and during pregnancy. Cooking up a batch of refried beans for your Cinco de Mayo celebration can increase folic acid intake and help reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Tortillas and rice are also fantastic food choices for women trying to conceive as well as for pregnant women. It is best to stick with high-fiber, whole grain tortillas and brown or wild rice. White flour tortillas and white rice tend to have little to no nutritional value compared to whole grain tortillas and wild rice. Read the nutrition labels of these foods to look for fiber content. Many foods labels also incorporate grams of whole grains as a nutritional value.
What to Skip During Cinco de Mayo When Trying to Conceive or Pregnant
While food is a major part of many Cinco de Mayo celebrations, so is alcohol. Alcohol consumption when trying to conceive should be kept to a minimum, especially if there is a chance you are already pregnant. Pregnant women should avoid alcohol all together, but that doesn’t mean women have to skip all the fun.
Mixed drinks are perfect for women who are trying to conceive or pregnant during Cinco de Mayo. Simply leave out the alcohol portion of the drink recipe and enjoy the same Mega Margarita or Salty Chihuahua as everyone else at the party. If the drink recipe is made up of flavored liquors, simply add juice to the drink in place of alcohol.
Cinco de Mayo is a fun, festive holiday that many people across the United States and Mexico enjoy. This year, if you are trying to conceive or are already pregnant, do not skip the festivities. With a few changes to the drink and food menu, you can prepare healthy pregnancy and fertility dishes and drinks everyone will enjoy.