Pregnancy and motherhood are little tricky, tiring and responsible things for a woman. Are you nervous that you’re going to nurture a life? Don’t know where to start and what to eat? Well, here we are to help you!
The Key nutrition for pregnant women is folic acid, iron, protein, and calcium. Now, let us look at why these are important
Folic Acid is a nutrient found in vitamin-B. This is very important because this nutrient prevents any birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord which is also known as neural tube defects. Folic acid is known as folate when found in food. It is quite hard to get folate from food alone; hence vitamin supplements can be taken daily with the consultation of your doctor.
Sources of folic acid include green leafy vegetables, bread, citrus fruits, enriched cereals etc.
This nutrition helps to build the baby’s teeth and bones. If the calcium requirements are not met, the calcium will be drawn from the mother’s bones to the baby.
Sources of calcium include Paneer, fish, calcium-enriched juices, milk, yogurt, kale bok Choy etc.
This nutrient makes sure that the baby has enough amount of oxygen supply from pumping blood. Not meeting the standard iron requirements can lead to anemia.
Sources of iron are meat, iron-enriched cereals, dried beans and peas, poultry fish etc.
Protein is one of the most vital nutrients in this list. Proteins helps developing important organs such as heart, brain etc.
Sources of protein include nuts, eggs, dried beans and peas, tofu, paneer etc.
The formula to a good pregnancy diet is:
½ plate of fruits and vegetables
¼ plate of whole grains
¼ plate of lean proteins
A dairy product with every meal
What a pregnant woman should avoid?
Alcohol: Alcohol which the mother consumes can pass directly to the baby’s blood through the umbilical cord.
Food which is unpasteurized: Listeria bacteria and toxoplasmosis are infections caused by parasite due to consuming unpasteurized food such as raw milk, feta cheese, hot dogs, cold cut meats unless boiled, store-bought salads etc should be avoided
Raw meat: Undercooked meats, rare-cooked steaks, undercooked shellfish should be avoided to prevent toxoplasma infection into the baby
Raw eggs: Any type of raw or partially cooked eggs should not be taken. This is to avoid any infection by salmonella bacteria.
Healthy Snacks during pregnancy
Snacks such as cookies, biscuits, candy, chips, cakes etc should be avoided.Snacking is difficult to stop during pregnancy with all the excitement and huge appetite. You can try the following healthy snacks to stay on diet and to satisfy your hunger
- Sprouts bhelpuri
- Oats porridge with vegetables and garam masala
- Smoothies made from berries, apple, and mango
- Homemade sweet potato chips or baked sweet potato
- Masala papad with finely chopped vegetables and chat masala on top
- Bajra Khakhras
- Healthy bowl mix made of peanuts, puffed rice (murmura) and Bengal gram
- Oats and ragi crackers
- Juices made out of spinach and mint
- Oats moong dal tikki
- Moong dal dosa
Along with diet, light exercise and staying positive and happy is equally important!