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Healthy Food Choices for Pregnant Women

Congratulations would be mom & the family.

Pregnancy………one of the most beautiful phase in woman’s life where a

“A mother’s joy begins when new life is starting inside, when a tiny heartbeat is heard for very first time and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone”.

It’s not the only physiological change but also the way you think & feel about yourself where everything is about to change; craving for your favourite foods to aversion with some particular foods or smell.

Relax!!! Its all normal. You need to enjoy every bit of this 9 month journey.

In a country like us, pregnant women are showered with tons of advice on what to eat and what to avoid. Yet a healthy diet is an important part if you are pregnant. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow.

With the due respect to elder’s advice and their experience; below are the list of few foods that you should include to be nutritionally fit and providing them to your child….your baby.

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  • Broccoli

It’s not only rich in calcium and folate, but broccoli is also rich in fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants. And since it contains plenty of vitamin C, this popular green vegetable will help your body absorb iron when it’s eaten with an iron-rich foods..

· Nonfat / Low fat Milk

Body at this phase absorbs around twice as much calcium from foods while you’re pregnant, so your daily needs remain the same.

· Bananas

Bananas being rich in potassium and energy dense, helps fight off pregnancy fatigue. In case if you feel nauseated bananas help to soothe the stomach.

· Lean Meat

Iron needs increase during pregnancy, so it’s important to include plenty of iron-rich foods as meat delivers a form of iron that’s easily absorbed by your body.

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· Eggs

Eggs are an excellent protein source, as they contain all the essential amino acids but make sure you don’t eat them raw.

  • Beans

Vegetarians here comes your source of proteins…..kidney beans, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas etc. so many to choose from. Beans are source of fiber and protein.

  • Leafy Greens

Greens like spinach have high levels of folate and iron, while kale and turnip greens are both good calcium sources. Deeper the colour of the vegetable, higher is the vitamin content. So add it to a sandwich or stir them into soups or other cooked dishes.

· Nuts & Nut Butters

Fat is important for your baby’s brain development, so eating a handful of mixed nuts daily completes your dose of requirement.

· Dried Fruit

It’s a tasty, easy to carry snack and helpful when you crave for something sweet.

· Low-fat yogurt

One cup of plain, low-fat yogurt has more calcium compared to milk, along with protein and acts as a probiotic.

Along with the list to incorporate foods also comes a list to avoid or eat in moderation:

· Alcohol

Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Instead of risking your childs life its always better to take precaution.

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· Excessive Caffeine-Related Products:

Caffeine acts as a diuretic and is linked to low birth weight. Caffeine is more dangerous as it increases the risk of stillbirths, fetal deaths or spontaneous abortions.

· Canned Foods:

Canned foods are harmful for two reasons – firstly, the lining in the cans often contains Bisphenol A (BPA), which affects fetal endocrine activity. And Second, the tinned foods might be too old and can get contaminated with harmful bacteria due to their long shelf life.

· Sugar-Rich Foods:

Craving for an ice cream, chocolate, dessert etc. during pregnancy is the most common thing but keep a check you don’t indulge much into such sugar rich foods as it can lead to unwanted weight gain & gestational diabetes with increase in symptoms like nausea, constipation, bloatedness.

· Street Foods:

Avoid street food during pregnancy as it can give you an upset stomach, food poisoning and is unhygienic.

· Licorice:

Licorice or Mulethi, is a common, spice used in many cuisines but its intake during pregnancy can cause uterine contractions leading to preterm labor.

· Leftovers:

Being pregnant leftovers should not be consumed as chances of attracting bacteria is high.

  • Fruits :

This is bought as the last option in avoid list as ancestors have been saying that papaya and pineapple are not to be had during pregnancy is can lead to miscarriages…that’s true as the enzyme in them leads to muscle contraction giving it a chance for miscarriage or premature baby.

Post 1st trimester can be had in moderation say 1-2 slices.

Along with all the above mentioned do’s and don’ts; take care of the following points for safety and choosing on the foods

  • Wash fruit, vegetables and salads to remove all traces of soil, which may contain toxoplasma, a parasite that can harm your unborn baby.
  • Wash all surfaces and utensils, and your hands, after preparing raw meat.
  • Make sure that raw foods are stored separately from ready-to-eat foods, to avoid the risk of contamination.
  • Heat ready meals until they’re steaming hot all the way through.
  • Avoid raw salad, semi cooked foods while dining out to lessen the chances of infection.

Food is not the only concern; along with that keeping yourself engaged in regular physical activity or yoga and deep breathing, will enhance the overall progress of mother as well as the foetus.

So keeping all the importance mentioned above in regards to food and nutrition in mind, don’t miss those motherly instincts to enjoy every bit of your pregnancy.

Eat in moderation and let that glow on your face be shown.

All the best and Heartiest Congratulations!!!!!!!!

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