What do you understand by a well balanced diet? It simply means eating food in right proportions and that have a balance of proteins, iron, carbohydrates and fat. Including calcium and minerals too play a vital role in keeping you healthy during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a time when you not only think of your health, but most importantly about the well being of your little one, who is getting prepared to come into this world!
During pregnancy for example, you’ll need protein and calcium for your baby’s tissues and bones. You will also need to consume extra folic acid to protect against neural tube birth defects and more iron to help red blood cells carry oxygen to your baby.
Lean meat is rich in protein which helps to build the cells in your as well as your baby’s body. It is a great option to choose from, as it is full of iron which is essential to help your baby develop red blood cells.
Lentils are exceptionally nutritious too and are full of a B Vitamin, known as Folic Acid when you take it as a supplement. Consuming lentils aids in forming your baby’s brain and nervous system.
Fish like- salmon is loaded with omega-3 essential fatty acids, most importantly a type called DHA. Omega 3 is vital for developing your baby’s eyes and brain.
Another healthy food during pregnancy is Avocados. They are filled with folate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6 which help baby’s tissue and brain growth as well as eases morning sickness.
Oats are full of fiber, B vitamins, iron and many other minerals. They’re also packed with fiber that helps you deal with constipation during pregnancy.
The ideal weight gain during pregnancy should be about 12 kilos. Let us have a quick look at what you should be eating and why:
Iron rich food:-
A diet rich in iron is important during pregnancy. Dates, figs, honey, green leafy vegetables, jiggery, millets and folic acid are highly recommended.
Calcium for strong bones:-
During the course of pregnancy about 3-4 glasses of milk are recommended to be taken and that amounts to about half a liter. A lot of calcium is taken by the baby and therefore it is important for the mother to supplement her body with calcium in other ways like drinking butter milk, having tofu or even soya milk is a good option. Patients who complain about lactose intolerance, soya products are advised to be consumed on a regular basis by them.
Fruits and vegetables:-
Fruits rich in iron like apples, sapota etc.., are supposed to be eaten during pregnancy. This helps in the iron levels to increase in the body. Green leafy vegetables too like spinach and soya are a great source of iron.
Good sources of zinc are chicken, shrimps, fish, wheat germ, cereals, eggs too are recommended for pregnant women. It is observed that during the gestational weeks of forty weeks the demand for calcium goes up.
Therefore, sesame seeds and drumsticks are advised to be taken which are rich in calcium and is a very healthy diet for pregnant women.
Do utilize these beneficial tips during your pregnancy for a healthy baby!
Jyoti Chabria is a Consultant Dietitian for many major hospitals, colleges and corporates in India. She is a national award winner for her nutrition product line ‘Nutriline’. With over 20 years of experience, she aims to create public awareness in the field of healthcare and conduct several camps and workshops.