If you are an expecting mom and you are worried about your diet then worry not. Here are some must-haves listed by an expert to guide you better.
Eat healthily and make sure these food items are there in your diet as suggested by Dietician and Nutritionist Asma Alam.
Pregnant mothers need to consume extra protein and calcium to meet their nutritional requirements of the growing little one. Casein and whey are two high-quality proteins present in dairy. Besides, dairy is one of the best dietary sources of calcium and provides high amounts of zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins.
If you’re lactose intolerant, you may be able to tolerate yogurt, especially probiotic yogurt which also supports digestive health. Just make sure to check it with your doctor before trying it out.
Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, etc. pack in so many essential nutrients you require. These include vitamins A, C and K, minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and folate. Additionally, they’re fiber-rich that’ll help you fend off constipation.
If you’re not very fond of leafy greens, you can simply incorporate them into dishes like adding spinach to a smoothie and you won't even know it's there.
Lean pork, chicken and beef are great sources of high quality protein. Pork and beef are rich in choline, iron and B vitamins all of which are required in good amounts during pregnancy.
More iron is required as the blood increases, especially during the third trimester. It is an essential mineral used by RBCs as a part of hemoglobin. Low iron levels may lead to iron deficiency anemia, increasing the risk of low birth weight and certain other complications. It is best to pair vitamin C rich foods such as oranges, bell peppers, etc with iron-rich foods that will help increase iron absorption.
Whole grains are packed with plant compounds, vitamins and especially fiber which helps prevent constipation and hemorrhoids, a common issue among pregnant women. Go for oats, brown rice, barley, sorghum, buckwheat and quinoa rather than pasta, white bread and white rice. These contain the most vitamins and nutrients.
Along with supplying energy for your baby’s development, these foods also help build placenta and other tissues in the body.
Avocados are an excellent choice during pregnancy and always because of their high content of healthy monounsaturated fats, minerals like potassium & copper, essential vitamins and fiber. The high fat content also makes them taste rich and buttery. Additionally, these fats help build tissues and organs like skin, brain, etc. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects and developmental abnormalities of the spine and brain.
Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. It helps relieve leg cramps which is a common problem in pregnant mothers.
Dried fruits are generally high in calories, various vitamins & minerals and fiber. A single piece of dried fruit consists of the same amount of nutrients as a fresh fruit only without the water content and in a relatively smaller size. Even though they help increase nutrient and calorie intake, it is best not to consume more than one serving at a time. Aim to add a small portion to a trail mix with seeds and nuts for an on the go protein-rich and fibre-filled snack.
Blood volume increases by 45% during pregnancy. It is important to keep a check of your water intake to avoid dehydration and channel proper hydration for your baby. Adequate water consumption is essential to prevent constipation and reduce the risk of UTIs.
Although, general guidelines recommend 80 ounces of water per day, but the amount you need varies with different individuals.
Remember that you also consume water through other foods and beverages like fruit, vegetables or tea that you consume on a daily basis. Always keep a bottle of water with you to ensure hydration throughout the day.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on a smooth pregnancy.