Food is indeed the defining factor of our lifestyles. Whether its for fitness or for nutrition, food plays a major role in everything we want to do for our body. Food is the main source of nourishment in any stage of a person’s life. One of the most crucial phases in a woman’s life that requires utmost care is pregnancy. The food that a woman eats during her pregnancy becomes the main source of nourishment for her child.Time and again women are advised to include a range of healthy food items in their diet along with sufficing their food cravings.
I was advised to eat food that is rich in calcium, iron, folic acid, protein and included various other vitamins and minerals when I was expecting my little one. Along with medical supplements, one must be extra careful with their diet too, when pregnant.There is a reason why some of these nutrients are important for the overall development of the baby.
- Folate or Folic Acid is essential for the baby’s brain and spinal cord development
- Calcium as we all know is essential for the growth and development of the bones and teeth.
- Iron is essential for the oxygen supply to the baby through the blood.It is always recommended to pair iron and vitamin c together for best absorption of Iron.
- Protein is mostly termed as a nutrient that compliments building of muscles and organs.
Experts suggest that during pregnancy and on normal days as well, one must consume at least one portion from all of these five groups of food which are, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grain and dairy products. Some of us may be allergic to a certain food group and in that case, it is best to consult your nutrition expert for alternatives.
Here are some of the food, one must consume during pregnancy for good health and also to help you loose the post partum weight.
Dairy Products – Being the best source of calcium,it becomes important you consume these daily when pregnant. Yogurt is a great option as besides being a good source of calcium, it also has pro-biotics that aids digestion.Milk is also a good option and the best part is that you can combine fruits and nuts to turn it into yummy smoothies.On should aim for 3 to 4 servings a day.
Eggs and other lean protein – Eggs contains protein as well as fat.Eggs contain the ingredient choline which is essential for brain development and health.They are extremely nutritious and can be had as boiled, poached or fried depending on one’s liking.
Leafy Greens – Greens are great source of different vitamins and also include iron, folate and potassium. A food item that includes almost everything needed for a pregnant woman’s body. Add broccoli to the list too as its a great source of antioxidant too. You can add greens to salads, curries and various other meals.
Lean Protein – Lean meat like beef, chicken etc good source of iron and other vitamins however some females develop an aversion to meat, hence you can look for other options for lean protein such as beans, lentils, peanuts etc.
Berries – Berries are known to be excellent sources of Vitamin C and packed with antioxidants. Its great for your health and immune system. Frozen berries also help in keeping the nausea at bay.
Whole Grains – Whole grains help with the calorie requirement during pregnancy as they are a good source of fiber,vitamins and magnesium. Consuming whole grains is extremely beneficial during pregnancy.
Water – I was surprised I didn’t mention this as the first thing on the list.Keeping yourself hydrated is the most important thing to do, whether you are pregnant or not. Water has limitless benefits and is something you must consume throughout the day. Considering the bladder doesn’t behave as per your will during pregnancies you can switch to juices and coconut water to compensate for your water intake during pregnancy.
Legumes and Nuts – Right from beans, peas, lentil, peanuts and dried fruits, they are great sources of fiber, protein, folate, calcium and all other nutrients that the body demands during pregnancy.Nuts and dried fruits can be an excellent mid-meal snack. Consuming legumes even keeps you fuller for long limiting unnecessary snacking in between.One of my favorite craving during pregnancy was chickpea humus with roasted sweet potatoes, yummy and healthy all together.
Everything you consume when pregnant effects your body and energy level, hence being a little conscious with your food choices goes a long way. A little exercise along with a healthy diet will help you stay fresh during those tiresome months as well.