Eating right during pregnancy is of utmost important, because the health and development of your baby depends on it. However the term eating right is often confused with eating a lot. The prevalent belief that “Pregnant women must eat for two” is not true. Over indulgence does not necessarily guarantee increased nutritional benefits. It could in fact lead to inappropriate weight gain and nutrient deficiencies in both you and your child. Therefore it is very important that you follow a balanced diet consisting of healthy and wholesome foods. Here we have listed out 10 such healthy foods for you to eat during pregnancy:
- Vegetables – The importance of including vegetables in your daily diet cannot be stressed enough. Each vegetable is rich in some form of nutrient which is essential for you and your baby. Tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers are a good source of Vitamin A (essential for your baby’s growth and strong immune system). Spinach, broccoli, cabbage and beetroot contain Folate (which reduces blood pressure and prevents birth defects). There are a whole host of other vegetables like sweet potatoes, peas, turnips etc which are equally essential during pregnancy.
- Fruits – You should have at least 2 – 4 servings of fruit a day. They serve as a healthy source of snacks between mealtimes. Here are some of the fruits you can have during pregnancy:
- Oranges – Contains Vitamin C and Folate
- Bananas – Rich in Fibre, Potassium and Vitamin C
- Pears – Contains Folate and Fibre
- Guavas – Another rich source of Vitamin C and Folate
- Berries – Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc are excellent sources of Antioxidants
It is preferable to consume whole fruits instead of juices, due to the higher nutrition content.
- Nuts –. Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios etc are packed with nutrients essential for you and your child. However ensure you do not eat more than a handful of nuts per day.
- Milk – Milk and milk products like curd and paneer are a good Protein source for vegetarians. Protein accumulation is required for your baby’s growth and development. Milk also contains Calcium which is essential for the formation and development of your baby’s bones.
- Pulses – Includes dals, dry beans etc. Sprouting them is even more beneficial as it increases both the nutritional value and digestibility of the pulses.
- Grains – Ensure you consume whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat flour to fully enjoy the benefits of the Vitamins and Minerals contained in them. Further the extra dietary fibre in whole grains helps prevent constipation (a common problem during pregnancy).
- Millets – Millets like Ragi, bajra, jowar are also a good source of dietary fibres. Further they are rich in Antioxidants and other nutrients. Ragi is recommended for mothers to be as it increases the production of breast milk in the body.
In addition to all these nutritious foods, it is essential to also make sure you get enough rest, avoid alcohol, exercise and drink plenty of fluids. This will keep both you and your baby safe and healthy.