DIET IN PREGNANCY
Balanced diet is the diet that has a variety of foods having an adequate amount of each of the six major nutrient groups i.e. protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.’
The diet is very important in pregnancy as you have to fulfil yours as well as your unborn baby’s requirements. What you eat during pregnancy will play a crucial role in your unborn baby’s growth, development and health.
The Right Indian Diet During Pregnancy:
Once you are pregnant, it is rather important that you eat the right type of foods and in the right quantities. No one food group can provide your unborn baby and you with the nutrition that you need during these months. If you have been eating well till now, you are most likely on the right path already. However, if your diet was poor till now, or you were not including all nutrition groups in your everyday diet, you will have to make some changes.
Carbohydrates: Best sources of it are breads, cereals, potatoes, pasta, fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates fulfil the daily requirement of energy.
Protein: This increases cell growth and blood production. Rich sources are lean meat, fish, poultry, beans, peanut butter etc.
Folic acid: Folic acid is needed for the earlier development of baby’s nervous system and formation of blood. It prevents neural tube defects (spina bifida etc.), cleft lip and congenital heart disease. At least 4 mg folic acid is advised to expectant mothers to reduce the risk of defects and anaemia, miscarriage and premature delivery as well.
Dark-green leafy vegetables, liver, yeast, beans, citrus fruits, fortified cereals and bread are its sources.
Vitamin A: This is needed for growth in babies, and growth of eyes and lungs tissues. Its rich sources are fish liver oils, butter, all milk products, green vegetables, carrots etc.
Vitamin B1: Thiamine is present in Wheat germ, dried yeast, polished rice, whole cereals.
Vitamin B2: Riboflavin in Liver, egg white, Legumes, leafy vegetables improves eye sight, reduces birth deformities and eczema.
Vitamin B6: Pyrimidoxine is needed for proper utilisation of protein. The baby can suffer from fits in its deficiency. Yeast, liver, cereals, pulses, milk are good sources.
Vitamin C: This builds a strong placenta, provides resistance to infection, prevents abortion and helps in the absorption of iron. Fresh fruit and vegetables especially Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin D: Responsible for strong skeletal system, chest and limbs of baby. Sunlight, cod liver oils and dairy products provides the needed vitamin D.
Vitamin E: It is essential for normal reproduction, growth of muscles and oxygen availability to the baby. Main sources are vegetable oils, nuts, and cereals etc.
Vitamin K: Curd, leafy vegetables, liver are needed for normal clotting of blood.
Iron: Produces haemoglobin for mother and baby. Iron helps in building bones and teeth. Anaemia can be prevented by including iron-rich foods like potatoes, raisins, dates, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, and iron-fortified cereals in your diet.
Calcium: Doubling the calcium intake contributes in healthy development of bones and teeth of baby. Dairy products and leafy green vegetables are good sources of calcium. The requirement of calcium during pregnancy and breast feeding increases to 1200mg.
Copper: Adequate amount of copper prevents Anaemia. Liver is a good source of it.
Iodine: Iodine found in Iodized salt and sea fish influence the working of the thyroxin hormone. It may also cause stunted growth.
Manganese: Beans, cereals, nuts helps in the growth of babies.
Potassium: Potassium fights with allergies, disease and weakness of the muscles and veins. Good sources include fish and Dried fruits.
Zinc: Leafy vegetables, pulses, yeast, cheese, shellfish affects reproductive ability of male babies and also responsible for the growth of brain and eyes of baby.
DHA Omega-3: Soymilk, nutrition bars and other foods should provide 300 mg Omega-3 per day.
Indian Food Sources for A Healthy Pregnancy:
1. Milk and Other Milk Products:
Include foods such as whole milk or skimmed milk, yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, cottage cheese (paneer). All these food items are rich sources protein, calcium, and vitamin B12.
2.Pulses, Dals, Cereals, Nuts and Whole Grains:
If you are not a meat eater, include pulses, dals, cereals, nuts and whole grains in your everyday diet to make up for your body’s requirement of protein. If you are a vegetarian, you will need about 45 gm. of nuts each day, as well as about a two-third cup of pulses on a daily basis.
3. Fruits and Vegetables:
Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet as it will help you gain your body’s required amount of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Make sure you have about five servings of each on a daily basis.
Here is how you can spread out the meal plan through the day:
- A glass of plain cow’s milk
- Almond milk
- Apple juice
- Tomato juice
- Dry fruits
- Bowl of fruits
- Wheat rava upma with lots of vegetables
- Poha with lots of vegetables
- Oats porridge
- Whole wheat toast with butter and omelet
- Vegetable omelet
- Paranthas with fillings of spinach, dal, potatoes, carrots, beans, cottage cheese, cheese with curd
- Mixed bean cutlet or patties
- Some fruits to go along with the breakfast such as apricots, dates, sweet fig, banana, oranges
- Cheese toast or cheese and vegetable sandwich
- Vegetable handvo
- Rice sevai with lots of vegetables
- Tomato soup
- Spinach soup
- Creamy spinach soup
- Carrot and beet soup
- Chicken soup
- Roti with choice of dal, vegetable and a bowl of curd
- Parantha with dal and a bowl of curd
- Carrot and peas parantha with a bowl of curd and some butter
- Jeera or pea rice with raita
- Rice, dal and vegetable with vegetable salad
- Lemon rice with peas and some vegetable salad
- Vegetable khichdi
- Chicken salad with lots of fresh vegetables or vegetable soup
- Chicken curry with rice
- Grilled chicken with a bowl of curd
- Rice, dal, mint raita and a fruit
- Kofta curry with rice
- Cottage cheese parantha with butter and vegetable salad
- Curd rice
- Parantha with sprouted beans salad
- Cheese and corn sandwich
- Vegetable idli
- Spinach and tomato idli
- Sevaiya with lots of vegetables
- Carrot or lauki halwa
- Fruit smoothie with fresh fruits such as banana or strawberry
- Roasted peanut mixture with vegetables
- Cauliflower and peas samosa
- Bread cutlet
- Chicken cutlet
- Chicken sandwich
- Chicken soup
- A bowl of dried dates or dry fruits
- A cup of green tea
- Milk porridge with oats, sevai or daliya
- Vegetable daliya
- Mixed vegetable uttapam
- Rice with dal, spinach vegetable, and some green salad
- Roti with a bowl of dal, a vegetable of choice and a glass of buttermilk
- Mixed dal khichdi with a vegetable curry and a bowl of curd
- Vegetable pulao or chicken rice with a bowl of yogurt
- Plain parantha with a glass of buttermilk