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Having a baby can be the most joyous and exhilarating journey. The experience of bringing a new life into the world is the priceless but it does come with its highs and lows. As you gear up for the new phase in your life, advice flows in freely. People would recommend you to eat double the amount you usually do, eat extra fats, and so on.
With all the morning sickness and nausea, it becomes difficult to eat three square meals, let alone double the usual amount. But the medically proven fact is that during pregnancy, the body burns food more efficiently and pregnant women need only 200 calories over and above their normal diet. The concept of eating extra is completely baseless.
However, the quality of your diet will determine the overall development of the baby. Intake of certain food groups must be increased to ensure that the fetus gets the necessary nutrition. Folic Acid, proteins, Calcium and iron are crucial for the development of the fetus. Folic acid plays a crucial role in development of the brain and prevents any brain or spine defects.
Proteins on the other hand contain amino acids which act as building blocks of the body. These are crucial for development of muscles and blood cells. They prevent clotting of blood and transport the nutrients and oxygen for the fetus. Iron is extremely important to ensure sufficient supply of oxygen to the baby. Pregnant women need twice the amount of iron required for a normal woman. Calcium is important for development of bones and teeth of the fetus.
While making a dietary plan for pregnancy, one must take care that a balanced diet is very important and excessive fats are not desirable. Here’s a ready reckoner for foods that will help you get the right nutrition without consuming those extra calories:
Oats are high in fiber, minerals, vitamin B and iron. Oats are a versatile ingredient which can be used a breakfast cereal, used to make dosas and idlis, and can be ground and added to your regular wholewheat flour.
Among other benefits, high fiber content of oats helps in relieving constipation, a condition that goes hand and hand with pregnancy.
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium, iron, folate and active cultures. It provides nutrition for baby’s bones and the mother’s bones too. Rib fractures during pregnancy are not unheard of, and women must eat at least 1200 mg of natural yogurt to supplement their dietary requirements.
You can eat yogurt as it is or make smoothies, lassi, raitas, salad dressings and sandwich fillings; the possibilities are endless.
Avoid store bough flavored yogurt as it contains high quantities of sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives. Natural homemade yogurt is the best option.
Proteins are extremely important for the muscle tissue development and must be consumed in ample quantities. Lean meats are rich in iron and proteins, and are good options for a healthy low fat meal.
Another excellent source of proteins, iron and folate are eggs. Whip up omelettes stuffed with green vegetables, boil them, or scramble them; eggs can be used to cook wholesome meals in minutes.
Quick Tip: avoid consumption of raw eggs as they may cause salmonella poisoning.
Dried fruit and nuts are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and ‘good for heart’ fats. Nuts can ensure supply of ample oxygen to the baby, prevent anemia, constipation and provide essential fats for the development of baby’s nervous system. To derive maximum benefit from the goodness of dried fruit, eat them in their natural form without any extra sugar or additives. Team up nuts with a glass of lemonade to ensure absorption of iron.
To know more about amazing benefits of nuts, Click Here.
Women with allergies should be careful as allergic reactions can get aggravated during pregnancy.
So, eat well, stay happy, get sufficient exercise and get ready to welcome your bundle of joy!
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