Indian foods for pregnancy that provide balanced nutrition


So you are pregnant; well congratulations. Your biggest worry is what to eat during pregnancy, how to maintain a balanced diet during the nine months, what are the right foods to eat when you are going to have a baby and more questions related to diet and pregnancy. This article answers those and gives you healthy tips on nutrition and good for you foods during pregnancy.

Every new mother to be wonders how she should supplement her diet for the unborn baby so it gets the right nutrients to develop properly. It is true that the child depends completely on its mother for nutrition. Hence it becomes important that an expectant mother eats a healthy diet during pregnancy. This article is written to meet the food needs of every Indian woman who is pregnant.

I’ll start with letting you know these are a series of articles on what to eat when you are having a baby. The articles are created keeping the Indian woman in mind and will include North Indian and South Indian recipes for pregnant women. This is the first in the series and it discusses essential nutrients you need when having a baby.

The Right Nutrients During Pregnancy


The first thing you need to understand when you are pregnant is that your calorie requirement goes up by approximately 300 calories. You need to eat healthy and your diet must comprise of foods that provide you balanced nutrition. Your pregnancy diet should be rich in iron, calcium, B vitamins, protein, vitamins A, C and E, fibre, some amount of fat and trace minerals. These are the most important in ensuring your baby gets complete nourishment to develop properly and you do not become weak or develop health problems post partum.

Explained below is the significance of nutrients required in the formation and growth of your baby and food sources rich in each of them. This will help you plan your meals better since you will know exactly what foods to eat when you are carrying a new life inside you.

Importance Of Iron When You Are Having A Baby


Most Indian women suffer from iron deficiency and you will need to combat the deficiency by eating foods rich in iron. Both you and your unborn baby require iron. The baby particularly requires iron to develop red blood cells and for increasing the haemoglobin count which transports oxygen in the body. You need iron so you do not suffer from anaemia.

Your gynaecologist may prescribe you iron supplements, but there is nothing like getting it directly from food. When you eat iron rich foods add a vitamin C rich food with it, as vitamin C helps in iron absorption.

Common foods that are a rich source of iron are –

Mutton, seafood, liver and eggs
Pulses, legumes and beans - all the dals, beans such as kidney beans (rajma) and soya beans, chick peas (Kabuli channa) and black channa
Green leafy vegetables – spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi), mint, cow pea (chawli), mustard (sarson) etcetera
Whole grains and cereals – whole wheat, millet (bajra and jowar), oats
Dry Fruits such as raisins and dates, nuts such as almonds and walnuts and seeds like sesame (til)

Importance Of Calcium During Pregnancy


Your unborn baby will require calcium for the growth of its bones and teeth, nerves, a healthy heart and muscles. You too who will require a build-up of calcium reserves after delivery when you nurse the baby. If your calcium intake is low you will suffer from severe deficiency of this mineral which could lead to osteoporosis.

Your doctor will definitely prescribe calcium supplement but you need to include calcium rich foods in your diet so you get enough of the mineral. Along with calcium you need Vitamin D which aids in absorption of calcium. You can get vitamin D from sunlight; stay out in the sun in the morning or evenings for your daily dose of vitamin D. Foods that you need to include in your diet that will provide you with calcium are –

Milk and milk products, such as cheese, cottage cheese (paneer), curd and buttermilk
Canned Fish, especially salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
Dark green vegetables
Soya products such as soy milk and tofu
Nuts and seeds especially sesame seeds (til)
Pulses

B Vitamins And Folic Acid In Pregnancy


Folic acid supplements are prescribed to all pregnant ladies. Folic Acid is a vitamin that belongs to the B complex vitamins. It is very essential for development of the foetus at all stages because it is needed to make DNA, RNA and for synthesis of red blood cells.

You can increase the folic acid your body receives by including certain foods in your diet. These foods are –

Liver
Raw vegetables
Yeast
Broccoli
Pulses and legumes

Importance Of Protein In A Pregnant Woman’s Diet


Protein is required by every cell in the human body for growth and repair and for building muscles. The antibodies in the body, the enzymes we need for digestion and insulin are different types of proteins. A pregnant woman therefore needs lots of protein so her baby grows well. Protein can be obtained through proper diet that includes lots of protein rich foods. You can up your protein intake by eating the following foods –

Meat, one of the best sources of proteins
Beans like Kidney beans and soya bean products
Chickpeas (Kabuli Channa)
Dairy products
Dry fruits and nuts

The Need For Vitamins In Pregnancy


Vitamins are essential in pregnancy as they help fight infections and build immunity. The unborn child gets these vitamins from its mother. The vitamins protect it from damage from free radicals. The benefits of individual vitamins are described here -

Vitamin A – Your baby needs this vitamin because it improves the immune system, supports growth of healthy white blood cells, helps in growth of skin cells and hair and is good for the eyes
Vitamin C – Is required by the baby as it protects it against cardiovascular problems and supports its immune system
Vitamin D – Another important vitamin which helps in building bones and assists in brain development and function

The following foods are rich in the given vitamins –

Vitamin A – Sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, dark leafy vegetables, melons, egg yolks and fish
Vitamin C – Tomatoes, oranges and citrus fruits, strawberries, green chillies and melons
Vitamin D – Egg yolks, fish, fish liver oils and from being in the sun
Vitamin E – Vegetable oils, eggs, nuts and seeds

Conclusion


These essentially are the nutrients that you need for the baby and foods that provide you with the right nourishment. Along with this you need fibre which you will get naturally from foods if you maintain a healthy diet. Fibre essentially prevents constipation, a problem women suffer from after their first trimester. Now that you have understood the benefits of nutrients in pregnancy you can begin including the right foods so your baby gets the required nutrients it requires from you to develop properly. Try out the recipes that have been created to ensure you get balanced nutrition right through your pregnancy.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 547 articles authored by Juana

Related Articles

Nutrition And Performance Enhancing Supplements For Sports Persons

Optimal health being an essential requirement for an athlete, a sports person or a fitness-conscious that prefers to enhance his/her lifestyle, eating a healthy nutritional and well-balanced diet is more important to attain success. This write-up highlights the various nutritional priorities required by a sports person for enhancing sports performance and the use of different performance enhancing supplements to improve sports performance and their side effects.

Importance of food sanitation while eating in houses

In this resource, I am explaining about the importance of food sanitation in various institutions such as restaurants, coffee shops etc. The main points are the minimum requirements of cleanliness and sanitation in eating houses, important points regarding personal hygiene of food handlers, problem in food sanitation are due to food handling etc.

Cooking and kitchen tips for better health

Generally, we focus a lot only on the food we eat in order to maintain good health. But, it is important to focus even on the techniques that are used in the kitchen to prepare the food. Some minor adjustments here and there in our routine cooking techniques can go a long way in making us lead a very healthy life. I have tried to discuss a few tips in this article.

How Proteins And Vitamins Are Also Harmful?

If you think that excess of nutrition will keep you fit and healthy, you are totally wrong. The excess intake of protein and vitamins will make you sick. This article tells you how. Consuming more of proteins than is warranted affects kidney adversely. A balanced diet is the only panacea.

What should we eat to get the five nutrients that keep our body healthy?

We feel our body right only when ii remains fit trim and attractive. But body remains like this only when our body is disease free and getting the regular supplies of nutritional elements. We get nutritional elements from the food we eat for which our diet should be balanced and full if nutrients. What are these nutritional elements and how these could be gotten from diet forms the subject of discussion through this article.

More articles: India Food Nutrition

Comments

No responses found. Be the first to comment...


  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name:
    Email: