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Pregnancy and Diet

By : on : August 28, 2018 comments : (0)

There is no time in the human life, more crucial role the food plays , than during pregnancy. It is true that first 1000 days of human life (that is from conception into tiny foetus till they become a 3 years old toddler) decides the health of the rest of the life.

Culturally, Indian pregnant women are at a very disadvantageous position, as lots of myths and taboos on diet intake during pregnancy are very widely promoted and established. For example fruits are blamed wrongly, as either promoting excessive body heat or the opposite as an agent that drops the body temperature. Fruits are absolutely vital for the health of all of us, more so for pregnant ladies and their foetus.

Four Vital nutrients during pregnancy

a) Folic acid b) Calcium c) Iron d) Protein

A) Folic acid,

Folic acid is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord, known as neural tube defects. It is hard to get recommended amount of folic acid from diet alone. And so it is recommended that women who are trying to have a baby take a daily vitamin supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid per day for at least one month before becoming pregnant. During pregnancy, women are advised to increase the amount of folic acid to 600 micrograms a day.

Food sources that contain some amount of folic acid : Green leafy vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals, breads, beans, citrus fruits.

B) Calcium

Calcium is important to build a baby’s bones and teeth. If a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, the calcium will be released from the mother’s stores in the bones. Pregnant women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. If mothers blood levels of calcium remains low, then both the mother and baby can develop potential serious consequences of hypocalcemia.

Food sources: Milk, Curd, Fish, Sitapal

C) Iron

Pregnant women need 27 milligrams of iron a day, which is double the amount needed by women who are not pregnant. Iron deficiency Anaemia is very common in India. Anaemia during pregnancy can result in serious problems for both mother and the unborn babies.

Food sources: meat, chicken, fish, dried beans, Green leafy vegetables and dates …

D) Protein

Protein deficiency is very prevalent in Indian women and it takes a big toll of both mothers and Children’s health

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Foods to eat during pregnancy

Five most important food groups are :

Vegetables, protein, Fruits, whole grains and dairy products. They are very Important for pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.

Ideally these food items should be taken from variety of sources. If you want to get the best out of fruits, ensure you eat different varieties of fruits. Likewise,vegetables and proteins …Have a range of different items as much as you can.

Protein : Best source of proteins comes from eating meat, chicken and eggs. It is essential to cook them well before consuming as eating them raw can result in variety of infections, including toxoplasmosis. Raw eggs consumption is not advisable as it can cause Salmonella infection ( Typhoid fever).

Vegetarians can eat have their required portion of proteins through eating pulses ( Dhal), milk, dried beans and peas, and nuts

Foods to avoid during pregnancy

1) Cheese

2) Uncooked meat or uncooked eggs

3) Unpasteurized raw milk

3) Bottled cola and other artificially flavoured drinks

4) Coffee or Tea

5) Alcohol

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