All of us look for the magic formula for eating right. Especially during pregnancy, moms to be are always on the lookout for foods that will help them get the right nutrition for themselves and their growing baby. Let’s see some of the stars of your daily diet – the magic foods for pregnant women!
Grains : The first to score on this list are the grains. Choose unrefined grain – and once you develop a taste for the unrefined variety, you will find that they have much better texture and flavour than their refined counterparts
Vegetables and Fruits: Besides choosing a wide variety of colors in your diet, it also makes sense to choose seasonal fruits and vegetables. Nature knows best and produces fruits and vegetables suited to the season, climate and region. Eat fresh. Besides providing vital vitamins, fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants which help build your immunity and fight disease. They are rightfully called the support system of pregnancy.
Amino acids: Every one talks of mega 3, DHA, EPA – big words. Many moms want to know if they can take special capsules to get these vital nutrients? Amino acids help to build the foetal brain. These vital nutrients can be obtained from natural foods – and one should avoid capsules / synthetic versions. Some of the rich sources of amino acids are flaxseeds, walnuts, soya beans, salmon and tofu.
Iron: Iron is also considered a super mom food. The important thing to remember here is that during pregnancy, the amount of iron your body needs nearly doubles. Iron is needed to make haemoglobin, which is a protein in your body, and whose main function is to carry oxygen to your blood cells. If your iron levels fall, you may feel tired, lethargic and look pale.
Your metabolism will slow down and hence the nutrient absorption will also be affected. Iron has many benefits for your baby – higher APGAR (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration) scores, better birth weight and lower risk of a pre-term birth.
Foods rich in iron include soya beans, lentils, spinach, sesame, beans, potatoes, molasses, beef ,beef prunes, cashews, garbanzo seeds, pumpkin seeds, navy beans and venison.
Folate: F0late is a B vitamin naturally present in food. It is required by the body for the production of haemoglobin. The main function of haemoglobin is to carry oxygen throughout the body of the expecting mom and to the baby. Folate helps to develop the foetus’ neural tube, which later forms the spinal cord.It is developed very early pregnancy and hence it is essential for a woman planning a pregnancy to consume adequate amount of folate for about 3 months prior to conception.
Folate in the synthetic form is called folic acid and it is recommended that all women of childbearing age take this supplement to safeguard against possible birth defects of the neural tube. The prescription should be filled by the woman’s caregiver.
Folate Rich Foods – Animal Origin : Beef, Calf liver, Crab, Chicken, Duck, Fish, Lamb, Mollusks, Pork, Turkey
Folate Rich Foods – Plant origin: Asparagus, Avocados, Bananas, Broccoli, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Baked Beans, Black-eyed Peas, Cabbage, Green Peas, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Peanuts, Oranges, Sunflower Seeds, Spinach, Strawberries