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Follow This Pre-Pregnancy Diet for a Healthy Baby
If you’re planning to conceive, it’s important that you follow a healthy lifestyle. The thought of conceiving should be followed by a planning phase where future parents should make sure that they will eat healthy and follow a healthy lifestyle to ensure that their baby is born healthy.
How Diet Impacts Pre-Conception
Being healthy before getting pregnant can make sure that you conceive faster and improve your chances of getting pregnant. A healthy diet and lifestyle pre-conception can ensure that you have a smooth journey in the nine months of your pregnancy. A healthy lifestyle will ensure that your foetus will develop well.
Make sure that you focus on your diet at least 3 months before planning to conceive so that your body gets used to it. Poor diet leads to hormonal imbalance, which can affect your ovulation cycle.
Food to Eat
1. Foods Rich in Folic Acid –
Reason: This nutrient is majorly responsible for improving fertility. It increases sperm count and lowers the chances of neural tube defects in babies.
Food Sources: Cereals (rice, avoid if pre-diabetic, oats), legumes (rajma, soybean), green leafy vegetables (spinach, methi, spring onions, beans, beetroot, reddish, broccoli), and fruits (orange, grapes, and lemons).
2. Foods Rich in Calcium and Protein
Reason: Helps in ovulation.
Food Sources: Milk, paneer, curd, tofu, and cheese
Reason: Iron deficiency is linked to miscarriage and anaemia.
Food Sources: Spinach, soybean, tofu, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, fortified cereals
4. Nuts & Seeds
Reason: Increases strength and lowers stress levels
Food Sources: Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dates, flax seeds, chia seeds
5. Fruits & Vegetables
Reason: It is high in antioxidants and lowers stress levels and removes free radicals, which otherwise damage the sperm/egg. Also, it protects against any viral/bacterial infections.
Food Sources: Citrus fruits (orange, grapes, sweet lime, apple, strawberry, capsicum, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, sprouts whole).
Food To Avoid
1. Simple Carbohydrates
Reason: Increases calorie intake and may increase weight.
Food Sources: White bread, pasta, chips, candy, junk food, samosa, pakoda, murukul, vada pav, bhujia, and kachori.
2. Addictive Beverages
Reason: Enters bloodstream and affects the fertilization process
Food Sources: Coffee, alcohol, smoking, and drugs.
3. Sugars & Oils
Reason: Increases insulin and weight.
Food Sources: Sweets, processed fruit juices, energy drinks, and sweet teas.
- Do not skip meals.
- Have a healthy breakfast.
- Have 6 meals a day.
- Make sure you maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) to achieve a healthy pregnancy. The normal/healthy BMI Range: 18.5 – 24.9.
- Choose more vegetarian options in iron-rich and protein-rich foods.
- Get physically active (exercise improves blood circulation and removes any kind of free radicals/foreign body entering the system).
- Get enough sleep.
- Choose high-fat dairy products as compared to low fat/skim products, but make sure it does not affect your weight.
- Stay hydrated as dehydration can lead to poor health.
These are some tips that you should follow before you decide to conceive. A healthy lifestyle will ensure that your baby grows just fine!