Pregnancy is your time to be the Queen. According to WHO, the first 1000 days of your baby’s life are most important for her lifelong health and well being. For the 270 days of pregnancy, your baby’s health and well being depend completely on what you eat. So make sure that you a nutritious diet during this phase.
In this section, we will discuss some key nutrients which are not only good for your health but will also impact her overall development, brain growth and resistance to diseases. Typically, you will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day.
Almost 70% of the baby’s brain grows even before she is born. The nutrients below will help it grow and develop well.
- Iron: Iron is an important part of haemoglobin in the blood.
- Folic acid: Folic acid helps in brain growth and formation of the central nervous system.
- Choline: Choline is important for the proper functioning of the brain and memory development.
- Iodine: Iodine promotes a baby’s brain growth by the production of thyroid hormone.
- Protein: Protein is an important part of tissues and cells that make the brain. They are important for various enzymes and hormones that keep the body working. Proteins are important for muscles and blood.
- Calcium: Calcium helps in building strong teeth and bones.
- Vitamin D3: This is essential for calcium abortion and bone mass.
- Zinc: Zinc is essential for building up DNA and RNA.
- Fat: This is necessary for the formation of membranes and fatty acid, which regulates many activities of the body.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are important for mothers at the time of delivery and breastfeeding. Your little one needs energy for growth in the womb.
In order to get all these nutrients, you must eat a variety of food groups suffice the daily requirement of nutrients. Here are some of them.
- Fruits and vegetables: They contain important nutrients. The Vitamin C requirement of a pregnant female is 70mg. Fruits like oranges, amla, sweet lime and vegetables such as tomato sprouts must be consumed. As the folic acid intake is 0.4 mg per day to prevent neural tube defect, so beans, peas, and vegetables should be taken. Green leafy vegetables contain iron as well.
- Bread and grains: Carbohydrates are important energy sources for pregnant women. Bread and grains contain important nutrients. Cereals and grains contain proteins and vitamins required during pregnancy. This indirectly cures symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and depression.
- Dairy products: Milk and milk products such as curd, butter and cheese contain calcium, which is essential during pregnancy.
- Poultry and non-veg products: Chicken, lean meat, fish vitamins and proteins are needed during pregnancy.
- Probiotics: These are healthy bacteria that help with digestion, prevent constipation and help you in absorbing nutrients from your diet. Having a happy tummy helps in keeping the baby healthy.
Consult your doctor for the required nutrition that benefits you and your baby. Here is a sample diet plan :
- Early morning (6.30- 7.00 am)
1 bowl of cornflakes with milk OR
1 glass of milk + 2-3 biscuits/ 2-3 rusk OR
1 glass of milk + dates + 2 slices of whole-grain bread
- Breakfast (9.00 am- 9.15 am)
2 paneer sandwiches + 1 glass of mixed fruit juice OR
2 parathas with 1 bowl of curd + tea or coffee OR
1 Moong dal chilla + 2 bread slices + tea or coffee OR
2 cheese sandwiches + 1 bowl of sprouts OR
1 bowl of poha + tea, or coffee
- Mid-morning (11:00 am- 11.15 am)
1 glass lassi + 2 soya cutlets OR
A banana milkshake + 1 bowl of nuts OR
1 bowl of watermelon OR
1 bowl of bean salad with paneer OR
1 bowl of murmura bhel + watermelon juice
- Lunch (1.00 pm)
Baigan bharta+ half-plate of rice/ 2 rotis + sprouted moong + raita OR
Carrot juice+ sabzi + 1 bowl of moong dal tadka + 2 rotis/ half-plate of rice
Sweet and sour soup + 1 garlic bread + half bowl hummus + 2 pita bread or
- Evening snack (5.30 pm)
1 glass of fruit milkshake OR
1 bowl of moong chaat OR
1 glass of almond/ cow milk OR
1 corn vegetable croquette OR
2 vegetable sandwiches OR
1 glass of fruit juice
- Dinner (7.30- 8.00pm)
1 bowl of salad + 1 bowl of chana dal + 2 rotis or 1/2 plate rice
1 bowl of salad + sabzi+ 2 rotis or 1/2 plate rice
- Post dinner (10.00 pm)
1 bowl of mixed melon salad with honey dressing OR
1 bowl of dry fruit phirni OR
1 bowl of fruit custard OR
1 bowl of mango ice cream OR
1 bowl of dates OR
1 bowl of fruit yoghurt OR
1 bowl of seviyan
Following a good diet ensures that your baby is healthy and that you remain in optimal health during and after pregnancy.
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