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A miscarriage is a devastating experience for any woman. Healing after a miscarriage requires plenty of rest, emotional support and a healthy diet. This article talks about the diet a woman should follow after a miscarriage to recover quickly. It also explains the types of Indian foods that are healthy and what kinds are unhealthy for a woman who is recuperating from a miscarriage.
Top Causes of Miscarriage
There are numerous reasons why a miscarriage may occur, some of which are in our control, and some that aren’t. These are some common causes of miscarriages around the world.
1. Medical Complications
Issues in the uterus, such as fibroids, etc., are likely to case a miscarriage in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. Other medical complications can be chromosomal abnormalities, cervical incompatibility, septum in the uterus, etc.
Smoking or drinking, especially during pregnancy, is likely to cause a miscarriage. Eating certain fruits such as papaya and pineapple when you’re pregnant is also known to be a leading cause of miscarriage. Make sure to follow a healthy diet that provides all the vital nutrients needed.
3. Pre-existing Conditions
Women who already have conditions such as hyper or hypo-thyroidism and diabetes have a higher chance of suffering a miscarriage. Hence, these conditions should be diagnosed and controlled before pregnancy.
What Foods to Eat for Quick Recovery After a Miscarriage?
It is important for a woman who is recovering to know what kind of food to eat after a miscarriage. Eating healthy food after a miscarriage is vital for the body, as it needs essential nutrients to recover and recuperate from the trauma.
1. Iron-rich Foods
Miscarriage can cause women to feel fatigued and anaemic. In case of excessive bleeding due to miscarriage, an iron deficiency may occur in the body. Hence, it is important to consume iron-rich foods to ensure that the iron level in the body is maintained.
Iron is of two types, heme and non-heme iron. Heme-iron is found in foods from animal sources, such as red meats, poultry, and seafood. Non-heme iron is found in plant sources, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, lentils, beans, brussels sprouts, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Therefore, vegetarians should consume iron-rich foods from plant sources and meat eaters should consume iron-rich foods from both, plant sources and animal sources. Dal with whole-wheat rotis or basmati rice is rich in iron.
2. Calcium-rich Foods
During pregnancy, the calcium reserves in the body are used up, as the foetus needs calcium to develop a healthy heart, nerves, muscles, bones, and teeth. When a miscarriage occurs, all that calcium is eliminated along with the pregnancy tissue, causing a calcium deficiency in the body. Hence, it is important for women to eat calcium-rich foods, such as dark green leafy vegetables, dairy products, fish like sardines and salmon, and dry fruits. Grilled fish or palak paneer prepared with less oil, etc. are good options.
3. Folate-rich Foods
Many women who experience a miscarriage, plan to try to conceive again after recovery. In such a case, it is a good idea to consume folate-rich foods. Folate is found in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. It is also found in asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, lentils, peas, avocado, ladies’ fingers, squashes, brussels sprouts, seeds, and nuts. Palak, Bhindi curry, chole etc., are examples of folate-rich Indian dishes.
4. Protein-rich Foods
The body requires protein to heal, as the amino acids in proteins help in cell repair. So, you should consume foods like eggs, lean meats, seafood, milk, cheese, yoghurt, lentils, and poultry. Vegetarian sources of protein are lentils, dairy products, and grains like quinoa and buckwheat. Dal, chole, and palak paneer are nutritious, protein-rich Indian dishes you can eat and enjoy.
5. Mood-lifting Foods
The sadness and trauma caused by a miscarriage can often lead to depression. According to research, deficiency of magnesium is linked to depression, and consuming magnesium-rich foods reduces anxiety and helps beat depression. Magnesium is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat, green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, avocado, and legumes like peas, lentils, chickpeas etc. Some Indian dishes that contain these mood lifting ingredients are chole, brown rice khichdi, etc.
Nuts are a source of several vital nutrients that can help the body recover faster after a miscarriage. Nuts are rich in vitamin E, iron, magnesium, folate, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of fibre. However, they should be consumed in moderation as they contain high amounts of fat and calories. Include nuts such as almonds, pista, walnuts, cashews, etc., in your daily diet. You can also use nuts in Indian dishes like kheer and biryani that elevate your mood, as well.
7. Fruits and Vegetables
According to several scientific studies, women who included plenty of fruits and vegetables to their diet, post miscarriage, showed a 50% lower risk of miscarriages in future pregnancies. Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and fruits with high water content are great for health.
8. Vitamin C-rich Foods
Citrus fruits like papaya, grapefruits, oranges and strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C which is necessary for the absorption of iron by the body. Again, you should consult your doctor for advice on which fruits are good for you and which you should avoid eating, while recovering from a miscarriage.
What Foods to Avoid After Miscarriage?
There are some foods that are very unhealthy and can cause harm if consumed excessively, post miscarriage. Below is a compilation of what not to eat after a miscarriage.
1. Junk and Fast Foods
Examples of junk and fast foods include kachoris, pani puris, samosas, chips, french fries, potato wedges, pizzas, burgers, doughnuts etc. These contain trans-fats that cause inflammation in the body, resulting in obesity and heart disease if consumed excessively. Eating excess junk food increases the risk of miscarriage in women and also causes depression.
2. Foods With High Carbohydrate and Low Fibre Content
Simple, refined carbohydrates present in processed food are harmful to the body, as they are high in carbs, but low in fibre. Avoid processed foods like instant noodles, white rice, Indian snacks like biscuits and murukku, halwa, cutlets, and indian bread like naan, parota, kulcha etc. that are made of refined white flour or maida. Go for complex carbs instead, like brown rice and oatmeal.
3. Soy Products
Soy is a rich source of protein. However, research suggests that soy hinders the absorption of iron. Hence, it is better to limit the amount of soy protein you consume, as the body requires iron to recover post miscarriage.
Sweets and sugary foods can cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up alarmingly. This fluctuation of blood sugar levels will slow down the healing process. Avoid Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun, Jalebis, Rasgullas etc., post miscarriage.
5. Dairy and Meat With High Fat Content
Fat in dairy and meat can cause inflammation in the body and aggravate your pain, post miscarriage. Hence, avoid foods like full-fat milk, butter, fatty paneer or cheese, beef, and pork. Opt, instead, for lean meats and skimmed milk products.
A miscarriage is a painful event for any woman. The recovery period after a miscarriage can be influenced greatly by dietary changes. What you eat can either speed up or slow down the recovery process. So, opt for a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and eat everything in moderation. Consult your doctor and decide on a diet based on your his/her advice.