With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, being pregnant in the middle of it can be a little of an emotional potboilers. Social distancing and self-isolation are enough to bring about alterations to usual eating habits, and not to mention irregularities in daily exercising.
It is, therefore, imperative to have a balanced and wholesome diet to cater to the nutritional demands of you and your baby. Make sure to minus any feelings of guilt, or add to any of the emotional anxieties of staying indoors. It’s necessary to be cautious and maintain a good diet since the1-week pregnancy symptoms can be both mentally and physically taxing.
Here’s a look at some healthy food choices one should aspire to adopt while pregnant:-
- Fruits and vegetables:
Aim for a “rainbow” on the plate by picking from orange, green, red, purple, white and other varieties. Sweet potatoes, with their skin on, are a rich source of Vitamin C and A. Broccolis serve as a booster for folic acid and fibres. Spinach, peppers (green and red) and romaine lettuce beef up the counters for Vitamin A, C and foliate. Mushrooms and tomatoes are delicious yet healthy options.
If you don’t happen to like much of vegetables, options like carrot, beetroots and even sweet corn come as a respite for a sweet tooth. Have an eye for seasonal fruits and veggies for they come at a much lesser cost. Handpicking from local markets can also help to save a few notes.
- Dairy Products:
They are a mine for calcium, protein, iron and Vitamin D. Options include low or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese. It’s advisable during pregnancy to consume 7-8 glasses or cups of fluid per day, having milk as one of the options definitely will help.
They come cheap and are very easy to cook. A reservoir of proteins, vitamins, HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein or “good cholesterol”) and other essential nutrients- eggs are your best friends and one of thebest food for a healthy pregnancy. Eggs are one of the few sources of Vitamin D, which plays an integral role in helping calcium build bones and teeth of the baby.
- Meat, fishes and other protein alternatives:
Having a serving of protein at least two times a day is a must during pregnancy. Avoid fried chicken and go for boiled servings. ‘Lean meat’ not only boosts the protein reserve but also supplies iron which plays an integral role in avoiding anaemia during pregnancy. For non-chicken lovers, fishes form the crux of daily protein intake. Vegetarians can go for tofu, lentils and other high yielding protein products.
Carbohydrates, rich in starch, are also one of the best foods for a healthy pregnancy. They should be an important meal apart from fruits and vegetables. Wholegrain and multigrain versions of bread and rice provide for a handful of fibres supply. Fortified cooked cereals are rich in iron, even more than what the same serving of oatmeal will offer.
- Healthy Integration:
There can be a host of integration techniques to get the maximal nutrition out of each meal. Say slice a banana, pop in some apple slices or a strawberry or two into your daily morning cereals. You can also make a smoothie out of your favourite fruit along with milk and yoghurt after your daily exercise. Having a salad of your choice, during the afternoon or evening meals is one of the best foods for a healthy pregnancy as they are not only light but also ticks off most of the essential nutrient bar.
If you are still having hunger pangs, grab some snacks like dried fruits, nuts, almonds or even walnuts. Nuts, surprisingly, have a bucket load of magnesium, zinc, potassium and vitamin E content. They are readily available in online forums as well. Though they are high on fats, a moderate serving won’t do a lot of harm.