An ideal diet during pregnancy

2010-04-21
THE PUNCH Newspaper


The fact that a woman is pregnant is perhaps the happiest moment for her, as motherhood is the most wanted aspect of womanhood. There are a lot of guidelines that a pregnant woman ought to follow and of course intake of nutritious food is of prime importance during pregnancy.



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The food that the mother consumes forms the intake for the foetus as it thrives on the food intake of the mother. Hence it is necessary for the mother to consume nutritious food for the foetus to grow in a healthy manner and for herself too to make her pregnancy a healthy and enjoyable period.



A good diet is inclusive of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats, vitamins and good amount of water.



Protein



A good intake of protein in regular diet aids in cell growth and blood production. Fish, peanut, tofu, lean meat, poultry, egg whites and pulses are all rich in protein



Carbohydrates



Food with carbohydrates helps to produce energy that is necessary for the body. Bread, cereals, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruits and vegetables are good sources of carbohydrates.



Calcium



Food rich in calcium is a must during pregnancy that aid in developing strong bones and teeth. It also helps in muscle contraction and proper nerve functioning. Milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach, sardines or salmons with bones are carriers of protein. Calcium intake is very important during pregnancy, as the baby demands a high supply of calcium. So it is necessary for the mother to increase the intake of calcium to prevent the loss of calcium from her own bones.



Iron



A good intake of iron helps in the production of red blood cells that keeps anemia at bay. Lean red meat; spinach, cereals and iron fortified whole grain breads supply a lot of iron to the body. Vegetables like drumsticks and beetroots are also rich in iron



Vitamins A



Vitamins are providers of healthy skin, good eyesight and also aid in developing strong bones. Carrots, dark green leafy greens and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin A



Vitamin C



Citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, fortified fruit juices carry vitamin c that is required for healthy gums, teeth and strong bones.



Vitamin B6



Food rich with vitamin B6 like pork, gram, and whole grain cereals and bananas supply this type of vitamin for the body. The vitamin not only aids in the formation of red blood cells but also for the effective use of protein, carbohydrates and fat by the body.



Vitamin B12



This vitamin helps in the formation of red blood cells and helps to keep the nervous system healthy. Meat, fish, poultry and milk provide this vitamin. People who follow a vegetarian diet should take a vitamin B6 supplement.



Vitamin D



Fortified milk, dairy products, cereals and breads are all important sources of vitamin D that aids in the absorption of calcium and for the development of healthy bones and teeth.



Folic acid



Green leafy vegetables, dark yellow fruits and vegetables, peas, beans and nuts are all rich in folic acid that helps a lot in blood and protein production and effective enzyme production.



Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects that occur during the early stages of pregnancy. Hence a good amount of folic acid is necessary for the body before pregnancy and during the early weeks of pregnancy. Despite the presence of folic acid in one‘s natural diet, pregnant women are advised to take folic acid supplement.

 

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