Proper diet is not only necessary for you, but it is also necessary for the overall development of the baby inside your womb. During pregnancy, women feel physical and emotional changes due to hormonal imbalance in their body. Which affect mood and metabolism in women.
Most women have to face problems like nausea quite often during pregnancy, especially in the morning and evening, which affects both their diet and health. Due to which there can be a bad effect on the baby growing in their womb, so it is very important to take better care of your health during pregnancy and include healthy elements in your diet chart.
So here we are to tell you in detail about 7 essential nutrients of pregnancy so that you stay healthy during your pregnancy.
1. Folic acid –
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9, which is found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, legumes, etc. While folic acid is a form of unnatural vitamin B, which is used as a supplement for folate and this is done because folate supply cannot be met from foods, doctors give you folic acid as a supplement.
Folic acid helps in the formation of new cells and nucleic acid (DNA) in the body. Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy is considered especially important. It helps in the development of the growing baby’s brain, spinal cord, red blood cells and placenta.
However, its deficiency can increase the risk of many birth defects in the unborn baby. This is the reason why doctors prescribe folic acid medication regularly before 1 month of conception and up to the first trimester (1-3 months) if needed, and a diet rich in folate.
Normally the baby’s spinal cord is fully developed around 3 months of pregnancy and hence, doctors stop giving folic acid medicine after 3 months. At the same time, folate-rich foods are recommended to be maintained in your diet throughout pregnancy.
Experts recommend taking at least 600 mcg of folate per day during pregnancy can reduce the risk of birth defects like neural tube defects.
For Folic acid rich diet during pregnancy you can include –
Spinach, cowpea, green peas, kidney beans, orange juice, avocado, green cabbage, chickpeas, soy, sesame seeds, walnuts, etc.
2. Calcium –
Calcium is another most essential nutrient for building bones and teeth your unborn baby, as well as for good heart, nervous system and muscle health.
About 90 percent of the calcium in the body is found in the bones and teeth. The remaining 10% of calcium is present in the blood, body fluids, nerves and muscle cells and tissues. It helps all of them to perform their functions properly. Therefore, during pregnancy, eat such foods which are rich in calcium.
Pregnant women who do not consume enough calcium are at risk of developing osteoporosis later in future, the bones become fragile and weak, which causes fractures even in slight slipping or falls, coughing and bending.
Experts recommend women to take 1200 mg of calcium per day during pregnancy. Given below is a list of foods and foods rich in calcium from which you can get calcium.
Calcium rich diet during pregnancy –
Milk is the best source for the supply of calcium. Milk products (dairy products) such as curd, paneer and chhena are also rich in calcium. Calcium supply can also be completed by consuming almonds, tahini, green leafy vegetables, dried figs, oranges, mustard greens, beans, soybeans, turnips, kiwis, cornflakes, etc. Apart from this, if you eat non-veg food, then sardine fish is a good source of calcium.
3. Vitamin D –
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium as well as controls the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Vitamin D is needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Further, it also helps in controlling high blood pressure (or preeclampsia) and sugar levels. That is why it is recommended to consume vitamin D during pregnancy.
Women should consume 10 mg of vitamin D daily during pregnancy.
Most of us do not get enough vitamin D from our diet, so sunlight is considered to be the major source of it. During pregnancy, exposure to sunlight for at least 20 minutes a day should be done.
4. Iron –
Fatigue, headache, dizziness, weakness or breathlessness are all symptoms that pregnant women experience during their pregnancy. According to doctors, such symptoms can arrive due to iron deficiency. Having enough iron during pregnancy is very important for the woman and her baby. Because iron deficiency can affect the brain development of the child.
Anaemia is a common problem in women during pregnancy. In the form of haemoglobin, iron is essential for carrying oxygen in our blood. Due to which we do not feel tired and weak. To meet the demands of the growing foetus during pregnancy, the woman’s body needs to increase the amount of blood which is met by iron.
Therefore, more iron is necessary in the diet. Iron deficiency increases the risk of anaemia, premature delivery, and low birth weight or preterm birth. Pregnant women need approximately 27 mg of iron per day.
Iron rich diet during pregnancy –
Non-vegetarian sources are considered better for the supply of iron because the amount of iron is high in non-vegetarian food. For this you can consume eggs, chicken, beef.
Talking about vegetarian sources, to increase the amount of iron, vitamin C, tomatoes and amla increase the amount of iron in the food. Mustard greens, turnip greens, radish leaves, mint, bathua, green coriander, green onion, green cabbage, semolina, tomato, mushroom, beetroot, pumpkin, and so on.
Your doctor may also give you iron supplements during pregnancy. Because you are not able to get the required amount from food items. Remember that you must take only those supplements that are prescribed by the doctor.
5. Proteins –
Also read: Surprising Health Benefits of Pregnancy
Protein is found in every cell of the body, which makes up the skin, hair, nails, muscles, and all other tissues. It provides structure to the cells and helps them to function properly. Proteins are essential for the healthy development of the foetus and for maintaining the maternal health during pregnancy.
Inadequate amounts of protein can hinder the proper development of the baby and can lead to low birth weight as well as a negative impact on the growing brain of the baby.
Protein rich diet during pregnancy –
You can get protein from milk products. Which includes curd, egg, milk, cheese and cottage cheese. Dried fruits and seeds are also rich in protein. Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds are also rich in protein. Apart from this, protein is found in high amounts in beans, peas, soy, lentils, fish, chicken etc.
6. Vitamin C –
During pregnancy, vitamin C is important for both mother and baby. Vitamin C helps in the development of the bones and teeth of the foetus as well as prevents birth defects in the baby during pregnancy.
Vitamin C is an element that helps in strengthening the blood vessels of the body, lowers blood pressure, strengthens immunity, repairs our tissues as well as helps in wound healing, bone growth, repair. Vitamin C also contributes a lot to keep the skin healthy. Therefore, it is considered important to consume vitamin-C during pregnancy. It is recommended to take 80-85 mg of vitamin C during pregnancy.
Vitamin C rich diet during pregnancy –
Vitamin-C is found in abundance in orange, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, red pepper and green chilli.
7. Iodine –
Iodine is found naturally in sea water and soil. The thyroid gland in our body requires iodine to function properly.
Additionally, it is also essential for healthy foetal brain development. Iodine deficiency leads to underdeveloped thyroid gland in the foetus, which can cause low IQ, slow growth, deafness, birth defects, etc. in the baby.
The need for iodine in a woman increases significantly during pregnancy. Which is fulfilled by iodine rich food items. However, it is relatively small in most foods. For this, iodised salt is considered an ideal option.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every adult should take 150 mg of iodine per day. At the same time, pregnant and breastfeeding women should take 250 mg of iodine daily.
Iodine rich diet during pregnancy –
Iodine rich salt, dairy products, well-cooked eggs, sea fish and seafood, meat, seaweed, fortified bread, cooked cod, macaroni, etc. are good sources of iodine. Although apple juice, bananas, and vegetables also contain iodine, the amount depends on the soil and water in the area where they are grown. The amount of iodine is found the least in the soil of mountainous areas, while its amount is highest in the soil of sea areas.