Pregnancy is said to be one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life. To bring new life into the world takes a whole lot out of a woman, who has to bring several changes to the way she lives, eats and moves around. Alterations in eating habits don’t just include dietary changes, but also meal timings. What remains most important for a pregnant woman is to eat a well-balanced diet, with dollops of desi superfoods and ingredients, and to keep a check on the calorie count and crazy cravings.
A lot of old-timers continue to suggest that desi foods are the best things to be consumed during pregnancy and how some of them worked wonders for them, helping them to deliver a healthy baby with an easy labour.
When you are on the family way, make sure your diet is inclusive of all the nutrients such as complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, healthy fats with plenty of oral fluids (water is the best), suggests Affrin Noor, Chief Dietitian and Nutritionist, Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore.
Desi superfoods that you must nosh on when you’re expecting
Paneer:Paneer has been used in every Indian household since ages. An important source of protein, calcium, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium which plays a vital role for pregnant women’s diet. The best incorporated recipes would be paneer burji, paneer sabzi, paneer paratha, paneer mutter gravy, paneer pakoda, paneer pulao.
Legumes: Legumes will comprise peas, beans, rajma, chickpeas and peanuts. They are a great source of protein, calcium, iron, fiber and folate. Super recipes would be peas pulao, peanut chikki, sundal, chickpea chat, beans sabzi, peas soup, peanut chutney pudi.
Ragi: Ragi is the great source of iron, calcium and fibre which is essential for the development of the baby’s growth. Super recipes would be ragi roti, ragi dosa, ragi ball, ragi malt, ragi idli, ragi cake, ragi laddoo or ragi porridge.
Dalia: Dalia is a complex carbohydrate and consumed for its high fibre content. It is wholesome and best for mothers-to-be with gestational diabetes. Recipes would be dalia khichdi, dalia upma, veg dalia upma, dalia pulao and dalia kheer.
Healthy nuts and seeds: Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and seeds such as flax seeds, chia seeds, basil seeds, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds are the best sources for omega 3 fatty acids. They are nutrient dense and delicious. Nuts laddoo, nuts milkshake, nuts ragi cookies, flax seeds biscuits are some options. And how can one forget desi ghee? It can be consumed by a pregnant woman every day in moderation. Hence, since ages it is advised by elders to have a small serving of ghee in every meal throughout your pregnancy and post-delivery also.
Green leafy vegetables: They are packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Palak, methi leaves, drumstick leaves can be very wholesome fiber foods and helps prevent constipation. Palak paratha, palak paneer, palak pulao, palak thepla, palak soup,methi chicken, methi paratha and drumstick leaves sabzi.
Eggs: Choline is a vital nutrient during pregnancy and plays an important role in baby’s brain development. Eggs are the best source of choline. The best food options would be egg burji, egg omelette, egg dosa, egg paratha.
Fish: Salmon are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Omega 3 fatty acids are important for brain development. The recipes would be steamed fish, grilled fish and fish curry.
Curd: Curd is not only tasty but healthy too.Curd is a great probiotic and best source of calcium, and protein. Best forms of curd would be plain curd, sweet curd, buttermilk, masala chaas, lassi, curd rice, and curd curry. Curd is a prime ingredient in many recipes.
Bananas: They can be consumed everyday throughout your pregnancy as they are rich in carbohydrates, fibre and folate. However, women with gestational diabetes should not consume too many bananas.
These are a few of the superfoods that can give you a complete fill of nutrition and will help you have a healthy pregnancy, ladies!