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You must be dealing with some crazy cravings during your pregnancy and eating whatever you feel like without a worry in the world, right?
Well, that’s great but apart from your cravings, there are a few things that every pregnant woman must eat for a health boost because yes, you are eating for two now! We had a word with Jinal Patel who is a clinical nutritionist and dietician at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai to send across some tips for all mommies-to-be.
And she recommends these nine foods that you must eat during your pregnancy:
1. Haleem for iron
Do you know, 1 gram of haleem is equal to 1 gram of iron? Yes, that’s true. Haleem is a stew made from wheat, barley, lentils, and spices. If you are a non-vegetarian then you can add chicken to it as well but it isn’t a necessary ingredient. Patel says, “I recommend haleem to most of my clients as it is the best source of iron. I also recommend that they eat dates and jaggery to replenish folic acid in their body.”
2. Neembu pani for better absorption of iron
Consuming all that iron-rich food will only be effective if it gets absorbed properly and for that, you need vitamin C. She says, “Vitamin C is a must if you want your body to absorb all the iron you have eaten. For that, you can drink lemonade or you can also grate amla, soak it overnight in water, and drink it in the morning.”
3. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds for calcium
Do you know a woman needs around 1000 mg of calcium on a daily basis? For calcium, it is always suggested that you eat nuts and seeds. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are a great source of calcium and can be sprinkled on any of your meals. You can also add them in your daily bowl of cereals, suggests Ms. Patel.
4. A bowl full of cereals for energy
Jinal Patel says, “Cornflakes, muesli, or granola – eat whichever one you like but you must eat a bowl full of it every morning so that you can stay energized for the entire day.”
5. Dosa for nausea
“If you’ve been feeling nauseous then eating heavy meals is not advisable but you still need to replenish your body. Therefore, dosa is one such option that can help you deal with those vomit sessions”, says Ms. Patel.
6. Cinnamon tea for morning sickness
“Basically, cinnamon is known for its antiemetic and carminative qualities which helps in reducing the chances of feeling nauseated by stimulating the cell lining in the stomach. If you are not a tea fan then you can also keep a small cinnamon stick in your mouth to beat this feeling”, suggests Ms. Patel.
7. Have ghee but in moderation
Yes, ghee is important to eat during pregnancy but you don’t have to overdo it. Ms. Patel says, “I always recommend three teaspoons to all my clients when it comes to ghee. You can mix it in a bowl of dal or have it with roti.”
8. Fruits and salads to deal with gas and constipation
During pregnancy a lot of women complain about having gastric problems and some also deal with constipation which is because they don’t eat enough fibre. “Eating watermelon, sweet lime, pear, apple, cucumber are really very good for pregnant women. Consuming two to three fruits daily can help them deal with gas and constipated stomach. They can also eat yoghurt for better gut health”, says Ms. Patel.
9. Chicken, egg whites, and pulses for protein
“Protein is very important for a pregnant woman as she needs muscle mass for the growing baby. And for that, including chicken, egg whites, and pulses in your meal is non-negotiable. For vegetarians, I always suggest combining protein with a carb like cheese with bread, rice with milk in the form of kheer which will improve the absorption of the nutrient better,” says Jinal Patel.
“Lastly, I want to say that you should eat small and frequent meals if you are pregnant. Eating small meals won’t make you feel nauseous plus you will be able to absorb nutrients better. Also, it will help you avoid craving for all that junk and unhealthy food,” she concluded.
So, you’ve got your diet chart ready now. Follow it to keep yourself and your baby hale and hearty!