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Health

Updated on: Monday, November 01, 2021, 09:09 PM IST

Five healthy food items to be consumed during pregnancy

Eating a healthy and nutritious diet becomes a matter of concern and one needs to be extra cautious about her eating habits./Representative image |

Eating a healthy and nutritious diet becomes a matter of concern and one needs to be extra cautious about her eating habits./Representative image |

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A healthy pregnancy is critically important for the baby and mother. When a woman is pregnant, she needs to take extra care of what she is eating or drinking. Having a normal diet during that period is not sufficient alone and it becomes imperative for pregnant women and women with a high-risk pregnancy.

There are several factors that put a normal pregnancy into a high-risk category such as being too old or too young, high blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, history of multiple miscarriages, etc. As a result, eating a healthy and nutritious diet becomes a matter of concern and one needs to be extra cautious about her eating habits.

Many pregnant women think that one should eat twice as their normal diet but it actually means that a woman should eat only nutritious food to promote their health and baby’s development. There is a complete list of food that a woman should consume or avoid during her pregnancy.

Protein-rich food

Protein is the most integral group for a baby’s healthy development. Consuming a diet that is too low in protein can lead to deficiency during gestation. On the other hand, a high amount of protein in the diet can result in ammonia toxicity. Considering protein as one of the most vital parts of a mother and baby’s health, experts always recommend a balanced diet filled with healthy sources. Women with high-risk pregnancies can include salmon, chicken breast, eggs, kidney beans, lentils, walnuts, soybeans, greek yogurt, chickpeas, etc.

Whole grains

Whole grains are a good source of minerals, fiber and Vitamin B family. They are one of the most important groups for a baby’s healthy development and a good source of energy in pregnancy. During high-risk pregnancy, one needs to give up on refined carbohydrates such as white bread, junk food or highly processed desserts. Instead, one can have whole grain food such as wheat, oats, corn, barley, jowar, brown rice, etc. These are packed with good nutrition and fiber that reduces the risk of constipation and hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

Dairy food group

This is the third most important food group in high-pregnancy as no mother can take the risk of calcium or vitamin D deficiency. During pregnancy, a woman needs to have a strong and healthy body. Dairy food items such as milk, curd and cottage cheese are essential for a mother’s bone health and baby’s bone development. There are also a few dairy food items that a mother should add in diet – hard pasteurized cheese such as cheddar and parmesan and unpasteurized milk as they are good for the baby’s health.

Foods and vegetables

It is very common to believe that all fruits and vegetables are safe and healthy to eat. However, pregnancy is that period of life when the benefits of a few fruits can turn into side effects. The most nutritious fruits for women with high-risk pregnancies are apples, oranges, mangoes, avocados, lemon, bananas and berries. Nutrition experts recommend two to four servings of fruits per day to pregnant women. Besides this, vegetables such as sweet potato, broccoli, green and red bell peppers, spinach, tomato, etc form most of the nutrition for women pregnancy. Also please ensure sunlight exposure for half an hour daily for Vit D activation.

Plenty of water

Women in pregnancy need more water than a normal person. It is essential in order to produce extra blood, form amniotic fluid, repair old tissues and build new ones, carry nutrients and flush out toxins and waste. A pregnant woman needs to keep herself hydrated to decrease the chances of constipation, reduce swelling and increase energy. Furthermore, staying hydrated also results in decreased risk of urinary tract infection. It is recommended to have at least 2 liters of water every day. If a woman trips to the bathroom and sees colourless urine, that means her water intake is right on track.

Summing up

The choice of food in pregnant women determines the nourishment and health of the baby. However, every pregnancy is different when it comes to high risks. Thus, it is important to consult a good nutrition expert and focus on the diet as per your body's needs. Additionally, smoking and drinking habits should also be completely avoided to ensure a successful pregnancy.

(Dr. Sheetal Sachdeva, MBBS, DGO, DNB, is Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology, Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital - Moti Nagar, Delhi NCR)

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Published on: Monday, November 01, 2021, 09:09 PM IST
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