5 Pregnancy Superfoods For Expecting Mothers
This Mother’s Day, Breath & Beats is exclusively catching up with nutritionist Sheryl Salis. She’s got a checklist of pregnancy superfoods all mothers-to-be must have! While every mom is a supermom, those preparing to embark on this journey need some extra dietary guidance.
5-Point Rule of a Pregnancy Diet
A healthy lifestyle and a balanced nutritional diet are very important for a woman who is going to be a mother. She needs to eat foods that boost her lactation, strengthen her immunity, and provide her body energy. Here are five quick rules an expecting mother should follow when planning her meals:
- In terms of portions, all you really need is 300 extra calories a day.
- Eat by colours. Be sure to include something green (leafy vegetables), something red or yellow (carrots, dal), and something white (paneer, roti, rice) in every meal.
- Eat fresh food that you’ve grown up eating. Your body has spent years learning to digest these foods and deriving their nutrients.
- Digestion issues like flatulence, constipation, gas and heart burn from acidity are common during pregnancy. Prevent these problems by eating food that is less oily and not spicy.
- Consult a nutritionist on whether you need supplements. Prenatal vitamins are can help you fulfil your folate, iron, vitamin D, magnesium and probiotics requirement.
Importance of Superfoods During Pregnancy
India has always been a superpower when it comes to superfoods. Superfoods are a strong source of either protein, healthy fats, vitamins, or antioxidants. They are proven to treat many health ailments. In fact, nutrient-packed pregnancy superfoods can help expecting mothers and the baby stay healthy. They even help boost the mother’s immunity and prevent deficiencies.
5 Pregnancy Superfoods for Expecting Mothers
1) Coconut oil
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is an oil source containing high concentration of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). Consuming it can reduce food cravings, boost energy levels and help trim abdominal fat. It even benefits breast-feeding mothers as the MCTs found in the oil are similar to the fats found in breast milk. The oil also improves the baby’s immunity.
Believed to be ‘the mother of all grains’, this superfood is gluten-free and a complete protein. Quinoa contains twice as much fibre as other grains. It helps cut down the risk of hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Quinoa is rich in copper, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. It is a versatile grain which can be substituted for rice during lunch or dinner. It can also be made part of your breakfast through poha, upma, or even a porridge.
Moringa oleifera, also known as drumstick tree, is considered a superfood because of its various health benefits. It boosts immunity, reduces inflammation and is antimicrobial. The powder obtained from Moringa leaf extracts is also beneficial in the upkeep of your heart health. It is especially helpful when it comes to controlling cholesterol, blood pressure and formation of plaques in the artery. You can use Moringa and make it into a soup or vegetable. You could also simply sip on a cup of Moringa tea.
4) Buckwheat – The lesser known among pregnancy superfoods
Buckwheat is neither a cereal or a wheat product. It is actually a fruit seed that comes from the buckwheat plant. Also commonly called the beech wheat plant, buckwheat is related to rhubarb. Nutrient-rich and gluten-free, it supports heart health, reduces blood pressure, aids weight loss, and helps manage diabetes. It can also help improve digestion and strengthen the immune system during pregnancy.
5) Amaranth seeds (Rajgira)
Amaranth is usually eaten in India during a fast. It is gluten-free and also a good source of protein. Many vegetarians and vegans use amaranth to meet their protein requirement. Packed with higher amounts of calcium as compared to milk, this superfood is very good for pregnant women. A consistent intake can also help prevent osteoporosis later in life.