Pregnancy is an important stage in a woman’s life and healthy lifestyle changes are important at this time for well-being of both mother and the child. A balanced and nutritious diet with essential vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrate, iron and other micronutrients and antioxidants is important. During pregnancy, the body’s nutritional needs naturally go up making it important for mothers to choose the right foods for them. Certain foods like spinach, avocado, Greek yogurt, and berries, are packed with essential nutrients and provide a wide range of benefits for both the mother and the developing baby. Incorporating healthy foods into the regular diet can contribute to a healthier pregnancy, reduce the risk of complications, and ensure that both mother and baby receive the nourishment they need. (Also read: Pumpkin seeds: Amazing health benefits; ways to add them to your diet)
“Pregnancy is a miraculous journey that requires utmost care and attention to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. One of the most impactful ways to support this journey is through a balanced and nourishing diet. Enter superfoods – nutrient-packed powerhouses that offer a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to promote a healthy pregnancy,” says Manpreet Kaur Paul, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Faridabad.
Here are top 5 superfoods that can make a significant difference in nurturing a radiant and vibrant pregnancy.
Spinach is often hailed as a nutritional powerhouse, and it certainly earns its place on the list of superfoods for pregnancy. Packed with vitamins, particularly folate, iron, and calcium, spinach plays a crucial role in preventing birth defects, supporting the growth of the baby’s bones, and maintaining maternal energy levels. Folate is especially vital during the early stages of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. You can enjoy spinach in various ways such as in salads, smoothies, omelette or sautéed as side dish.
Salmon, a fatty fish, is a treasure trove of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA. These essential fatty acids are fundamental for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes. Omega-3s also help reduce the risk of preterm birth and provide anti-inflammatory benefits for the mother. The high-quality protein found in salmon is vital for the development of baby’s organs, muscles and tissues. Protein is an essential building growth of the developing foetus particularly during the second and third trimester when rapid growth occurs. Salmon is also a natural source of Vitamin D which is essential for the absorption of calcium and development of strong bones. Salmon’s exceptional nutritional content, including omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D and B Vitamins makes it a standout superfood for pregnant women.
Avocado is not only creamy and delicious but also an excellent source of healthy fats, fibre, and an assortment of essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, folate, and vitamin K. The healthy fats in avocados support the baby’s brain development, while the potassium helps maintain proper blood pressure for the mother, reducing the risk of preeclampsia. Furthermore, its high fibre content alleviates common pregnancy discomforts like constipation and helps regulate blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of gestational diabetes. Avocado’s impressive array of vitamins including Vitamin K, E and C promotes healthy skin, immune function and blood clotting. Easy to incorporate into various dishes avocado’s offer a delicious and convenient way for expectant mothers to enhance their nutrient intake.
4. Greek yoghurt
Greek yogurt is a pregnancy superfood that delivers a double punch of protein and probiotics. It is a rich source of high-quality protein, crucial for the baby’s organ and tissue development. What makes it particularly beneficial is its probiotic content, aiding in digestive health and potentially reducing pregnancy related gastrointestinal issues. Moreover, its protein and low sugar content makes it an excellent choice for managing blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Adding Greek yoghurt to the diet provides a delicious way to ensure essential nutrients, making it an excellent choice for expectant mothers seeking to nourish themselves and their growing baby.
Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, are a colourful and delightful addition to any pregnancy diet. They are rich in antioxidants, fibre, and vitamin C. The abundant source of Vitamin C, crucial for the collagen formation, supports the development of baby’s skin and connective tissues. Berries also provide a substantial amount of dietary fibre, aiding in digestion and helping prevent the common pregnancy discomfort of constipation. What sets berries apart as superfoods is their antioxidant content, particularly anthocyanins and quercetin. These antioxidants serve as protective shields for cells, bolstering the immune system, and reducing inflammation—a significant advantage during pregnancy when the body is more susceptible to infections. Berries are incredibly adaptable and can be effortlessly integrated into a pregnancy diet.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com