Nine Months: How to eat right when you're eating for two — a pregnancy diet guide

What foods should you eat during pregnancy, and what must you avoid? | #FP9Months

FP Staff October 11, 2017 15:36:29 IST

Eat for the baby, that’s what your doctor would advise you. But are you eating right?

It’s common knowledge that your little one thrives on the nutrients you consume during pregnancy. Which is why, getting your dose of vitamins and minerals from organic food is important. Why organic? You may ask.

It’s simple; organic produce is natural, grown without the intervention of chemicals, and nurtured with non-synthetic fertilisers. And as a concerned parent, we bet this makes a world of difference to you!

The same goes for grains and bread. Particularly if bread is the only thing that doesn’t induce vomiting, you know it takes a pedestal in your kitchen. However, this arouses all the more worry as preservatives and a high-glycemic index are part most of the bread variants you find!

Hence, organic!

If you’re worried about structuring your pregnancy diet, you could follow Firstpost's show Nine Months — a visual how-to survival guide that brings experience, knowledge and perspective to mothers so they can follow a reliable and singular narrative on pregnancy and parenting.

Organic Vegetables – The Healthier Option

Organic vegetables are simple to prepare and still pack a good dose of nutrients. Make sure you’ve added kale,bok choy, spinach, and cabbage to your shopping basket. These have in common, a high content of calcium, folic acid, and iron, which are the building blocks for your baby’s health. Vegetables are excellent sources of fibre and promote colon health. Buying them fresh and organic ensures your body uses the phytochemicals in them to reduce oxidative stress, a sharp contrast to non-organic veggies that are sprinkled with harmful chemicals.

Tip: Sprinkle lime over green leafy vegetables to promote iron absorption.

Sweet Goodness Of Fruits

You cannot say no to a sweet treat, especially when it’s the healthy kind. Consider fruits a blessing in disguise just when you thought you had to give up everything sweet. But tread with caution; it’s best to pick fruits that are high in fibre, have a rich nutrient profile and are low in sugar like apples, pears, oranges, and sweet limes. Two fruits a day would be the ideal. If you love fruits that fall in the high-sugar category, it’s best to consume them only twice a week.

Tip: Make sure you eat your fruits in the first half of the day. When you consume them after your second meal, the sugar content from them tends to get stored as fat. This puts you at risk of weight gain and consequently gestational diabetes.

Protein-Rich Meat

If your diet has been a balance of meat and plant food so far, there’s no need to discontinue non-vegetarian options because you’re pregnant. Meat contains protein, an essential macronutrient. However, it’s best not to go overboard. Limit your options to lean sources like chicken and fish. While you can consume chicken more often, restrict your serving of fish to six ounces every week. Balance your protein intake by including skimmed curd, goat cheese, and other low-fat dairy products.

Tip: Beware of meat from animals injected with steroids or laced with preservatives. Opt for organic meat from certified stores that oversee both hygiene and quality.

A Good Dose Of Natural Calcium With Dairy

Calcium is a highly recommended mineral for every pregnant woman. However, while your doctor may provide supplements to combat a deficiency, it’s best to consume the mineral through food sources to facilitate better absorption. Try homemade skimmed curd and skimmed paneer. If you’re pressed for time with work commitments to attend to, try a host of healthy, ready-to-eat variants found in your nearest organic food store.

Tip: While cheese is a source of calcium, it’s best to moderate it as it’s also high in fat.

Staying away from binge eating is important. Moderate your portions. Understand that cravings are associated with psychological reasons than physiological needs. And more importantly, don’t give up on exercise; it’s proven to improve mood, prevent gestational diabetes, and reduce aches and pains.

Watch this episode of 9 Months for a more comprehensive discussion on what foods to eat during pregnancy, and which ones to avoid, and be on your way to motherhood — healthy and hearty!

Updated Date: