Nine Months: Moms-to-be, you've got your calcium, iron intake covered; what about iodine?

What’s right, what’s not? Fortunately, you can decide this for your little one growing inside. And because your baby is completely under your care, you’d go to great lengths to make sure your bundle of joy is doing fine during the pregnancy — even if it means passing over a bowl of potato chips for a serving of fibre-rich oats.

But why make it about all health and no taste, and deprive your taste buds? What if you could enjoy comfort food that’s also healthy? Take a cue from this delicious recipe that’s wholesome, satisfying, and downright yummy. And don’t forget a pinch of salt! We’ll explain why.

If you're looking for some inspiration on how to chart out your pregnancy diet, 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.

Dig Into Delicious Aka Healthy - Beetroot, Arugula, and Quinoa Salad

It’s not surprising that quinoa finds itself in the ranks of superfoods considering its rich nutrient profile. For pregnant mothers, this spells loads of nourishment and a generous serving of essential proteins. Proteins, popularly called the body’s ‘building blocks’ are essential for your baby’s development. If you’re vegetarian – this source of complete protein may just be a blessing in disguise!

And, this recipe’s has other heroes too! Beetroot is a source of folate, a highly absorbable form of folic acid. Because folic acid through supplementation is not completely absorbed by the body, consuming foods that naturally contain folate is the best way to tick this nutrient on your health chart.

Directions —

  • Boil a portion of quinoa for 9 minutes
  • Once cooked, sprinkle some lime over it
  • Next, lay the quinoa on the platter as the base for the recipe
  • Place beetroots cut in a shape with a hollow centre over the quinoa
  • Add sliced arugula leaves to the platter
  • As dressing on the leaves, drizzle a mixture of mustard and honey that will lend a delicious flavour and aroma to the arugula leaves
  • Garnish the arugula leaves with sliced malta or orange to give a tangy, refreshing zest to the salad leaves
  • Add sliced peaches as the next topping for a fruity aroma
  • As a final finishing touch, fill the hollowed beetroot pieces with hung curd, add a side serving of fresh carrot sauce, and top off the entire recipe with feta cheese or raw organic cheese

Tip —

  • If you’re unable to source malta, try orange instead
  • Use raw organic cheese as it’s high in iodine, a component essential for your baby’s brain development

After Calcium, Folate, And Iron...It’s Iodine

Iodine recommendation during your pregnancy may come as a surprise, considering this nutrient hasn’t made it to the news like its calcium, folate, and iron counterparts. However, as per the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency, mothers lacking in this nutrient may be jeopardizing their babies’ brain development. In this case we could borrow an example from adults suffering a deficiency, wherein symptoms like brain fog and poor memory are experienced. This is very true in many pregnant women too, forgetfulness being amongst the main issues associated with an iodine deficiency.

How Much Is Enough?

You need a healthy intake of iodine, but precisely how much of it? The daily recommendation for pregnant women is 220 micrograms; however, it’s important to consult your doctor before deciding on the quantity because every pregnancy is different. Salt is a good source of iodine. However, if you’re worried about shooting your salt intake, you could take the natural route by consuming foods rich in this element like cranberries and potatoes (unpeeled).

Why Iodine?

Iodine plays a bigger role than most of us can imagine. The nutrient is essential for normal thyroid functioning during the pregnancy process, which in turn is responsible for regulating your baby’s metabolism. Any deficiency could culminate into birth defects, a low intellectual quotient, besides other complications.

‘Put that salt down!’ others may sternly assert. However, wisdom lies in consuming it in moderation for its rich iodine content. Likewise, regulate what you eat, balance your meals with ingredients from every food group, and occasionally let your eyes twinkle at the sight of chilled homemade ice-cream!

Watch this episode of 9 Months for a more comprehensive discussion on how to incorporate iodine in your diet, and more.

Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 18:19:34 IST