During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through significant changes. It needs more energy to stay strong and healthy and take care of the baby growing inside. Research suggests that women must consume 350 to 500 extra calories daily when pregnant. The best gynaecologist in South Kolkata has enlisted some superfoods that will help pregnant women stay healthy.
- Eggs: Eggs are a great source of vitamins, calcium, proteins, and minerals. They are also rich in choline, a nutrient that, along with other essential nutrients, plays a crucial role in developing the baby’s brain and spinal cord during pregnancy. Eating just one serving of eggs can fulfil 90% of the extra protein that women need during pregnancy.
- Whole grains: Doctors recommend eating whole grains like millet, quinoa, and brown rice, all of which are rich in dietary fiber. Eating these whole grains helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, thus lowering the risk of gestational diabetes. Pregnant women must have at least three servings of whole-grain foods every day.
- Green leafy vegetables: These are superfoods packed with essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, which boost one’s immunity and digestion and prevent constipation. When expecting a baby, women should focus on getting leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Experts recommend consuming a varied range of vegetables for optimal nutrition. Although it’s generally safe to eat raw vegetables, women must strictly avoid raw sprouts like radish and mung beans, as they are likely to carry harmful bacteria.
- Milk: Research indicates that mothers who consume milk during pregnancy have babies with a higher birth weight. Both cow and goat milk are excellent choices because they are rich sources of protein, calcium, and vitamin A. A reputed female gynae in South Kolkata warns against consuming raw or unpasteurized milk while pregnant. These products might harbour bacteria that could risk your and your baby’s health.
- DHA rich diet: Cod and Salmon are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid which is beneficial for the heart health and development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds, loaded with copper, vitamin E, and manganese are some other rich sources of DHA.
- Iron-rich foods: Women must eat pregnancy-friendly, iron-rich foods such as fully-cooked red meat, chicken, salmon, cod, and tuna. Plant-based sources of iron include beans, lentils, spinach, and broccoli.
- Fruits: Fruits like bananas and oranges are packed with antioxidants, vitamins like folate and Vitamin C, carbohydrates, and potassium. Because of their high fiber content, they help in alleviating the common issue of constipation during pregnancy.
- Nuts: These are loaded with good fats, proteins, fiber, and essential minerals. Varieties like almonds, walnuts, and dates are known to lower the risk of premature labour and support the development of your baby’s nervous system.
- Water: Water plays a crucial role in delivering nutrients to the fetus through the bloodstream. The recommended daily guideline is to consume 8 to 10 glasses of water, including the water content in your food. This becomes even more important in the last trimester because dehydration can trigger contractions leading to pre-term labour. Adequate water intake also helps dilute your urine, reducing the risk of bladder infections and preventing constipation.
The best gynaecologists in South Kolkata advises women to incorporate these superfoods in their diet to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.