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Diet During Pregnancy: Nutritional Needs, What To Eat & What Not To

Diet during pregnancy is one of the important aspects about which a woman needs to be aware. This requires certain amount of understanding of what the body needs, in terms of nutrients, during pregnancy.

In this video Dt. Aarohi Tyagi, M.Sc. Food & Nutrition explains and simplifies the kind of diet a woman should have during her pregnancy and how the food habits should accommodate when the body is carrying a new life.

Planning The Diet During Pregnancy

Is there an ideal diet

Dt. Aarohi tells us that this question of ‘What is an ideal diet during pregnancy’ is very common among women. The expecting mothers have a very basic tendency to know of what they should eat during pregnancy. She explains that there is no ideal pattern of diet which is to be followed, or there are no set rules which are mentioned that is prescribed. The kind of food which you have been eating so far and the food you have been grown on eating can be continued. Yes, an additional chapati, or an additional cup of curd or yogurt is what is needed by the body. This is obviously because the nutritional needs of the body have increased. But bingeing overnight just because a new life has entered into you, that is not recommended at all.

What are the nutritional needs of the body during pregnancy

Dt. Aarohi explains that during pregnancy the nutritional needs of the body increase, in terms of macro nutrients and micro nutrients. This essentially means that you need more of protein, carbohydrates, fat, calcium, iron and other vitamins and minerals in your diet.

So to have a nutritionally good and balanced diet a simple rule can be followed while having your meals. The rule, in a lay man’s language, can be explained as that whenever you sit down to eat just think that your plate of the meal should have all the colours in it. By colours it is meant that the plate should have a ‘green colour’. That can be in the way of green leafy vegetable such as spinach, saag or home cooked cabbage vegetable. It should have a ‘red or a yellow colour’ as well. This could be a carrot, home cooked pumpkin vegetable, or beetroot. There should be the ‘white colour’ too. This can be in the form of curd, or milk during breakfast, or paneer. Then it should include a cup of home cooked lentils along with rice or roti, with whatever you are comfortable.

Also it should be noted that a vegetarian does not need to start having non-vegetarian food items. In the same manner, a non-vegetarian can continue to eat egg, chicken or fish even if you are pregnant.

Certain points which you can keep in mind while planning your diet during pregnancy

  1. Try to eat, as much as possible, fresh and home cooked food.

  2. Avoid junk food as it is empty in nutritional value. This means that the junk food does not provide any nutrition whatsoever to you, which your body requires more during this time.

  3. Have medium spiced food and less-to-no oily food. This is primarily because during this period you will have a lot of gastric problems such as issues in digestion, or constipation. So in order to combat these issues it is preferred have the kind of food which will contain less spices and oil.

  4. In case you are having any supplements or if there are any medical issues such as blood pressure, thyroid problems, or maybe PCOD associated with you pregnancy then consult your physician or a licensed clinical nutritionist before planning the diet yourself.

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