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During pregnancy you will need calcium for your baby’s bones, proteins for the baby’s tissues and more iron so that the red blood cells can carry oxygen to your baby. To prevent neural tube-birth defects you will need to supplement your body with extra folic acid.
While pregnant, the body is affected by morning sickness or sometimes the body might be gaining weight too fast while sometime weight gain is a slow process. So, you need to provide your body power foods loaded with nutrients and which would provide the maximum essential nutrients with minimum bites.
Among the many nutrients that are essential for an expectant mother, is a vitamin B which is known as folic acid in its supplement form which plays a vital role in the formation of the baby’s brain and the nervous system. It also prevents neural-tube defects such as spina bifida, which is a birth disorder. Lentils are a storehouse of this crucial nutrient. Lentils are also loaded with vitamin B6, protein and iron. You can also take spinach which is rich in folate as well as in calcium, iron and vitamin A.
Your child needs calcium for the development of bones while you need calcium to keep your bones strong in order that the muscles and nerves can function effectively. What can be more effective than yogurt which is a storehouse of calcium? Calcium content in a cup of yogurt is as much as milk and it is also rich in protein and folate content. The “good bacteria” in yogurt helps to keep your digestive system in order and also prevents yeast infections which can be quite common during pregnancy. Since vitamin D boosts the absorption of calcium look for yogurt which is fortified with vitamin D.
Oats, rich in fiber, are especially helpful for those who are suffering from constipation during pregnancy. Packed with complex carbs, iron, B vitamins and a load of other essential minerals, oats are a great way to start your day. Make oats part of your everyday meal along with various other whole grains like rice, barley, wheat to name a few) to boost your intake of vitamins and other essential minerals. You can have oats also with pancakes, cookies, muffins and cakes.
Protein is an essential nutrient for pregnant women as they contain amino acids which are the building blocks of cells. Protein-rich food also stabilizes blood sugar and keeps hunger at bay. Hence, three servings of protein per day is very important. Lean meat, other than being a good source of protein, also contains iron, essential for the development of red blood cells in the baby. If you are a vegetarian, opt for iron-rich vegetables like cooked dry beans, dark leafy vegetables, lentils, tofu, dried fruit and quinoa.
Nuts are packed with vitamin E and an array of minerals from copper, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, calcium to selenium. Even though nuts have high fat content, the presence of these minerals make it worth eating. If you are not gaining quickly be liberal with nuts and if you are gaining go slow on them.
Eating right and choosing mineral-rich healthy food and nutrients when you are pregnant ensures that both your health as well as your yet-to-be born baby’s health are perfect. Click here to learn more about foods and nutrients for expectant mothers.
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