Anemia in Pregnancy
Many pregnant moms suffer from Anemia. Which is why, a right diet is essential to meet the requirements of your pregnant self.
Because of the increased demands on your body and the increase in blood volume, anemia is a very common condition in pregnancy. However, low iron may make you feel exhausted, have headaches, get dizzy and have other symptoms of anemia. Eating iron-rich foods therefore can help prevent or combat anemia in pregnancy and postpartum.
Foods to stock up on when trying to up your Iron intake:
- Dark, leafy greens (spinach, methi, chowli, amaranth, dill, kale, etc.)
- Dried fruit (apricots, prunes, raisins, figs)
- Eggs (yolk)
- Meat (red meat, liver, etc.)
- Fortified cereals and grains
These foods can help prevent and alleviate anemia. The advantage of getting your iron through your food is that you can typically absorb it better than, when you take pills and supplements. Also, food does not cause intestinal distress that some supplements can.
The easiest way is to munch on these foods through the day. Eat a salad with different types of lettuce, have a spinach soup, methi parathas for snack or breakfast. Snack on a few dried apricots in the afternoon. Add a few raisins or figs to your breakfast.
This should help you meet your iron requirements.
Low Protein in Pregnancy:
Muscle fatigue, frequent infections, weight loss, and severe fluid retention can be signs that you're not getting enough protein in your diet.
Some good sources of Protein:
Depending on your weight, a pregnant woman needs 40 gms to 70 gms of Protein each day. 70 grams of protein is approximately 1 glass Milk, 2 bowls yoghurt, ½ cup paneer, 2 cup lentils (rajma / chole / brown chana / whole green moong), 1 cup oats. Animal proteins include 1 Egg, 1 palm size piece of chicken or fish.
Aim to eat an average of the recommended amount of proteins over the course of a week.
Peas, Spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, green capsicum, cucumber, kale, asparagus, cabbage, moong sprouts, pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanut butter, almonds are all very good vegetarian sources of protein.
Try to focus on consuming at least 3-4 servings of protein through the day for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.
Low Calcium in Pregnancy:
The level of maternal calcium affects the bone mineral density of the fetus and newborn. You need 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day before, during, and after pregnancy.
Some good sources of calcium:
- Milk and other dairy products are main sources as well as fish and calcium-fortified juice, soy beverages.
- Dried figs, dates
- Plain low-fat yogurt
- Processed cheese
- Nonfat milk
- Calcium-fortified soy milk
- Whole milk
- Calcium-fortified orange juice
- Cottage cheese
- Raw kale
- Turnip greens, broccoli, spinach
- Greens like bok choy, romaine lettuce, others
To meet your daily calcium requirements, take a separate calcium supplement especially if you aren't getting enough from your diet. Do remember that your body can only absorb up to 500 mg of calcium at a time. Take your supplemental calcium in smaller doses, several times a day along with Vitamin D for better absorption of calcium.
Supplemental calcium comes in different forms, most commonly calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium citrate is most easily absorbable. Because this type doesn't require stomach acid for absorption, it can be taken between meals.
Try consuming one calcium rich food for each meal. Eg: Having a glass of milk, 2 cups of yoghurt, 2 cups of green leafy vegetables (Fish for non vegetarians) along with a calcium supplement will help you meet your daily calcium requirements.
Make sure your total intake of calcium from food, supplements, and water doesn't exceed 2,500 mg. Too much calcium can cause constipation, increase your risk of kidney stones, and might hinder your body's absorption of iron and zinc from foods.