On this World Food Safety Day, let us burst some myths around nutrition for pregnant women and list down some food products that can help in healthy fertility. Due to the lack of healthy eating and correct knowledge, women can suffer from nutritional deficiencies and a number of diseases like anemia, flu, uterine infections, etc. These can be prevented with healthy eating habits, ensuring the consumption of all the essential nutrients in the prescribed quantity.
Dieticians often suggest that eating a balanced diet during pregnancy is the best solution as there are no specific foods that promise a better pregnancy outcome.
In some parts of the world, it is believed that pregnant women should consume full-cream milk as it is more nutritious than low-fat milk. But, the fact is both types of milk are equally nutritious, but low-fat milk contains fewer calories and fats. Hence, low-fat milk is suitable for pregnant women.
You might have also heard people saying that cooling foods and citrus fruits lead to miscarriage. This is not true. It is very important to obtain optimal nutrition during pregnancy. There are people who depend on vitamin and mineral supplements to meet their pregnancy requirements. Supplements are not an essential part of the pregnancy diet. If a woman is consuming a balanced diet, supplements are not required.
There are a lot of myths about consuming seafood during pregnancy saying that the baby will suffer from rashes and other skin problems. Seafood is a good source of protein, zinc, and iron. There is no evidence of seafood consumption during pregnancy that leads to skin problems for the baby.
What to eat during pregnancy?
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A. Besides their nutritional content, sweet potatoes are delicious. They help in the baby’s development. The fiber content of sweet potatoes reduces blood sugar spikes and also improves digestive health. You can make oven fries by roasting sliced potatoes.
Nuts are full of essential vitamins and minerals along with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. All types of nuts have their own nutritional value. They all can fit well into the pregnancy diet. Out of all the nuts, walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and almonds are rich in calcium. Nuts can be consumed as a snack anytime or eaten with oatmeal or yogurt.
Fish is one of the best foods to eat during pregnancy. Since salmon is a cold-water fish, it is rich in DHA omega-3s. Eating fish can benefit the baby’s eyes and brain along with a dose of iodine and Vitamin D. Most seafood is rich in protein. When you consume them, make sure that they are well cooked, not raw. Salmon is important for bone health and immune function.
Consuming ghee during pregnancy does not have any ill effects on the health of the woman and baby too. Desi ghee prevents minor ailments and boosts immunity. Ghee, if consumed in adequate quantity will reap multiple benefits and will not cause weight gain or cholesterol. It nourishes the baby in the womb.
During pregnancy, a woman should refrain from consuming artificial sugar or free sugar. It’s not important to completely eradicate it, but the quantity consumed should not be excessive. Though artificial sugar and sweeteners can have ill effects if consumed in high amounts, one should prefer including natural sweeteners in the diet like jaggery.
With the above busted myths and mentioned foods, you can conclude that a balanced diet is essential during pregnancy. Apart from these 5 foods, there are numerous other food products like yogurt that are highly recommended by dieticians. A pregnant woman should always consult the dietician before deciding on the right diet for herself, especially in the case of supplements.
Today, on World Food Safety Day, we aim to spread awareness about the pregnancy diet and the myths that revolve around it, to reduce the chances of deficiency and diseases.