Optimum nutrition during pregnancy is vital to give your baby the best start in life and beyond. Even the slightest nutrient deficiency during pregnancy can have a major effect on the health of your baby.
Sweet Potatoes : Sweet potatoes are full of nutritious fiber, vitamin B6, potassium (even more than bananas have!), vitamin C and iron, as well as copper and beta-carotene. Other foods offer many of the same nutrients, but we're singling out sweet potatoes for their beta-carotene -- an antioxidant that your body converts to vitamin A. And as you may recall, vitamin A plays an important role in the development of baby's eyes, bones and skin. Sweet potatoes are also a great way to meet your iron quota. Not only do these orange spuds contain iron, but they also have copper -- a mineral that helps your body absorb iron. So swap in sweet potatoes for your usual sides; they're great mashed or baked.
Oatmeal: Oats are filled with fiber, protein and vitamin B6.
Start your morning off right with a nice big bowl of oatmeal. Whole grains are great for keeping your energy levels up, especially if morning sickness has you feeling a bit drained. Plus, all that fiber will help with another pregnancy pleasantry: constipation. But the benefits don't just stop with mother. This convenient breakfast dish also contains protein and vitamin B6, both of which are important for baby's development. Bonus: Look for a variety that's fortified with iron, B vitamins and folic acid.
Choline is essential for normal functioning of all cells, especially those in the brain, liver, and the central nervous system. Choline works together with folic acid to promote proper nervous system (including the brain) during pregnancy, and preliminary evidence suggests that choline curbs the risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida, early in pregnancy.
Before pregnancy, you need 425 milligrams choline every day. During pregnancy, choline needs are 450 milligrams daily. If you breastfeed, get 550 milligrams every day. Don’t rely on supplements or prenatal pills. Most supply little or no choline, or contain a form that the body cannot readily use.
Many women begin pregnancy with a choline-deficient diet. Choline content is highest in animal foods, so women who avoid or limit eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood may be low in choline intake.
Here are some common foods with choline:
- Egg: 1 large, cooked : 125 milligrams
- Broccoli or cauliflower: 1 1/4 cups cooked: 40 milligrams
- Potatoes, mashed, dehydrated, granules with milk, dry form Choline: 55mg
- Potatoes, mashed, dehydrated, flakes without milk, dry form Choline: 55mg
- 100 g of chopped spinach contains 24.8 mg of choline
- 100 g of cooked broccoli has 40.1 mg of choline.
- 100 g of cooked brussel sprouts contains 40.6 mg of choline.
- Tomato paste provides 38.5 mg of choline per 100 g.
- 100 g of cooked green peas contains 27.5 mg of choline
- Raspberries contain 12.3 mg of choline per 100 g of the fruit.
- grape juice contains only 3.2 mg of choline per 100 g of fruit.
- Blackberries have 8.6 mg of choline per 100 g, blueberries 6.1 mg, cranberries 5.4 mg, strawberries 5.7 mg and kiwis 7.7 mg.
- 100 g of raw orange, which only has 8.4 mg of choline. Cantaloupes 7.5 mg and grapefruits 7.6 mg per 100 g of fruit.
- figs contain the highest levels of choline at 15.9 mg per 100 g. Apricots : 13.9 mg. Plums contain 10 mg of choline per 100 g, peaches have 6.1 mg, pears have 5.1 mg, but apples have only 3.4 mg of choline per 100 g of fruit.
- avocados contain 14.1 mg of the nutrient per 100 g of fruit. Bananas: 9.7 mg. Pineapples have 5.7 mg of choline per 100 g of fruit.
- Navy beans - 1/2 C cooked - 48 mg
- Tofu - 100 grams - 28 mg
- Almonds - sliced - 1/2 cup - 26 mg
- Peanut butter - 2 T - 20 mg
- 1/2 cup spinach: 240 mg
- 1 medium potato: 105 mg
- 1 cup cooked navy beans: 81 mg
- 1/4 cup pistachios: 20 mg
- 1/4 cup cashews: 21 mg
- Cereals, oats, instant, fortified, plain, prepared with water (boiling water added or microwaved):1.00 - cup, cooked:16.6 mg
- Bread: whole-wheat: 2 servings:1 slice: 14.8 mg
- Apples, raw, with skin: 1 large: 7.6 mg
The choline content in citrus fruits varies, but you would get more choline if you drink orange juice than if you eat the fruit. Frozen orange juice concentrate contains 20 mg of choline per 100 g of juice.
Some fruits also contain decent amounts of choline. Berries, particularly raspberries and blackberries, are some of the best types of fruits rich in this nutrient. Figs and apricots are considered to have high levels of choline as well. Grapes and raisins also contain small amounts of choline.
Other foods with choline include vegetables. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach contain high levels of choline, for example. Green peas, along with certain other legumes, are also considered to be rich in this nutrient.
Vegetarians can get the choline that they need from meat substitutes made from soy or tofu, which is made from soy milk. Soybeans and certain nuts are other types of foods with choline. Pistachios also have a lot of choline, as does wheat germ.
Since meat and eggs are a primary source of choline, certain vegetarians are at risk of becoming choline deficient. This is especially true for strict vegetarians who consume no animal products at all, including eggs and milk. While it is possible to get enough of this nutrient from fruits and vegetables, many vegans choose to take supplements that contain choline.
Did you know that what you eat during pregnancy can determine the health of your child into adulthood? Research shows that a good maternal diet can help to prevent diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity for your child later on in life? Not only that, your diet during pregnancy can even affect the health of your child’s children… your grandchildren.
Take care of your unborn baby.
The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)