Thursday, July 11, 2013

Garbh Sanskar: Healthy Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Pregnant women often crave sweet things, but that doesn’t mean you have to give in to the cakes and chocolate.Getting the right balance during mealtimes is important while you’re pregnant, but don't forget about snacks too! They're just as vital to the healthy development of your baby and your changing body.

Broccoli: Ensuring you eat well during pregnancy has endless benefits for you and your baby.Its high in calcium. Calcium is a key to growing your little ones healthy bones,teeth, and muscle growth. It is also needed by a pregnant mothers body to store for use later on during breastfeeding. Not having  enough calcium can cause weakened bones in the mother.


Birth Defect Fighter:Are you pregnant? You really must eat broccoli. A cup of broccoli supplies 94 mcg of folic acid, a B-vitamin essential for proper cellular division because it is necessary in DNA synthesis. Without folic acid, the fetus’ nervous system cells do not divide properly.

  • Want that pregnancy glow? Then eat broccoli-its packed full of essential vitamins and minerals known for shiny hair and glowing skin.
  • eating vegetables such as broccoli during pregnancy may help protect your baby from certain cancers as an infant and throughout their lives.
  • It’s rich in iron. Low iron levels can cause anemia.
  • It can reduce your chances of your baby being born with a spinal abnormality such as Spina Bifida.
  • Due to it’s high fibre content and low sugar, broccoli helps fight the war on diabetes. The fibre helps keep blood sugar low.
  • Orange Juice:Not only is this juice high in vitamin C and folic acid, it's also a good source of potassium, which has been shown to help lower high blood pressure, a particular danger during pregnancy.

    Yogurt:A good source of protein, yogurt has more calcium than milk and also contains active cultures that reduce the risk of yeast infections, which are more common while you're expecting. Also, some people who are lactose intolerant can tolerate yogurt.

    Lentils: Like beans, lentils are a great source of folate and are rich in iron and protein. They're also full of fiber, which can help prevent constipation and subsequent hemorrhoids.

    Figs: Fresh or dried, figs have more fiber than any typical fruit or vegetable, more potassium than bananas, and plenty of calcium and iron.


    Bananas offer serious mood-lifting power, with their combination of vitamins B6, A, and C; fiber; tryptophan; potassium; phosphorous; iron; protein; and healthy carbohydrates.

    When you eat a banana, you'll get a quick boost from the fructose as well as sustaining energy from the fiber, which helps prevent a blood sugar spike and ensuing drop in energy and mood. Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, and vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into mood-lifting serotonin. Bananas are also a great source of potassium. Although potassium isn't directly related to mood, it's needed to regulate fluid levels and keep muscles working properly, which is important for feeling energized, a key factor for a sunny outlook. And finally, bananas also offer iron, which is crucial to producing energy and fighting fatigue.


    Best of all, bananas are available year-round and are easy to tote -- just make sure to pack them on top!

    Bananas are among the best when it comes to mixing and matching mood-boosting snacks. For a sunny smoothie, blend a banana with one handful of spinach, a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, and half a cup of apple juice. Spinach is one of the richest food sources of folate (vitamin B9) you can find, and flaxseed is full of omega-3s. When combined, these nutrients help maintain stable levels of brain serotonin.

    Power Foods:

    • Lentils (protein, fiber, and folic acid)
    • Eggs (protein, omega-3s, iron, and choline)
    • Asparagus (folic acid)
    • Citrus fruits (folic acid and vitamin C)
    • yogurt (protein and calcium)
    • Mango (beta-carotene, an antioxidant vital for skin and eye cell growth and immune function)
    • Fortified milk (calcium and vitamin D, which helps absorb it)


    You may have never heard of it, but choline is one of the new baby superfoods.  The nutrient is important for your baby's brain health and helps develop the hippocampus, which is essential for memory.
    You need 450 milligrams daily and can find it in eggs (250 mg per egg), soy-based foods (a half cup of roasted soybeans offers 107 mg), cauliflower (60 mg per cup).

    Choline is often classified as a water-soluble B vitamin, because it works closely with other B vitamins. It has the important function of keeping cell membranes fluid and, it helps cells communicate with each other more effectively. It also allows nerves to interact with muscles by forming part of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Choline is particularly important for a healthy liver and nervous system.Choline has been shown to play an important role in fetal and infant brain development, affecting the areas of the brain responsible for memory and life-long learning ability.


    The recommended daily intake of choline is higher for pregnant and breastfeeding women than it is for the general population because there is a high rate of transfer of choline from the mother to the fetus during pregnancy, and the mother to the infant during breastfeeding.

    pregnant and breast feeding women consume amount of dietary choline each day: 450/550  milligrams respectively

    Other good food sources of choline are soybeans, flaxseed, sesame seeds, oats, spinach, peanuts, lentils, butter, potatoes, cauliflower and bananas. 

    To take advantage of food sources of choline, start the day with a large egg and a bowl of oat or barley cereal with ground flaxseed and milk. Eat a snack of peanuts and make bananas your dessert of choice. Enjoy a dinner  with cauliflower and spinach. Whip up a meal with this combination of choline-rich foods, and you'll get more than enough of this overlooked essential nutrient.

    If you're not getting enough choline, make some changes to your diet, especially if you're pregnant. Choline has many important functions in the body, and you can get it naturally through foods.Food sources of choline are critical during pregnancy and early childhood since it plays a role in brain development.

    Because pregnancy affects your immune system, you and your unborn baby are more susceptible to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause foodborne illness. Even if you don’t feel sick, some “bugs” like Listeria and Toxoplasma can infect your baby and cause serious health problems. Your baby is also sensitive to toxins from the food that you eat.

    Wash hands and surfaces often
    Did you know that foodborne bacteria are invisible and can spread throughout the kitchen and get on cutting boards, utensils, sponges, countertops, and food? If eaten, harmful foodborne bacteria can cause foodborne illness. Keep your family unborn baby safe by keeping your hands, surfaces, and utensils clean. And, make sure fruits and veggies are washed thoroughly, too!


    Fruits & Veggies
    • Rinse raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water to help remove germs and soils. (Don't use soap, detergents, or bleach solutions.)
    • For thick or rough-skinned vegetables and fruits (potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, etc.), use a small vegetable brush to remove surface dirt. Try to cut away damaged or bruised areas on produce - bacteria can thrive in these places.
    Surface Safety
    • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils (including knives), and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next food.
    Sanitize It!

    Periodically sanitize kitchen countertops using a kitchen sanitizer. One teaspoon of liquid bleach per quart of clean water can also be used to sanitize surfaces. Leave the bleach solution on the surface for about 10 minutes to be effective.

    • Replace excessively worn cutting boards (including plastic, non-porous acrylic, and wooden boards). Bacteria can grow in the hard-to-clean grooves and cracks.
    • Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. Then, throw the germs away with the towels! If you use cloth towels, launder them often, using hot water. Note: Don't dry your hands with a towel that was previously used to clean up.
    Fridge TIPS
    • Clean your refrigerator regularly.
    • Wipe up spills immediately.
    • Clean inside walls and shelves with hot water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent; then rinse.
    • Once a week, check expiration and "use by" dates, and throw out foods if the date has passed.

    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)

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