Woohoo! Congratulations you are going to be mommy soon. Anxious what your pregnancy diet should be like? So was I! Pregnancy diet plays an important role for the growth and the development of the baby. I still remember my mom, aunts and even my neighbours giving me advice for the best pregnancy diet. All adding to my confusion. And oh God, that morning sickness and nausea! Many times I was not able to eat the entire day. Sounds like you? Then keep on reading further to know more about the Indian pregnancy diet for the first trimester.
Foods that must be Part of Pregnancy Diet
The most crucial nutrients that you require during the first trimester are folic acid, iron and vitamin B6. Your gynaecologist will give you folic acid and vitamin B6 supplements. So please don’t think that these supplements will be enough. You need to eat foods rich in folic acid, iron and B6 as well. For first trimester, your pregnancy diet should include dried fruits such as apricots, figs, prunes and raisins. Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, beans, peas, lentils, legumes, okra, broccoli, soya. Also, raw coconut slices are abundant in nutrients. Especially the bananas, potatoes are good sources of B6.
Ginger and vitamin B6 may reduce nausea and vomiting for few ladies. Morning sickness is common and you will feel dizzy and really awful. And the worst part is that you will not able to eat anything. Although you want to. When I was in my second month, this is how I felt.
Whatever I put in my mouth, I used to vomit. Finally I came to know the three awesome solution. First, ginger, one of the best home remedy for morning sickness. Second, eating at regular intervals. Third, say no to caffeine(chocolates, tea and coffee). However, if you are addicted to your tea/coffee, please try to limit it to one cup per day. If your condition is like me, just eat what you like. Mind it – it has to be healthy. Always listen to your body. Stop eating if you don’t feel like eating anymore.
Spread out your Pregnancy Diet
I felt a lot more better and active when my diet was spread out through the day. You may have a look at the chart that I followed for my pregnancy diet. After an hour of having lunch it is advised to have an afternoon nap for a healthy mom and a healthy baby.
On looking at the chart, you will find that you have to eat after every two to two and a half hours. You can always add another mid meal as per your requirement. You may add it either before lunch or after lunch, with a gap of minium one hour. For this mid meal’s options, choose anything from that particular time meal. Another important thing to keep in mind is that if a option is given for morning mid meal, you have to eat it in the morning. The same goes for the evening mid meal and not vice versa. The timing of the meals are designed as per the ayurveda, keeping in consideration the body’s digestion. One more thing, please do not overeat. Always listen to your body and stop eating when you are full. It is fine if the food is left on your plate.
This chart will help you to have frequent meals. Thus, relieving the morning sickness and nausea! In the beginning of the article, I have given you few examples of the foods that must be part of the pregnancy diet. You have to include these foods, especially in your first trimester, wherever you see fruits/veggies/dals in the chart. It is completely fine if you don’t feel like eating a particular item. You don’t have to force yourself. Just eat whatever you feel like eating from the given options. Keep in mind – it has to be a healthy meal.
Foods to Avoid and Not to Avoid
Always remember, the pregnancy diet is a strict no to papaya and pineapple. No to ghee, but have homemade butter. Buttermilk forms an awesome nutritious drink. No to pickles, yes to murabbas like that of gooseberry(amla) ka murabba. In addition to this, always lay emphasis on the quality of diet. Along with the beat pregnancy diet, you need to stay active and have a healthy pregnancy. For this you may read How can You Stay Healthy and Active during Pregnancy.
Those of you are non-vegetarians, stick to chicken, avoid its liver. If you are a fish lover, make only low mercury fish as a part of your pregnancy diet. Also, you may eat these fish upto 2 times a week. High mercury fish include mackerel, bluefish, grouper(kalava in Malayali), sea bass(bhekti), tuna(ahi), shark and swordfish. Pregnant women are extremely sensitive to infections. Furthermore, the bacteria and viruses may threaten the well-being of the forthcoming baby. So please avoid any raw or undercooked or processed meat as these contain harmful bacteria. Don’t eat too much of red meats.
As a nutritionist, it is advised not to drink any of the packed juices or have biscuits. I preferred having the whole fruit. And ate homemade cashew coconut cookies made from whole wheat flour. Sometimes, 1:1 wheat:ragi flour. Nowadays my son loves to have them. And yes, most importantly remember always to eat freshly prepared meals.
Have a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy!