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What to eat when pregnant? Here is a detailed list of best foods for pregnant women from our very own Indian kitchen! Go for it guilt free!
Are you excited and happy to welcome your little bundle of joy into this world? But I am sure along with the happiness you are also stressed about the extra care you have to take especially when it comes to the best foods for pregnant women.
The moment you find out you are expecting, advice comes in from people around you especially women around you. From Dadi-Nani’s age-old nuskhe to your own mother’s personal experiences. And while what works for one expecting mother, might differ from what works for others. There might be some truth and some good to that advice
But the one thing you will hear the most is that what you eat, the baby eats too. So eating good nutritious food becomes very important. Here I will share some common foods from your kitchen that have plenty of benefits during pregnancy.
When I was a kid I used to watch a show called popeye. Whenever he had to fight the bad guy Popeye would eat a can of spinach and become strong. And while I am not saying you should eat a whole can of spinach but adding it to your daily diet can fill you up with many beneficial nutrients like vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
The presence of iron in spinach also proves helpful if you suffer from anaemia, which during pregnancy is very common.
A bowl of palak paneer for dinner will provide you with the necessary nutrient without compromising on the taste or you can try this palak soup for a light meal.
Have you heard of methi ka laddoo? I know it sounds weird, methi and laddoo? But it is one of the most popular forms of laddoo in India, and on top of that, it is filled with so many benefits, especially if you are pregnant.
Along with being a great source of protein, iron, magnesium, and dietary fibre, Methi leaves are well-known to help lactating mothers with breast milk production. The seeds and leaves have both been used for ages to boost breast milk supply during and after the pregnancy.
Try this Methi Ke Laddoo Recipe, especially when those cravings strike.
Whenever the winter season used to come my mother would make these very tasty dishes like ghughni. She always used to tell me that matar is packed with various vitamins like A, B complex, and C. This makes them enough for pregnant women to get their daily vitamin intake.
You can also add boiled matar to your salad or make a soup and enjoy the ample vitamin benefits.
I always heard from my Dadi that eating gajar will improve my eyesight. Which is exactly what it will do for that little life in you carrying in you. This bright orange vegetable is crammed with beta-carotene nutrients, which the body converts to vitamin A. It is beneficial for a baby’s developing eyes, skin, and organs.
Have a glass of carrot juice in the morning or while gajar ka halwa in itself is not the healthiest choice you can try this Carrot Halwa Pancake Recipe which will do the same job of satisfying those sweet cravings.
Morning sickness is one of the worst side effects that you will be going through during your pregnancy. But there is something that might not only help you deal with it but will also serve as a sweet little tasty snack to munch on- Anjeer.
Anjeer contains Vitamin B6, which is essential in reducing morning sickness.
Anjeer is an age-old common Indian household ingredient. Along with being known for its sweet taste, It is a rich source of calcium that can help strengthen the bones of the fetus as well as of the mother.
Try this sweet Anjeer and mixed nut barfi for dessert or for those sweet cravings during your pregnancy.
Who doesn’t love the good old Chola-Bhatura, while Bhatura which is made of maida might not be the most healthy choice during pregnancy, but you can still gain a lot from eating chickpeas or chana.
Chickpeas or Chana fall under the category of very common household ingredients. They provide proteins, minerals, and folic acid which are all essential during pregnancy. It is also great for a baby’s development and to maintain the body tissue and muscles.
Make yourself a bowl of this amazing Chole-Chaat for snacks and enjoy all the beneficial nutrients.
Protein is one of the most important nutrients during pregnancy. And if you are a vegetarian, then paneer will have you covered in the protein department. Paneer is a rich source of calcium and first-class protein and thus, making it beneficial for the formation and development of your baby’s teeth and bones.
So make yourself some paneer paratha or a bowl of paneer bhurji and enjoy the delicious taste as well as benefits of paneer.
Yes, you can!
Eggs are the ultimate health food in pregnancy, as they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need and also are the most common breakfast. It is easy to make and has various versions that you can cook it in.
A large egg contains about 80 calories, high-quality protein, fat, and many vitamins and minerals. So Sunday ho ya Monday Roz Khao Ande, especially when you are pregnant.
Have some eggs for breakfast or you can try this recipe for tasteful Egg curry with Spinach and Chickpeas that you can have for dinner to fulfil your daily dose of protein.
For non-vegetarians along with eggs, chicken is also a good source of protein. It is packed with proteins and nine essential amino acids – both of which are the building blocks of muscles.
But you must remember to cook the chicken consumed by pregnant women properly.
You can add some boiled chicken to your salad or make these healthy chicken recipes to have a delicious yet protein-packed meal.
For all vegans, don’t worry you won’t be deprived of proteins during pregnancy. For you, soya bean here proves to be a great option. Soybean is a good source of plant protein.
You can add it to your salad or try this Soya Upma recipe for a light snack.
I know that whenever anybody thinks of oats, they think of bland tasteless food, I know I do. But add some fruits to a bowl of oats and it will provide not just a tasty light bowl for a snack but is also a good source of energy.
Carrying the extra weight can drain a lot of energy and stamina from you. A small serving of oats carries sufficient carbohydrates and calories that can boost your energy.
Make yourself a bowl of oats and fruit for breakfast or try this oats roti recipe to try with any sabzi.
One of the biggest problems that women face during pregnancy is constipation. The high amount of fibre in raisins can save you from this. It promotes laxative tendencies by absorbing water from your body which helps make your bowel moment smoother.
Raisins are also high in calcium and iron which help make the baby’s bones stronger. Thus, making it healthy food to consume during pregnancy.
The sweet taste is also a plus point.
My mother’s voice still keeps ringing in my head every day when I come home, “Eat a banana, it is good for you!” And when have mothers been wrong?
Rich in potassium, bananas are one of the best fruits, especially during pregnancy, it is a quick remedy for nausea and vomiting, which are common during pregnancy.
Other benefits which make banana one of the best foods for pregnant women are it is a rich source of antioxidants, increases appetite, and boosts digestion.
So have a banana daily or you can make yourself healthy banana appams.
Mothers and grandmothers throughout centuries have advised expecting mothers to consume ghee to maintain a healthy diet (and also so that the kid is born golu-molu and chubby, I don’t know how true is that though!)
Desi Ghee is one of the most important ingredients in every Indian household and also one of the healthiest known fat. I used to eat a spoonful of ghee just by itself when I was young. During pregnancy you could include ghee in your diet by drizzling a little bit on a bowl of dal or putting it on roti or just, in general, substituting it for oil.
You can also make yourself some tasty Panjeeri with Desi Ghee and enjoy the taste as well as the benefits of ghee.
I have already talked about many protein sources but the most common one has to be yoghurt. But along with being rich in protein, yoghurt is also rich in calcium as well which is also a necessary nutrient for the growing fetus, and for you to keep bones strong and help nerves and muscles function.
Yoghurt is one of the best food as it contains as much calcium as milk and it also makes for a great snack, and its easy availability to everyone is also a plus.
Plain varieties are a better choice than flavoured ones since they’re free of added sugars, but if you want a little bit of taste you can add fruits and nuts to your bowl of dahi or check out some easy dahi recipes here!
And while we are talking about the best foods for pregnant women let’s also talk about some food you should stay clear off –
For a detailed list click here.
Taking care of what you eat can be stressful at this time in your life. In this phase, you have to take the best care of yourself, because if you are healthy then only the life inside will you be healthy too.
You will be told many things like ‘you are eating for two people now’ but always remember to listen to your body, how it reacts to foods, and how much food feels sufficient to you to avoid common pregnancy problems like constipation.
To support your baby’s development and have a healthy pregnancy, including these best foods for pregnant women in your diet. And listen to women around you, there might be some great advice hidden in there.
Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice. Before proceeding, please check with your doctor or dietician if you are facing any health issues.
Image source: Lisovskaya/graytown from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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