Your Complete Guide To Eating Healthy During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a blissful condition every woman yearns to experience at least once in her lifetime. But at the same time, this phase can bring about a host of doubts and worries as the body undergoes multiple changes in a short span of time.

The period is undoubtedly challenging as it puts the body under various forms of stress – emotional, physical and mental. Not only is it essential for the women to keep their fitness levels at their best while nurturing the baby in their womb, but also it is imperative to eat nutritional food to serve both the mother and the baby efficaciously.

Maintaining an optimum weight and fitness level during pregnancy goes a long way in helping the women combat the various complications associated with it while preventing several others during birth, postpartum and lactation periods. Additionally, it also helps battle every woman’s apprehension to achieve permanent weight loss after pregnancy.

Anaemia, intra-uterine growth retardation, pregnancy diabetes, hypertension, low liquor amnii volume and low birth weight infant, preterm labour are the most prevalent conditions associated with pregnancy.

So, here’s a comprehensive guide to the superfoods that help you nourish your baby during pregnancy while keeping you fit and healthy – pre and postpartum.

  • Vegetables and fruits: Green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach, lettuce are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals in proper amounts that help in the overall development of the baby’s body parts and avoid any birth disorders. Minerals like folic acid are essential for avoiding neural tube defects and other growth disorders, and are found in abundance in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, oranges, avocado, or fortified bread and cereals. It is also beneficial for you to incorporate the top foods that boost your immunity in your diet.
  • Legumes: Apart from vegetables, legumes are also rich sources of proteins that help build immunity and maintain optimum hormonal levels during all the pregnancy trimesters.
  • Whole grain foods: It’s best to consume high-fibre grains like multigrain bread, pasta, rice or cereal. Adding fibre to the diet helps prevent constipation which may get more troublesome as pregnancy proceeds due to the additional force exerted on the gut by the increasing size of the uterus.
  • Meat, fish and Poultry: Health Council, Queensland recommends 3 ½ serves of lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts/seeds or legumes/beans to deliver the protein requirement of the day. One serving ideally comprises of 65-80g cooked meat or poultry, 100g fish, 2 eggs, or 1 small handful of nuts/seeds. Poultry, red meat and tofu are rich sources of iron and help prevent iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Iodised Table Salt: Although an excessive amount of salt is best avoided, iodised varieties supply the much-needed iodine for preventing goitre and other disorders related to an underactive thyroid.
  • Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s advisable to consume the recommended foods in the right amounts during pregnancy. This not only ensures a healthy growth for the child but also an easy and rapid recovery for the mother.

Top Foods That Boost Your Immunity

“Everytime you eat or drink, you’re either feeding the disease or fighting it.” – Heather Morgan, MS, NLC.

Are you wondering why that annoying cold keeps coming back despite your best efforts to maintain hygiene? Well, you’re not alone. Thousands of individuals from around the world struggle with recurring illnesses every day. A healthy outside starts from the inside and the state of your immune system (your body’s natural defense mechanism) is mainly responsible for your disease-fighting capacity. Hence, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy and balanced immune system. One must learn how to eat healthy during pregnancy and other stressful conditions.

Australia has the highest life expectancy in the world, and the The Australian Burden of Disease Study states that 31% of the disease burden was preventable and due to modifiable reasons. Undoubtedly, your food choice, food ingredients, fitness level and lifestyle decide how effectively your immunity works for you. It’s never too late to embark on a journey towards sound health. It all begins with one thing – including the right foods in your diet. Foods that provide you with the essential nutrients that help you strengthen and maintain your inbuilt resistance to the diseases.

Here’s a comprehensive list of food items to aid you in boosting your immunity:

  • Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is known to tackle the recurring illnesses by enhancing the body’s resistance. Including citrus fruits to your diet such as tangerine, sweet lime, orange, limes, lemons etc. would assist you to stay away from common ailments especially during cold weather. Also, foods rich in vitamin A and E like bell peppers, carrots, kale and fish oils are known to enhance immunity.
  • Eggs: Eggs are the superfoods providing you with the beneficial nutritional elements such as Vit D, K, E and A. Vitamin D is believed to have immune receptors for the proper functioning of the immune system. Eggs also comprise of selenium and zinc that add an antioxidant value to your meal.
  • Turmeric: This aromatic spice is a superfood for a reason. With its fantastic anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric invariably makes it to the list of foods you should never miss if looking for an immunity hike. So, season your meats and cereals with this perfect ingredient and help your body fight against cold, cough, congestions and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Yogurt: To keep the gastrointestinal system working effectively and smoothly, it’s wise to add yogurt to your diet. Not only yogurt serves as a fat-free alternative to several other dairy products, but it also adds the gut-friendly bacteria to your system. Such foods, also called probiotics, uplift the colonies of the good bacteria residing in your intestines that assist in digestion.
  • Almonds: Almonds belong to the most neglected food category – nuts and oilseeds. Known to provide defense against viral illnesses, almonds help fat-soluble vitamins assimilate in the body. Approximately 46 whole, shelled almonds (half cup) serve the daily recommendation for vitamin D for an individual.
  • Tea (green/black): Flavonoids are the naturally occurring components found in plant sources and abundantly so in tea. Green tea retains a copious amount of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, a powerful antioxidant, as it is steamed and not fermented like black tea.
  • Chicken soup: Just another reason to relish that hot, simmering bowl of your favourite chicken soup – it’s the magic ingredients packed in it. Encompassing vitamins A and C, magnesium, gelatin and antioxidants, this delectable dish is a winner in fighting off the viruses.

Bonus: The chicken component renders it rich in amino acids that in turn act as building blocks for producing antibodies to fight diseases.

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. So, don’t ignore the disease relapses and prepare your body for fighting back the noxious organisms by enriching it with these superfoods.

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