A well-balanced outlook to nutrition has far reaching benefits for a long and healthy life. Eating right is important for all of us throughout our lives, but ladies who are planning to become moms or are pregnant need to pay attention to their dietary needs a little bit more. The extras are needed for foetal growth, maternal tissue expansion during pregnancy and for milk secretion during lactation. Eating healthy helps the baby develop and grow healthy. Research has confirmed that the health of an individual is determined by the health of a mother even before conception and that eating patterns have a direct effect on the long term health of a child - from womb to grave. Getting it right during this phase in a woman's life is not all that tough. Nature provides us with enough and more foods loaded with nutrients and health benefits. The density of crucial nutrients may vary in different foods, but it's all easily available around us. So, all that you need to do during pregnancy is have a wide variety of fresh ingredients to ensure wholesome nutrition for the baby and yourself.
What To Eat When You Are Pregnant | Pregnancy Diet | Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy which is the most important nutritional requirement for our bodies to function at an optimal level. In addition to calories, healthy carb sources also provide vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals and healthy fibre.
Choose Healthy Carb Sources Over Empty Calories During Pregnancy
Unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains like wheat, barley, ragi, oats, bajra and corn are good options to choose from for your pregnancy diet. Legumes, milk, vegetables and whole fruits are also healthy sources of energy rich carbohydrates.
Proteins To Eat During Pregnancy
Proteins are the most important building block of every cell in our body. Pregnant and lactating mothers need a higher amount of protein for the ever increasing volume of blood component in the mother and for optimal development of the baby. NIN (National Institute of Nutrition) suggests an additional 0.5g protein for the first trimester, 6.9g for the second and 22.7g for the third trimester, respectively.
Sources of Protein: Animal proteins are a better quality because they contain all the 9 essential amino acids needed by our body. Lean unprocessed meat, chicken, fish and eggs are all sources of quality protein. In the vegetarian section milk, cheese, paneer and other milk products are the top-of-the-list choices. Legumes and lentils, especially when taken in combination with whole grains assures better quality protein and is enough to provide for healthy protein intake. Nuts and seeds are another source of healthy proteins.
Dairy Products During Pregnancy
Dairy products provide the most important Calcium for a mother-to-be. Calcium is a mineral that the growing foetus requires for proper formation of bones and teeth. Milk is also an essential nutrient for children.
Fruits and vegetables provide the body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They help alleviate constipation, a common problem during pregnancy, by adding roughage to the diet. This also helps in better digestive health which means better absorption of nutrients.
Recommended amounts are 5 serving of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies daily.
Fats & Sugars During Pregnancy
Fats and sugars are required to meet the daily calorific targets, though many pregnant women may end up consuming more than is required. The trick lies in selecting the right source and, of course, in the right quantity. Excessive intake of high fat and sugar foods adds up to empty calories which further leads to unhealthy weight gain. Too much of saturated fats may increase your risk of cardiac diseases too.
Sources of healthy fats are peanut oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil, mustard oil, linseed oil and desi ghee in moderation.
Balancing each meal will help you eat your quota of all essential nutrients.
In the third trimester small frequent meals may be a better option.
Snacking healthy is another way of achieving your nutritional goals. Instead of just reaching out for ready-to-eat snacks choose the traditional homemade ones like ladoo, panjiri, mathis made fresh in small batches. These are still high-fat and sugar-foods so limit the quantities. Other snacks you can choose are roasted nuts, popcorn, bhelpuri, grilled paneer tikka, bhuna chana, dhokla, multigrain bread sandwiches.
Eat healthy, eat tasty and enjoy the most happy part of your life.
It is a universally known fact that milk is good for your health, unless you are lactose intolerant. But have you ever taken a close look at what milk really accomplishes for your body? Knowing about the medical advantages of consuming milk can also inspire you to include this nutritious item in your diet on a regular basis.
1. Astonishing Complexion
A glowing complexion is everyone's dream and milk keeps your skin to stay supple, delicate and sparkling. This is because of the numerous vitamins and nutritional supplements it contains. Drinking about two glasses of milk every day can offer you this benefit in a wonderful way.
2. Solid Teeth
Milk is a powerhouse of calcium, and that is precisely what your teeth need. Milk also helps in avoiding depression and tooth rot. Along with calcium, vitamin D is also extremely important for your body, so ensure that the milk you drink is laced with vitamin D.
3. Solid Bones
You already know that children need to drink milk regularly to build healthy bones and it is also good for their overall development. But grown-ups also need it to keep their bones solid, which will lessen the danger of osteoporosis. Once more, this advantage originates from the calcium found in milk, and also vitamin D which retains the calcium in the body.
4. Muscle Growth
Milk can enhance muscle development in a very effective way. This is because of the protein found in milk. Numerous athletes and health freaks drink milk after workout, as it gives their body the vital supplements needed for recuperation. Milk also forestalls muscle soreness and recharges the liquids that are lost through physical exertion.
5. Weight reduction
Studies have demonstrated that ladies who drink milk daily will probably get in shape faster than ladies who don't drink milk. In case, you're looking for a solid nibble or satisfying snack, drink a glass of milk. It is additionally prescribed that you take it with supper or while eating an organic product.
Researchers have also found that milk keeps various maladies at bay. It has the ability to lower hypertension and decrease the danger of strokes. Likewise, milk can diminish the creation of cholesterol by your liver and enhances visual perception. There are a few scientists who also believe that milk can reduce the danger of building up of certain types of malignancy.
There is a palpable buzz around superfoods all over the world. One day quinoa is being hailed as the star among foods and the next day everyone is falling head over heels over the benefits of kuttu (buckwheat).
One wonders what makes certain foods qualify for the ‘superfood’ label. One, they need to be loaded with vital nutrients and vitamins. Second, they need to help in treating or lowering the risk of certain diseases? Let us explore a bit more.
What most of us do not realize is that a lot of superfoods have been around for centuries and our grandparents and ancestors have long been consuming them for their health benefits. It is only now that they have been re-discovered and are hitting the headlines. At the same time, a lot of exotic superfoods are being introduced, which are difficult to source and are generally rather expensive.
The food industry wants to persuade us that eating some foods can slow down the ageing process, lift depression, boost our physical ability, and even our intelligence. Had that been the case, mother nature would have created only those foods and not so many kinds of foods, with different nutritive values.
The problem with some of the superfoods being aggressively marketed is that they are exotic in nature. So, unless you have the local or native super foods, not only would they be difficult to source but would also make a huge dent into the pocket. So, one would have something like kale only occasionally. Healthy, yes, but would one consume it every day? Probably not!
We over here prefer to talk about ‘Super Diets’ and like to avoid the use of the term ‘superfoods’. The emphasis is on a healthy, balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrain foods, which are all easy to source.
So, what should be our strategy to a super diet?
1. Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season. Seasonal fruits and vegetables provide maximum health benefits and nutritional requirements for that time of the year. For example, bottle gourd (ghiya or doodhi) is a summer vegetable and is widely recommended for weight loss, managing high cholesterol and hypertension. But one must remember that since it is rich in water content (96 gm per 100 gm), it’s consumption during winters will not be as beneficial for our body. This is because it helps to reduce our body heat whereas in winters we want to trap the body heat to maintain our body temperature.
2. Going local and consuming foods that are native to our region. Let’s make the best of what is available locally. Our humble jamun available during summers, is very high in Vitamin C content and works as an immunity booster. But, the trend is growing towards consumption of imported, dried cranberries which also give the same nutrition, but at a much higher cost. What we forget is that since jamun is a native fruit, our body is inherently adapted to digesting it better and getting the maximum benefit from it.
3. Adopting unprocessed foods from all major food categories. As far as possible, we should banish processed and packaged foods from our shopping basket. For example, readymade breakfast cereals like wheat flakes have added preservatives, hidden sugars and are processed (extrusion method) such that when compared to the old, whole grain wheat dalia, they have far lower nutritional value.
4. Focusing on getting our five portions of fruits and vegetables in a day. Eating a variety of foods ensures we get a wide variety of the nutrients that our body needs. Fruits and vegetables have differed colours to indicate a different set of vitamins and minerals. So, include as many colours as you can in a day for a super-diet.
5. Adjusting our diet based on our needs, ability to digest and medical conditions. For example, soya and its products are a blessing for adding proteins to a vegetarian diet, but if consumed by people with thyroid problem, it can interfere with proper absorption of medicine by the body.
Remember, there are no miracle foods and consuming a certain food is not going to undo the damage caused by unmindful eating. Any food when eaten at the right time and in the right combination shall keep us in good health. A balanced super diet far outweighs any superfood in terms of the wholesome nutrition it provides to our body.
Kachchi kairi, or raw mango, is etched in all of our summer memories, as strongly as are the scorching winds, the uncomfortable heat and the relentless Sun. One of the perks of living in a tropical country like India is the opportunity to indulge in yummy thirst quenchers prepared from summer favourites, of which raw mango has the widest appeal. Kairi ka panna or a drink made from green (raw) mangoes is made across the country at the advent of summers, and stored in glass jars to be served to guests and family throughout the day. Nothing spells relief quite like the sensation of sipping on cool khatta-meetha kairi ka panna that has been spiced with black salt, cumin powder and ginger powder. Street vendors selling pieces of kachcha aam also start cropping up here and there, offering passers by a temporary respite from the sweltering heat. We all love to munch on raw mango and drink its juice because it's simply delicious, and it tastes of nostalgia. But, there's a reason our mothers always keep a stock in the fridge and feed us kairi pickle during the summers - they are very healthy.
Here are some amazing raw mango health benefits:
1. Protects From Intense Heat And Dehydration
Drinking juice of raw mango during summers is more than a mere exercise in palate pleasing. The drink reduces the effects of intense heat and prevents dehydration, by stopping excessive loss of sodium chloride and iron from the body. These minerals often tend to leach out into your sweat, during summers, making you dehydrated.
2. Cures Stomach Troubles
Raw mango is also consumed for its action against gastrointestinal disorders, which tend to go up during the summers. Raw mangoes are often prescribed to people with morning sickness, constipation, diarrhoea, chronic dyspepsia and indigestion.
3. Good For The Heart
The ever-so delightful fruit may also do wonders for your heart. The presence of niacin makes raw mangoes heart-healthy fruits. Niacin reduces risks of cardiovascular ailments and improves blood cholesterol levels.
4. Treats Scurvy
Raw mango powder, or amchur, is believed to be an effective treatment for scurvy, which is often characterised by bleeding gums, rashes, bruising, weakness and fatigue. This is because raw mango is extremely rich in vitamin-C, the deficiency of which causes scurvy. The same vitamin also promotes elasticity in blood vessels and promotes formation of red blood cells.
5. Promotes Health Of Liver And Intestine
Raw mangoes are great for the liver, and are believed to treat liver ailments. Chewing on raw mango pieces initiates bile secretion into the small intestine, where it increases the absorption of fats and also kills harmful microbes present in food.
6. Gives An Energy Boost
Having a little bit of raw mango powder cures the afternoon drowsiness that often takes effect after your meals. This is because raw mango gives your body an energy boost that wakes you up and helps you perform well.
Nature has fortified raw mango with a number of vitamins and minerals, which make it an effective antidote for a lot of summer ailments. Not that we needed any more reasons to consume raw mango chutneys, pickles and drinks, but these health benefits are certainly encouraging, aren't they?
Summer is a time when a lot of people fall prey to the rising heat, which may lead to a number of problems. Summer health problems may be as benign as headaches and nausea or as severe as a heat stroke, de-hydration, constipation and diarrhoea. This is why people are advised to take special care of their health, primarily through diet and fitness. Your diet, in particular, can aggravate or alleviate your health problems during summer. What you eat is crucial for a healthy mind and body, as well as for keeping the levels of energy up during the long summer days. But not a lot of people realise how important nutrition is during summers.
Your body's nutritional requirements are different for every season, and for summers you must make sure that you include foods in your daily diet that are light and easy on the stomach. Additionally, these foods and drinks must be able to protect you against dehydration, as well as maintain optimal levels of energy.
If you're falling sick more often during summers, here's a helpful list of nutrition mistakes that you may be making:
1. Drinking chilled water after a day out in the Sun
We've all been reprimanded by elders and parents for reaching out for that chilled bottle of water, straight after reaching home from a day out in the Sun. These concerns are not without reason. Drinking chilled water after a day out in the Sun may shock your system and result in sore throat as well as digestive troubles.
2. Drinking too much caffeine
Caffeine dehydrates you due to its diuretic property. So drinking too much coffee or tea during summers may give you headaches and make you feel dehydrated.
3. Loading up on sugary cold drinks and juices
Most chilled packaged juices and cold drinks contain excessive amounts of sugar, which may increase your energy temporarily, but may result in an energy crash after a few days. So lay off those cold liquid calories and drink only fresh fruit juices with natural sugars in them.
4. Going on 'crash diets'
A lot of people feel an intense pressure to sport a particular body type during the summers. A lot of people talk about 'summer body' and slimming down for the summers. This may push a lot of people to take up fad diets that have dubious credentials but promise 'quick results.' Crash dieting may lead to sluggishness, headaches, nausea and diarrhoea. Reject this pressure to attain a particular body type and instead eat healthy to feel energetic and fresh.
5. Avoiding eggs, fish and chicken
There is a misconception that eggs, fish and chicken generate excessive heat in the body and, hence, must be avoided during summers. This is not true. All three foods are rich in lean protein, which is also important for maintaining a healthy weight during summers. You may, however, want to reduce portions of fattier meats like mutton, beef and pork during summers.
No matter what your expectations are from the summers, it's important to build healthy eating habits for a sharp and alert mind and a healthy body.