Chilly winter days which give us a reason to sit back and enjoy the warm soups and variety of colorful dishes are special in more ways than one. Winter season comes with a booster of these nutritious veggies, grains and fruits, and in case you are a mommy to be or planning to conceive you have ample number of sources available in this season to load up your plate with nutrition. But before that, here are some of the do's and don'ts I would recommend to all pregnant women:
(Also Read: Foods, Nutrition For A Healthy Pregnancy)
. Have smaller portions and frequently.
. Add up all seasonal fruits and vegetable
. Add variety of grains.
. Hydration is must.
. Have protein rich foods
. Avoid oily, deep fried food.
. Don't overeat.
. Don't have packaged and processed food.
Don't binge on carbs rich foods only
Now without further ado, here's your winter super food guide.
1. Pearl Millet (Bajra): Winter comes with variation of grains, one of the nutrient dense grain one can serve in winter could be pearl millet. Being a rich source of iron it helps in improving the quality of female eggs and improves the fertility. As a wholesome food for pregnant women, Bajra is rich in iron, fiber, protein and calcium. Iron helps in preventing anemia, fiber relieves the constipation and protein and calcium combined helps in baby's bone and teeth growth. Being a complex carbohydrate it helps in maintaining blood sugar levels as well. Pearl millet (bajra) can be served with different variations like a bajra khichdi or bajra chapatti with tangy baingan ka bharta which gives a flavourful joy to your taste buds.
2. Spinach: As those green veggies spread through the market during winters, a must have green to your plate would be spinach which is rich in iron and folic acid both of these greens are major prenatal and antenatal nutrients. It is not only rich in folic acid it is something which is a must-have in your everyday diet. Iron helps strengthen the endometrial lining and thus, the zygote can seamlessly attach to the uterus and stay in place throughout the pregnancy, whereas folic acid promotes a healthy development of eggs that are of good quality and helps prevents birth defects as well. Spinach contributes to the spinal and cognitive development of the fetus. Being a rich source of iron, it also helps in the production of red blood cells lowers the risk of anemia. Spinach stuffed chapatti, spinach dal or spinach sag with missi roti can be some good options for your platter.
3. Almonds and walnuts: Both of these are replete with good amount of omega 3 and vitamin E. Almonds and walnuts are not just healthy for females but for men as well, as it helps to increase the production of sperm. It also contains vitamin E, which protects the DNA in eggs as well as sperm. They are rich source of proteins, omega 3, folate, fiber it is a power food for pregnancy. Omega 3 helps in neurological and brain development of baby. You can have soaked nuts or a shredded pieces of them in a warm cup of milk.
4. Gooseberry (amla): This Indian berry is rich with antioxidants, vitamin c and anti-inflammatory properties. They have anti-inflammatory property helps in relieving uterine fatigue. Gooseberry helps in aiding digestion, soothes morning sickness eases edema. You can make up a amla chatani and serve them with any dish you are having. Note: If you have severe gastric issues, you can avoid adding gooseberry to your diet.
(Also Read: 5 Interesting Ways To Consume Amla)
5. Sesame seeds: Winters brings the variety of seeds as well, one of the super seed will be sesame seed. Sesame seed is rich in calcium, iron, and protein. Sesame seeds have highest level of protein as compare to any other seed or nuts. In females, sesame seeds being rich in iron helps in building up a better fertile environment by minimizing the iron deficiency. Being rich source of iron, calcium, potassium, protein and amino acids it helps in the overall growth of fetus. You can have sesame jaggery chikki or you can do garnishing on your cooked foods Note: you can avoid sesame seed in your first trimester as it may aggregate nauseous sensation.
About Author: Ms. Nisha is an Executive Nutritionist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Gurgaon.
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