Pregnancy is a roller-coaster ride, rife with emotional and physical highs and lows, but it is one of the most beautiful journeys a woman wades through in life. The excitement to meet your baby at the end of the road makes everything worthwhile, and to make sure you and your baby are healthy, it is pertinent to maintain a healthy lifestyle in tandem with a nutritional diet. In summer, our appetite usually goes for a toss; and instead of listening to our mind, we listen to our mood. Of the many tenets of pregnancy, eating enough and well is still important. So if you are going through the same dilemma and want to follow a proper diet throughout the season, here are some expert diet tips you must keep in mind.
We approached Delhi-based gynecologist, Dr. Meenakshi Ahuja, Director - OBG, Fortis La Femme, Academic Sec, Delhi Gynae Forum, President, Indian Menopause society (Delhi Chapter) and asked her some burning questions that come across almost every expecting woman out there to ensure they enjoy a healthy pregnancy through a hale and hearty summer diet.
Summer Diet In Pregnancy: Dos And Don'ts:
Which Summer Fruits Should Be Included In Pregnancy Diet?
"Pregnancy is a time to enjoy seasonal and local produce. Fruits are abundant with vitamins, minerals, fibre and good sugars. They give you energy, keep you happy and full to avoid junk eating, and they are great for skin and hair in pregnancy. They also help in avoiding constipation and achieve good digestion and bowel movement," said Dr. Ahuja while stressing on the importance of including seasonal fruits in the diet."
- Melons and watermelons are water-rich fruits and they keep your hydration level high.
- Apples are a good source of iron and fibre.
- Peaches, plums, kiwi and lemons provide a lot of vitamin C and help build up immunity and facilitate iron absorption.
- Guavas are rich in vitamin C too.
- Bananas help prevent leg cramps.
- Mangoes are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A.
- Avocados are a rich source of good fat and fibre.
Which Summer Fruits Should Be Avoided?
Many people avoid papaya and pineapple in pregnancy because of the fear of miscarriage. But all other fruits can be had regularly as long as they are in moderation.
"Sugar-rich fruits like mangoes, melons, watermelons, bananas, grapes and chikoo tend to raise your blood sugars, so if you have gestational diabetes, do consult your doctor on the portions permitted. Routinely 2 to 3 fruit portions in a day are optimal in pregnancy," said Dr. Meenakshi Ahuja.
Can You Suggest Some Essential Drinks For Hydration?
Keeping yourself well-hydrated is extremely important in pregnancy to prevent fatigue and low BP.
"Water, coconut water, lassi, chaach, nimbu pani are recommended. Other drinks like Rooh Afza, shakes, thandai can be consumed but you should take the sugar content into account," suggests doc.
Should Foods With High Heat Be Avoided In Summer?
As long as foods with high heat are beneficial for health and are being eaten in moderation, it should be alright to include them in your diet.
Dr. Meenakshi Ahuja talks about figs (anjeer) and says, "Figs are excellent to prevent constipation, and can be consumed along with prunes. They can be used safely in pregnancy after soaking overnight."
Ginger, another high-heat food but extremely health-benefitting, prevents nausea in pregnancy and aids digestion. Likewise, almonds can be had every day after soaking them overnight.
Important Diet Tips Every Pregnant Woman Should Follow In Summer:
1. Eat frequently, eat light.
2. Keep yourself well-hydrated
3. Keep the protein content of your meals good. Have eggs, milk, milk products and pulses.
4. Avoid sugary foods, sugar-laden sodas, and processed foods - they are full of empty calories.
5. Limit your tea and coffee intake. Not only are they dehydrating, caffeine is harmful for the baby. Do not consume more than 3 cups of tea or 2 cups of instant coffee/12 oz brew.
6. Completely avoid smoking and alcohol in pregnancy.
7. Eat yogurt - it's predigested, high protein and calcium, filling and also contains lots of probiotics. It has a cooling effect on the stomach.
Every mother wants the best for her child and it all starts with a healthy pregnancy. Follow these expert diet tips and enjoy this beautiful phase of life. Good luck!
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.