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  Life   Health  16 Dec 2017  Eat right when you’re expecting

Eat right when you’re expecting

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRIYADARSHINI R MENON
Published : Dec 16, 2017, 1:07 am IST
Updated : Dec 16, 2017, 1:07 am IST

Folate is important before conception and during your first few weeks of pregnancy.

Leafy Greens like cooked spinach have high levels of folate and iron. (Representational Image)
 Leafy Greens like cooked spinach have high levels of folate and iron. (Representational Image)

The stork has come visiting and there is joy all around. So what food should the mom-to-be partake of to ensure a healthy baby? Food and nutrition expert Priyadarshini R. Menon gives tips.

Folate is important before conception and during your first few weeks of pregnancy. The need for vitamin B stays high the whole nine months. There is a daily need of 400 micrograms through vitamin supplements. Fortified foods like breakfast cereal are an easy way to do it, since many brands contain 400 micrograms per bowl, another 200 micrograms can be taken through foods that are naturally high in folate, such as asparagus and black-eyed peas.

Beans and lentils are an excellent source of protein (need extra 10 gm a day during pregnancy) with about 15 gm per cup. They're also high in fiber, which helps to combat constipation.

Broccoli is packed with nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy, such as calcium and folate, but broccoli is also rich in fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants. It contains plenty of vitamin C and will help your body absorb iron when it's eaten with an iron-rich food, such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice.

The body absorbs approximately twice as much calcium from foods while you're pregnant, so daily needs remain the same. But since most of us get too little calcium to begin with, drinking more non-fat milk is a smart move.

Bananas are rich in potassium and offer quick energy to fight off pregnancy fatigue. Slice them up into cereal or whip one into a breakfast smoothie with yogurt, berries, ice, and a splash of orange juice.

Eggs are an excellent alternative protein source and contain all the essential amino acids. There's nothing better for a quick dinner than an omelette with lots of chopped vegetables and a bit of cheese

Leafy Greens like cooked spinach have high levels of folate and iron. Kale and turnip greens are both good calcium sources. Increase the nutrient value of your salads by passing up traditional iceberg in favour of darker-colored lettuces (the deep colors signal a higher vitamin content).

Tags: pregnancy, healthy baby