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Categories Diet During Pregnancy

First Month Pregnancy Diet Plan

Diet during pregnancy plays a significant role in developing a healthy fetus. Hence, it is imperative that you follow a healthy diet plan right from the first month of pregnancy to ensure proper growth and development of your baby.

In this section, we have listed down which foods can be included during the first month of pregnancy.

Fruits
Fruits are considered to be the most perfect food option to carry a safe and healthy baby. Rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water – fruits improve the digestion process and prevent constipation – which is a common problem during pregnancy.

E.g. Avocado, banana, orange, strawberry, blueberry, peach, apples, etc.

Vegetables
A pregnancy diet plan is incomplete without vegetables, as they contain many of the nutrients, a pregnant women needs. These include fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium.

Vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, carrots, beetroots, asparagus, broccoli, parsley, tomatoes, onion, sweet potato, etc are incredibly nutritious and a great way to increase your overall nutrient intake.

Milk Products
Milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt are rich sources of vitamin D, calcium and protein. They are easy to digest and are so often advised by doctors and dieticians.

Folate-rich Foods
Folate-rich foods such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, spinach, okra, lentils, beans, peas, etc, should be included in your diet during pregnancy. Folate or folic acid is important for the proper development of the baby’s neural tube, which later develops into the brain and spinal cord.

Whole Grains
Whole grains are yet another important food elements for pregnancy. They are a healthy source of vitamin B-complex, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and other minerals like magnesium, iron, and selenium. Examples of whole grains are oatmeal, brown rice, barley, buckwheat, millets, etc

Seeds and Nuts
One of the main ingredients in the diet during the first month of pregnancy is seeds and nuts. Filled with healthy fats, protein, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and omega-6 – nuts and seeds are wonderful power food items for pregnant women. Ensure you include a handful of them in your pregnancy diet plan.

Eggs and Poultry
Eggs and poultry provide folate, proteins, fats and a host of other benefits. You can even include chicken in your pregnancy diet plan. However, ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked consuming.

Fish
Fish is low in fat and high in quality protein. It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B2, D, and E, and other essential minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and phosphorous. However, you should avoid consuming swordfish, shark, tilefish, etc, since they have high mercury content.

This list mentioned above should be a good start towards a healthy, well-nourished pregnancy. So make sure you eat right to enjoy a healthy pregnancy!

Eating a Mediterranean Diet Could Help You Get Pregnant
Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Eating a Mediterranean Diet Could Help You Get Pregnant

A new study has found that eating a Mediterranean diet may significantly boost women’s chances of becoming pregnant. Experts said that women who followed a Mediterranean diet had a better chance of becoming pregnant than women who did not.

Mediterranean diet is filled with fertility fuelling foods. Unlike our normal diet which tends to be very high in saturated fats, the Mediterranean diet consists more of fresh vegetables, fruits, plant oils, nuts, seeds, and fresh fish. It promotes a better balance of fats, improves reproductive health and lowers the risk of birth defects.

In this article, we have listed down the main components of Mediterranean diet.  Snap some of these food items to create your own pregnancy meal plan, or sprinkle them into your plate to add some flair to your healthy eating routine.

Whole grains: Whole oats, brown rice, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, whole wheat, whole-grain bread, quinoa are some of them.

Fresh Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, grapes, dates, figs, melons, peaches, etc.

Vegetables: Tomatoes, broccoli, kale, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, etc.

Fish: Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, etc.

Milk and dairy: Cheese, yogurt, smoothies, parfaits, etc.

Nuts and Seeds:  Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.

In addition, water should be your go-to beverage in your fertility diet plan.  Drinking adequate water can stimulate blood circulation and improve egg health. It will enhance your health and help you have a healthy pregnancy phase.  It’s recommended that you drink at least eight glasses of water a day. However, this can prove challenging, to some busy women, who are regular office goers.  In this case, it’s always advisable that you carry a bottle of water wherever you go. This practice will encourage you to sip water on a regular basis, no matter how busy is your day.

While you follow a proper diet for conception, ensure you also sleep well. Sleep is essential for hormone regulation, which is a cornerstone of a healthy reproductive cycle. Inadequate sleep not only disturbs your health but has also been linked with poor egg quality.

If you’ve been trying for more than six months to get pregnant without success ensure you consult a doctor or a dietician.  A qualified doctor or a dietician will not only advise you on how and what to eat but will also help you develop a healthy lifestyle in order to have a healthy pregnancy.

pregnancy diet plan
Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Include Carbohydrates in Your Pregnancy Diet Plan

Carbohydrate is an essential nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. It is used as a source of fuel for the body muscles and organs like the lungs, brain and the heart. Moreover this nutrient has the biggest impact on glucose levels.

Some of the other benefits of carbohydrates during pregnancy are listed below:

  • Consuming nutritious carbohydrates can help you sustain a healthy weight throughout your pregnancy. It will not only maintain the blood sugar levels but will also help you avert the risk of obesity.
  • Carbohydrate is a good source of energy and fibre. Including carbohydrates in your pregnancy diet plan will help regulate your bowel movements and prevent constipation.
  • Carbohydrate provides you the much-required energy boost during pregnancy. They get readily broken down into simple sugars to supply energy to the body cells and the developing foetus.
  • Some studies also suggest that carbs are useful in combating pregnancy symptoms like nausea and morning sickness. It uplifts your mood and helps you stay hale and heart.

Healthy carbs that can be included in your diet during pregnancy:

  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Sweet corn
  • Vegetables like, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower asparagus, beetroot etc
  • Beans like lima beans, red beans, chickpeas, kidney beans
  • Wholegrain cereals
  • Dairy products like milk
  • Fruits like, banana, blueberry, grapefruit, apples etc

Although carbohydrates contribute to overall health and development, it is advisable to consider the quality and quantity of carbohydrates consumed during pregnancy. Hence ensure you visit your nearest doctor or dietician to get more tips and guide in order to stay healthy during pregnancy.

For a healthy diet plan during pregnancy, Kanupriya Khanna is here to guide you! A qualified dietician in Delhi, Kanupriya will not only offer you a personalised diet plan as per your requirement but will also help you inculcate healthy eating habits during your pregnancy.

Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, here are some foods and drinks that need to be avoided or limited to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

➢ Raw Meat, Seafood, and Eggs:

Do not include uncooked seafood, meat, and eggs in your pregnancy diet plan, due to the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

➢ Fish with High-Level Mercury:

Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. High mercury content fish consumed during pregnancy can lead to developmental delays and brain damage. Example of these types of fishes includes king mackerel, swordfish, shark, and tilefish, etc.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
➢ Unpasteurized Milk and Dairy Products:

Unpasteurized milk and dairy products may contain listeria; hence it should not be included in your diet during pregnancy
Make sure that any milk you drink is pasteurized. However, if you have access to only unpasteurized milk, make sure you boil it before using it.

➢ Caffeine:

Caffeine intake in moderation is permissible during pregnancy. However, as a general rule, caffeine should be limited to fewer than 100 mg per day during pregnancy.
Caffeine is a diuretic and a stimulant. It tends to increase your heart rate and blood pressure – both of which are not recommended during pregnancy.

➢ Alcohol:

Alcohol consumption is not safe during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of the baby. Some studies say that alcohol consumption can also lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other developmental disorders.


➢ Processed Foods

Processed foods are generally low in nutrients and high in calories, sugar, and added fats. Hence they should not be included in your pregnancy diet plan.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Hygienic and nutritious food is always recommended for a healthy pregnancy.

If you want to learn more about what foods you should eat during pregnancy, contact Kanupriya Khanna. A certified dietician from Delhi, Kanupriya provides the best diet plan for pregnant women. Visit: https://kanupriyakhanna.in

Importance of Water During Pregnancy
Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Importance of Water During Pregnancy

Studies suggest that expectant mothers should include plenty of water in their pregnancy diet plan. Sufficient intake of water will not only promote the baby’s growth and development but will also help the new mother produce and maintain adequate breast milk supply.

Water keeps the blood properly hydrated, making it easier for the heart to pump oxygen. Moreover, staying hydrated ensures that essential nutrients are being transported to different body cells in order to meet the developmental needs of the growing baby.

Regular intake of water reduces the risk of urinary infections, which can be common in pregnancy. It helps in getting rid of excess sodium and aids in minimising swelling of feet and ankles (oedema). Some pregnant women find that drinking water at regular intervals can help relieve the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.

Health experts recommend a daily intake of about 1.5 litres of water daily – for normal adults. However, when you are pregnant this should increase by another two and four glasses a day, especially in the second and third trimester, respectively. A good way to get enough water in your pregnancy diet plan is to keep a bottle of water near you, always. This will remind you to stay hydrated, and challenge you to drink the recommended amount of water each day.

Some Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • dry, sticky mouth
  • sleepiness
  • feeling thirsty
  • decreased need to urinate
  • headache
  • constipation

If you notice any oft he above, get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible.

A dietician will monitor your eating habits and help you with a customised pregnancy diet plan that consists of ample amount of fluids/water and other essential nutrients.

Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Adequate Protein Is Essential For a Healthy Pregnancy

An adequate intake of protein in the diet during pregnancy is really important. Known as a ‘builder nutrient’ – protein helps build important elements for the baby, such as the brain, heart, bones, muscles, cartilages, skin and blood. It enables your baby’s cells to function well and lays a strong foundation to build upon, throughout infancy, childhood and beyond.

As per studies, some women face problems in getting enough protein in their diet during pregnancy. This can be due to incorrect food eating habits and lack of knowledge. Hence we’ve put up some suggestions on protein-rich foods that’ll help you get enough of this essential nutrient.

Lentils and pulses: all lentils and pulses are excellent sources of protein not just for vegetarians, but for non-vegetarians as well. In addition, they also provide essential minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, etc.

Seafood: tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel, can be included in a pregnancy diet. One should be careful when eating shell fish though, as they could have high mercury levels.

Meat and Poultry: All lean meats like de-skinned chicken and turkey, eggs, etc. are good sources of protein.

Nuts and seeds: Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. and seeds like flaxseed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds.

Milk and dairy: Milk, plant based milk like soya milk , almond milk, oat milk, etc. cheese, yogurt, tofu, cottage cheese should be eaten during pregnancy.

Grains and millers: Grains like quinoa, oats, amaranth, and millers like pearl, sorghum, etc. are good sources of protein.

Health experts claim that it’s always a good idea to consume whole foods rather than processed foods in order to source your protein; because whole foods tend to offer better nutritional benefits that the man-made processed food options.

Furthermore, it’s important to remember that, protein requirements for pregnant women can vary from person to person, depending on one’s requirement. Hence its always recommended that you contact a dietician or a nutrition specialist to get precise details on your meal plan.

To find out how much protein your body needs each day, contact Kanupriya Khanna and create an individualized pregnancy meal plan. Kanupriya Khanna is one of the best nutritionists in Delhi. A certified practitioner, she is the one who will give you honest, clear and concise advice on how and what to eat.

Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Iron Is Absolutely Essential During Pregnancy

Iron is an essential mineral that needs to be included in your diet during pregnancy. Here’s an article that tells you more about this important component.

Role of Iron During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body provides blood and oxygen to your baby, so the demand for iron increases to keep up with the increase in blood supply. Moreover, iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, a substance in red blood that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body — and to your baby’s.

How Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy Can Be Risky?
As per research and studies, most women develop iron deficiency, also described as anaemia, during pregnancy. It’s important to remember that severe iron deficiency can be risky. Symptoms of anaemia during pregnancy may include the following: Weakness, Fatigue, Difficulty in Concentrating, Rapid Heartbeat, Shortness of Breath, Pale Skin etc.

At the worst iron deficiency can cause low birth-weight, premature birth and infant and maternal mortality. But if you include sufficient iron in your diet during pregnancy, you are sure to experience a healthy pregnancy phase.

How to Include Iron In your Diet
Incorporating iron-rich food into your diet will help you meet your iron requirements. It will not only prevent or combat anaemia but will also help you lead a healthy life during pregnancy and postpartum.

You can include the following foods into your pregnancy nutrition diet to reach the daily goal.

  • Dark, leafy greens:  E.g. spinach, collard greens, kale etc
  • Dry fruits and nuts: E.g. apricots, prunes, cashew, raisins, figs etc.
  • lentils and pulses
  • Eggs, especially the yolk
  • Meat: lean meats
  • Seeds: sesame, flaxseed, etc.
  • Grains: quinoa, amaranth, etc.

How Much Iron Should I Take?
According to current recommendations, a pregnant woman needs about 27mg of iron daily.

However, if you are interested in getting precise details on how iron should be included in your pregnancy diet – ensure you speak to a qualified dietician.

A skilled dietician will work with you to develop a healthy pregnancy diet plan tailored to your personal needs. Moreover, the nutritionist will help you throughout the stages of pregnancy and life, from pre-conception to post-natal nutrition.

Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Why You Need to Include Calcium in Your Pregnancy Diet Plan

Calcium plays a pivotal role in our health and daily routine. It is necessary to support the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, and the circulatory system. However, for pregnant women, the amount of calcium required is more than that for non-expecting ones. The reason is that a developing baby needs calcium for its own bone, skeletal and teeth formation.

Women who do not consume sufficient amounts of calcium during pregnancy are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. In osteoporosis, the bones become weak and are susceptible to fractures. Thus, it’s important to include proper calcium-rich foods in your pregnancy diet as prescribed by your dietician or doctor.

Foods High in Calcium

Your body can’t make calcium, so you need to get it from food. Below is a list of food items that’s rich in calcium. Ensure you include it in your pregnancy nutrition diet plan.

Vegetables

Some dark green leafy vegetables like Collard Greens, Spinach, Kale are good sources of calcium. The calcium in spinach is bound to oxalates so is not easily absorbed as is from the other two.

Amaranth leaves are an excellent source of calcium.

Dairy Food

Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, etc
Parmesan has the highest amount of calcium. The softer the cheese, lesser the calcium.
Yogurt from toned or skimmed milk has more calcium than full fat yogurt.

Fish

Sardines, Salmon, Shrimp are good sources of calcium due to their edible bones. They also are an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids that are essential in pregnancy.

Beans and lentils

White beans, Chickpeas, Red Beans, etc are good sources of calcium. They also provide iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium, so must be included.

Nuts:

Almonds are especially a great source of calcium compared to other nuts. Almond milk can also be consumed for meeting calcium requirements.

Seeds:

Chia seeds, sesame seeds, celery seeds

Though there are many more food items to add, these are the easily available ones. Ensure you meet your calcium needs by eating from the diverse list of food items mentioned in this section. However, if you are concerned that you are not getting enough calcium, speak to a doctor or a pregnancy nutrition specialist before you make any changes.

Kanupriya is one such nutrition specialist who helps women adopt healthy eating habits during the pregnancy phase. A certified practitioner and a mother of two children herself -she can create the best pregnancy meal plan for you depending on your needs and cravings.

Categories Diet During Pregnancy, Recipe

Traditional Indian Recipes that Can Be Included in Your Breastfeeding Meal Plan

Post delivery the mother’s diet affects the quantity and quality of breast milk. So it is advisable for new moms to intake a balanced and nutritious diet, in order to provide complete nourishment to the baby during the first six months

If you are exclusively looking for a nutritious breastfeeding meal plan, have a look at some delectable traditional Indian recipes below. Nutritious, wholesome, healthy and scrumptious – these recipes can be easily prepared at home.

Spinach Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup – fresh spinach leaves finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 3 small cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp moong dal
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ cup of water
  • Salt – as required

Procedure

  • Wash spinach leaves thoroughly in clean water. Simultaneously soak moong dal in water for 10 minutes.
  • In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds to it. Allow the seeds to splutter. Next, add chopped garlic and saute it for two minutes.
  • Now add chopped onions and tomatoes and fry them nicely until it turns mushy golden brown.
  • Next, add spinach leaves and soaked moong dal. Give a quick stir and mix all the ingredients well.
  • Add water and sprinkle salt and turmeric powder.
  • Cook everything together for few minutes in medium-low flame.
  • Once the spinach leaves soften and begin to melt – transfer the cooked mixture to a blender.
  • Grind the mixture into a smooth puree. Add water as required.
  • Sprinkle pepper powder and serve the soup warm!

Ragi Porridge

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ragi flour
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • ½ tsp ajwain seeds powder
  • 1 tsp dill seeds powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut grated
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • 2 cups water /coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp nuts (optional)
  • Saffron few strands (optional)

Procedure:

  • Heat ghee in a broad pan.
  • Roast ragi flour in ghee. When you can smell the aroma, add guar gum – roast it for 1 min.
  • Next, add all the spices. Roast it for another 1 min. Add some nuts and some saffron(optional)
  • In another pot, boil 2 small cups of water with 1 tbsp jaggery. Allow the jaggery to get melted.
  • When ragi is roasted with herbs – add jaggery water and mix well.

Khichdi – Ayurvedic Food Recipes

Khichdi can be described as a porridge type of dish prepared from mung lentil and rice as the main ingredients. Various herbs and spices make it a healing recipe for various diseases. Ayurvedic therapies use it for cleansing due to its ease of digestion and assimilation.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup split moong dal (lentil)
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee or sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp hing also called asafoetida
  • 1/2 inch finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8-10 whole black peppercorn
  • 4 to 6 cups of water depending upon the consistency desired.

Procedure

  • Wash the lentil and rice together.
  • In a heated heavy-bottomed saucepan or pressure cooker add ghee (clarified butter) or oil.
  • When ghee gets warmed, add hing along with cumin and mustard seeds. Wait till the seeds crackle.
  • Add chopped ginger, sauté for about 30 seconds.
  • Add rice, dal, turmeric, salt and whole black peppercorns.
  • Mix in gently.
  • Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Keep stirring occasionally. If using a saucepan, cover it, reduce heat to low flame and cook undisturbed until soft for about 30 minutes.
  • Switch off heat, let khichdi rest for 5 minutes.
  • If using a pressure cooker, cook the khichdi for one whistle.
  • Let the cooker cool off.
  • Fluff it up gently with a spoon, add a tablespoon of ghee (optional) and serve.

Variation: – You can use quinoa instead of rice. Vegetables can be added to make a one-pot meal. If root vegetables, sauté first then add rice and dhal. Green leafy vegetables can be added at the end when khichari is nearly cooked.  Garnish with rosemary/fresh dill.

Beetroot and Coconut Soup

  • 1 lb beetroot
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 large piece of ginger
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1 large carrot (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of your favourite frying oil
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chive and fresh cream (optional, for serving)

Procedure

  • Peel and dice the vegetables. Grate the ginger.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the diced vegetable and the grated ginger.
  • Stir fry on high heat for 5 min. Keep stirring constantly.
  • Add coconut milk and one pint of water. Bring to the boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are quite tender. Next blend to a smooth soup.
  • Bring back to the boil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving – add the lemon juice.
  • Serve with chopped chives and a spoonful of fresh cream for a dramatic colour effect.

For more such tips and recipes on post delivery diet contact Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best nutritionists in Delhi, Kanupriya works with women to improve their pre and postnatal nutritional intake. She will not only share traditional post delivery diet plans but will also explain the quantity in which they should be consumed.

 

Categories Diet During Pregnancy

Benefits of Eating Shatavari During Pregnancy

Shatavari or Asparagus Racemosus has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to support the female reproductive system. Even doctors and fertility nutrition specialist consider it as wonder herb since it helps increase the chances of conception.

So in this section, let’s quickly look at the benefits of Shatavari:-

Improves Ovulation
One of the most important components of Shatavari is steroidal saponins. This component is known to be an excellent factor to regulate the production of estrogen which in turn promotes menstrual cycle regulation and better ovulation.

Improves Secretion of Cervical Mucus
Shatavari – is a mucilaginous and a warming Ayurvedic “sexual tonic”. It increases sensitivity to the female genitalia and helps the cervix secrete an adequate amount of mucous to help the sperm meet the egg.

Stimulates the Immune System
Studies show that Shatavari can stimulate the immune cells of the body. Widely used in Ayurveda as Rasayana for immunostimulation – this herb helps the body fight against various diseases. It speeds up the recovery time.

Restores Hormonal Imbalances
Shatavari is known to balance the female hormone level. It improves follicular maturity and stabilizes irregularities in the menstrual cycle all of which can enhance fertility and increase energy levels.

Increases Breast Milk Production
Shatavari is known to increase the level of milk during breastfeeding. It nurtures the mother’s body and helps her transit easily through the natural phases of life. Moreover, studies suggest that regular intake of Shatavari helps the mother and baby increase weight.

Shatavari grows throughout the year in every part of India, especially in the north. It can be taken in the form of a powder, tablet, capsule or liquid extract. However, if you need accurate details on how Shatavari can be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, ensure you consult a fertility nutrition specialist

A qualified fertility nutrition specialist will not only give you a proper pregnancy nutrition plan or a breastfeeding meal plan but will help you live a healthier and happier life.

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