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Staying Strong and Healthy During Pregnancy

In these difficult and stressful times, we all are worried about our health and safety. The moms-to-be certainly need some extra care.

So, we asked the Nutritionist Shivani Awasthi a few questions and here is what she said:

What do you say to the moms-to-be who are looking forward for a good diet for increased immunity?

If you are concerned about what foods you should eat or delete to keep you and your baby healthy while you're pregnant , especially at a time like this pandemic , that's totally normal. Don't worry - it's easier than you think once you know which foods to include.

Interesting, so what would you recommend as a good diet plan or tips?

Good nutrition during pregnancy ensures that your baby gets the best start possible and help in building immunity as the immune systems during pregnancy dips but due to current pandemic you really need to be more cautious about what we are taking in. Your meal should be comprised of:

  • Complex carbs - whole grain cereals, multigrain flours, brown bread etc. and one should limit the intake of white bread, chips, pretzels and excess added sugar.

  • Protein requirements increased significantly during third trimester. rich sources are - nuts and nut butters, pulses , legumes, seeds, fish, eggs, chicken , cheese & yogurt.

  • Vitamins , Minerals - Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of nutrients which yo and your baby needs e.g. Vitamin A ,C and E, fiber, Folic acid, B Vitamins, Calcium and trace minerals.

  • Fiber and Fluids - think of these two as your body's plumber, keeping constipation and hammeriods at a bay. 25-30 grams of fiber and 2-3 liters of water is necessary on daily basis. Salads, Smoothies, Seeds can be consumed.

  • Healthy fats - Essential fatty acids are very important, specially omega 3 fatty acids. they are required for absorption of certain fat soluble nutrients and also important for fetal growth and development. make use of plant based fat sources; Olive, Sunflower, Chia seeds, Mustard and Flax seeds etc.

Is the diet alone sufficient or would you suggest anything else also?

Apart from good nutrition to meet daily allowance one must also be physically active and invest in light breathing exercises, prenatal yoga and mediation to ease out the stress which is accumulating nowadays due to COVID-19.

Thank you. We would like to know, what changes have you made in your own schedule.

Started eating lots of healthy diet, which boost immunity and gives ample amount of nutrition.

  • Yoga and meditation has been added to the daily routine.

  • Unnecessary outings have been stopped, focusing more on online shopping.

  • As socializing with loved ones has changed a lot, everyone around is opting for virtual visits, Facebook live watch parties, zoom happy hours.

  • Developed a habit of washing hands and wearing face masks all the time.

  • Sensitization is a must, one can't neglect its importance.

Does diet play a role in mental wellness as well?

A big YES!!! Diet does play a very important role in mental wellness. It has been scientifically proven that healthy eating pattern leads to a healthy mind and body. To boost mental health , one should consume brain foods such as : fruits , vegetables, omega 3 fatty acid foods like salmon, dry fruits and seeds. Whereas, a diet rich in sugars, refined carbs, processed cereals and unhealthy fats can increase the risk of lifestyle diseases, anxiety, depression, loss of appetite and poor memory due to impaired brain functioning.

What would you recommend for a healthy mind?

As they say healthy mind stays in a healthy body, so one should invest in good daily practices, such as;

  • Exercise - Daily exercise routine is a must at-least for 30 mins.

  • Good diet- Keep your plate colorful as much as you can, include food from all food groups.

  • Indulge yourself in a hobby, as they are good stress busters and we can keep ourselves busy and can learn something new as well. So being creative and reproductive is the key.

  • Gratitude - Gratitude is the key for a healthy mind.

  • Invest in friendship, being surrounded by a bunch of good friends is all you need. It is good for our emotional, social and mental wellness.

  • Meditation - doing meditation and yoga daily offers great benefits.

  • A good morning and night time routine should be followed religiously and I bet you won't regret it.

Thank you, ...., these are some lovely and helpful tips which we are certainly going to follow and we hope our readers can also follow and benefit from these. We would love to hear from the readers who can share their experiences, more tips or any questions they might have.

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