Dealing With Nutritional Deficiencies In Pregnancy
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Apr 27, 2020
During pregnancy, the foetus requires a host of nutrients for the growth. These nutrients obviously come from the mother’s diet and what she is eating, leaving her exposed, in some cases, to nutritional deficiencies. Read on to find out what the most common nutritional deficiencies are, what impact they have on the foetus, and how to overcome them.
Common Nutritional Deficiencies During Pregnancy
Here are some common nutritional deficiencies that women can have during pregnancy and how to deal with them.
How to deal with it:
Iron deficiency:The most common deficiency during pregnancy can be low levels of hemoglobin. This happens because the blood volume increases to support the fetal growth. Deficiency in iron can result in the expecting mother being anemic
- Add dark green leafy vegetables, especially methi, chulai (amaranth), mustard greens, bathua, to your chapatti dough, or to raitas and soups. Their stock can also be used to cook rice, pasta and dals
- Take whole beans, legumes such as lobia, black chana, and soybean at least once a day. You may sprout and boil them to make a salad, or add their flour to your wheat dough or simply to the curries
- Dates and raisins are a great option for the frequent hunger pangs of pregnancy. If you have non vegetarian habits, then do include some flesh foods like mutton/poultry/fish in your diet
- A word for vegetarians, do take some citrus fruit/juice or amla—rich sources of Vitamin C--daily as they help increase the iron absorption from your vegetarian diet
Protein deficiency:Apart from making you feel weak and tired all the time, a protein deficiency can result in issues for the foetus, too. These could range from poor muscle development, weak bones to different birth defects
- For vegetarians, keeping up with high demand of proteins during pregnancy is a challenge. So, do pick at least five from the following foods daily in your daily diet: a bowl of dal, a slice of cheese/ cheese cube, two pieces of paneer tikka (50 grams), a plate of sprouted beans salad, a glass milk shake, a bowl of raita, a veggie besan cheela, two piece of dhokla, a glass of buttermilk/lassi or simply a glass of milk
Folic acid deficiency:Folic acid not only needs to be supplied by supplements but also include its good food sources in your diet too. It is important to avoid deficiency of megaloblastic anemia and neural tube defects in foetus
- Include pulses, legumes especially black chana and mung, green leafy vegetables especially spinach, chulai and mint
- Green beans, oranges and tomatoes are again good sources of this vitamin. Make a salad of boiled chana with tomatoes and mint chutney to get your supply of folic acid
Calcium deficiency:The demand increases for the growth of the foetus. Calcium is important for bone development
- If you are not keen on milk (one of the rich source of calcium), then include these daily -cheese/paneer/yogurt, ragi flour, well-cooked legumes and green leafy veggies in your diet
- Dry coconut, rich in calcium can be used in your veggies, curries and over salads to increase their calcium content
Also Read: Why Is Calcium Important During Pregnancy?
Please note: A word on Iodine - Use only iodized salt during pregnancy as Iodine is required for physical and mental growth of the foetus.
A balanced diet is an integral part of pregnancy, both for your health as well as the growing fetus. So make sure you eat healthy, exercise after consulting your doctor and maintain an active lifestyle. We wish you a healthy and happy pregnancy!
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