Pregnant women experience a large number of hormonal and physical changes, causing stress. High levels of stress can have a damaging impact on the development of the baby’s brain. Hence, it is of great importance to work towards maintaining a calm and composed state of mind, especially during the tough times of COVID-19.
Pregnant women should take extra care and follow all norms of social distancing, engage in relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation, mild exercise and most importantly consuming a healthy diet filled with nutrients to build immunity. In this article, we will discuss the top 7 foods to make for pregnant women during coronavirus.
7 Food Recipes to Make for Pregnant Women during Coronavirus
FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN C
Vitamin C works towards the reduction of stress hormones along with boosting immunity. Oranges are the best source of the same and can be consumed either as a whole fruit or in the form of a juice. Another food rich in vitamin C is oatmeal. Oatmeal has various types of health benefits. The intake of carbohydrates is necessary as it can provide instant energy to perform daily activities. Oatmeal is a good source of carbs, selenium, vitamin B, phosphorous, and calcium.
Expecting mothers should consume fat-free or low-fat yogurt, skimmed or 1% milk, soymilk is very helpful for calcium, potassium, vitamins A, and D, and also meets the extra requirement of proteins and calcium which gives support to the growing fetus.
SELECTED SEAFOOD ITEMS
A popular myth states that seafood is not good for expecting mothers; however, it should be noted that not all varieties of fish are harmful. Those which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids help in curbing the rise of stress-causing hormones in the body as well as reduce the risks of heart diseases. Fish like salmon and tuna are filled with the goodness of Omega-3 and can be a part of one’s regular meal.
WHOLE GRAINS AND GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
With high magnesium content, whole grains act as natural sedatives and induce a sense of calm whilst minimizing the feeling of anxiety. Whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, and barley are some options one can choose from. A balanced diet for a pregnant woman is incomplete without the inclusion of ample green vegetables, which are packed with calcium, subsequently countering muscle fatigue and soreness, during pregnancy. Options such as spinach, mustard green, fenugreek, and broccoli are the best companions for staying stress-free. Make sure to clean and wash the vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious cooked about a thousand ways; they’re also rich in beta carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is essential for a baby’s development. Just watch out for excessive amounts of animal-based sources of vitamin A, such as organ meats, which can cause toxicity in high amounts. Thankfully, sweet potatoes are an ample plant-based source of beta carotene and fibre. Fibre keeps you full longer, reduces blood sugar spikes, and improves digestive health (which can really help if that pregnancy constipation hits). Try sweet potatoes as a base for your morning avocado toast.
Smoked on a whole wheat bagel, teriyaki grilled, or slathered in pesto, salmon is a welcome addition to this list. Salmon is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids that have a host of benefits. These are found in high amounts in seafood, and help build the brain and eyes of your baby and can even help increase gestational length. But wait: Have you been told to limit your seafood intake due to the mercury and other contaminants found in high mercury fish? You can still eat fatty fish like salmon. Here are the high mercury fish to avoid:
- king mackerel
- bigeye tuna
- tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico
Plus, salmon is one of the very few natural sources of vitamin D, which is lacking for most of us. It’s important for bone health and immune function.
Eggs are the ultimate health food. They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. A large egg contains about 80 calories, high-quality protein, fat, and many vitamins and minerals. Eggs are a great source of choline, a vital nutrient during pregnancy. It’s important in a baby’s brain development and helps prevent developmental abnormalities of the brain and spine. A single whole egg contains roughly 147 milligrams (mg) of choline, which will get you closer to the current recommended choline intake of 450 mg per day while pregnant (though more studies are being done to determine if that is enough).
Remember, the right care during the right time will lead to no worries, so take care and keep yourself safe during this pandemic. Happy pregnancy!