Have you ever wondered why your doctors recommended having more milk and leafy greens during pregnancy? It is because you and your baby can suffer from potential side effects if you do not boost your intake of nutrients. Nutritionist Nikita Gandhi tells you about the most common nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy and ways you can prevent them.
Calcium deficiency: Both you and your baby require calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Dairy products such as yoghurt and milk are some of the best sources of calcium. If you do not consume dairy, you can up your calcium intake by including more broccoli and kale in your diet.
Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D also assists in building your baby’s bones and teeth. Up your vitamin D intake by eating a lot of mushrooms and dairy products. Some cereals are also fortified with vitamin D.
Iron deficiency: Your need for iron increases during pregnancy to cope with changes in your body and to help your baby develop its blood supply. Leafy greens such as spinach and fenugreek, legumes, sesame seeds and jaggery are excellent sources of iron.
Folate deficiency: Folate is essential to prevent abnormalities of the brain and neural tube defects. Get this B vitamin from leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans and peas.
Zinc deficiency: Zinc is essential throughout pregnancy as it helps your baby’s cells grow and replicate. Zinc deficiency can also lead to miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. Lean meat, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and quinoa are the top sources of zinc.
Protein deficiency: While you need protein for optimum health, protein is also crucial for your baby’s growth. So get enough protein from lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, beans and dairy products.
Iodine deficiency: Iodine deficiency is associated with premature birth. Lack of iodine can also lead to an imbalance in the production of thyroid hormones. Find out ways to include more cranberries seaweed, haricot beans and Himalayan crystal salt in your diet.