If you are pregnant, your diet must be balanced and nutritious. Because what you eat or drink during pregnancy is your baby's main source of nourishment. You should ensure that your diet contains enough nutrients for the baby to develop and grow properly. To get the nutrients, you must eat a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, bread and grains, protein sources and dairy products. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids when you are pregnant to meet your body's increasing fluid needs.
During pregnancy, your blood volume increases, and your body's water compartments also grow substantially. Moreover, your growing foetus requires a rich supply of fluid to grow, develop and live comfortably in its prenatal environment. Besides drinking water, you can also have several liquid alternatives to meet the fluid needs. Here are a few natural health drinks that are good for moms-to-be and their foetus.
Coconut water to prevent dehydration
Drinking tender coconut water helps hydrate the body by refilling the natural salts lost during sweating. It is loaded with micro-minerals that keep maintain your blood pressure levels. You may experience acidity, heart burn and constipation during pregnancy. Drinking coconut water can provide relief from them.
Fruit juices, like orange and cranberry juice, contain immune-boosting antioxidant, vitamin C and essential nutrients like folate that are needed for the baby's cell growth and development.
Drinking fruit juices will also provide you potassium that helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in your body. But avoid packaged juices as they come with added preservatives, artificial flavours and high sugar.
Herbal tea reduces morning sickness
Caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage. But most herbal teas don't contain caffeine. While rooibos tea is rich in antioxidants, mint tea is known for helping reduce symptoms of morning sickness. Drinking red raspberry leaves tea is said to regulate contractions during labour.
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Homemade vegetable juices
Juices of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cabbage are rich in folic acid that can help prevent neural tube defects and promote a healthy delivery. These vegetables are also rich in proteins - building blocks of your and your baby's body cells. You may also take carrot, beetroot, cucumber and spinach juices twice a week to see noticeable health benefits. Carrot juice contains beta carotene that is essential for the baby's cell and tissue development, vision and immunity function. Cucumbers will keep you hydrated.
Beetroots will give you the needed iron content, an important building block for your growing baby.
Folic acid and vitamin A from spinach will assist in the development of your baby's heart, bones, lungs, eyes, kidneys and central nervous system.