Pregnant Women – Indian Diet

It is very important for pregnant women to have balanced diet. During pregnancy women get several advises from friends and family members. According to some, you must start eating for two while others may suggest you to strictly go by the calorie chart. However, the best way suggested by health experts is to have a balanced diet.

Base of your diet (whole grains, rice, dairy, lean proteins and whole fruits and vegetables) remains the same during pregnancy. You just need to increase their amount. Most of the Indian cuisines focus on legumes, breads, rice, fruits and vegetables thus, giving you the required amount of essential nutrients during pregnancy. Here are some suggestions of balanced Indian diet during pregnancy:

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a natural form of water soluble vitamin B. In synthetic form, it is present in enriched food and supplements. It helps to prevent pregnancy complications such as premature birth, neural-tube defect and low birth weight.

  • During pregnancy women need about 800 mcg of folic acid on daily basis. Half a cup of Indian spinach dishes such as palak paneer and matar paneer provide 131 mcg of folic acid.
  • Other good sources of folic acid are beans and dal. Both of them are largely used in Indian cuisines. By eating half a cup of beans get up to 90 mcg of folate.
  • Bengal gram, Chick pea, Minapa pappu, Mashkalair, Chana, Kothukadalai, Sanagalu, Black gram, Urad dal, Ulutham paruppu and Udad are some other rich sources of folate.


Iron rich diet aids production of red blood cells and keeps anaemia at bay. During Pregnancy, your blood supply increase and so do your need of iron.

  • Eat chapattis, naan and paranthas made from fortified or whole grains.
  • Lean meats, green vegetables, fish, nuts, fruits gives you good supply of iron.
  • One cup of cooked iron gives 3.9 mg iron.
  • Half cup of cooked spinach gives 3.2 mg of iron.


Calcium helps to strengthen bones of mother and the unborn baby. Pregnant women normally need 1300 mg of calcium on daily basis.

  • Raita (an Indian condiment) made up of curd and cucumber gives you good amount of calcium. Six ounce of yogurt provides 258 mg of calcium.
  • Dishes prepared from Indian farmer’s cheese (paneer) are packed with calcium. Paneer can be taken either with mutter, peas or in the form of korma recipes. One ounce of paneer gives 222 mg of calcium.

Vitamins and Proteins

Fish and meat are excellent source of vitamin and proteins. If you are a non-vegetarian then take chicken, fish and meat in form of different Indian recipes. For instance, tandoori chicken is a good source of protein. However if you are a vegetarian the add asparagus to your routine curries.

  • Paneer dishes give 28 g of protein.
  • Half cup of cooked lentils provides 8.9 g of protein.
  • A standard for dal recipe provide 8.9 g of protein.

When pregnant, you need to always think about the two of you and this applies most clearly to nutrition. For your own use, only about 100 calories per day would be needed but for the growing foetus, much more nutrition is needed. They need to choose those food groups that are rich in nutrition. An optimum balance between the important nutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fats is important for providing enough nutrition during pregnancy to the foetus and the mother.

  • Good sources of protein are dairy products, beans, nuts and whole grains. These help the expecting mother to increase her volume of blood and development of amniotic fluid.
  • Heartburns are common in pregnant woman. In order to avoid or lessen it you should take frequent and smaller meals, avoid spicy food, avoid foods that are greasy and fatty, and eat slowly with a lot of chewing.
  • Fat rich foods like nuts, seeds such as flaxseeds, dairy products like paneer and avocados can provide the much needed fat in pregnant woman.
  • Carbohydrates can be had from foods like beans, whole grains and nuts.
  • The main vitamins for pregnancy are vitamin A found in dairy products and fruits like cantaloupes, guava, mango, tomatoes, passionfruit, grapefruit, papaya and watermelon and vegetable s like Amarnath, broccoli, sprouts, spinach, sweet potato, Brussels and carrots. Vitamin B1, B2 and B3 is found in green leafy vegetables and whole grains, B6 is found in banana, brown rice and green leafy vegetables; vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, vitamin D is found in fortified cereals and dairy products and also by sunbathing. Vitamin E is available in unrefined vegetable oil.
  • Alchohol consumption and smoking should be strictly avoided. Caffeinated beverages can also be avoided as they dehydrate you while you want to stay hydrated.
  • Important minerals during pregnancy are calcium found in milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, quinoa and fortified foods; iron found in leafy vegetables, fruits like apple and guava, nuts and seeds.
  • During pregnancy women complain of constipation a lot. You need to stay hydrated by having a lot of water, taking high fibre foods like whole grains and, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • You would do well to eat a balanced diet during pregnancy, in each of your meals. Include foods from all the food groups and micronutrients in your meals.
  • Try to take the most nutrient foods so that you can get all the nourishment in lesser food intake. You can stick to fruits and vegetables for meals after that.
  • Pregnancy is a crucial time for women and their families. It signals the beginning of a new life with a new member in the family. During pregnancy, every woman is bombarded with suggestions as to what to eat and what foods not to eat when pregnant. Elders in the family tell every woman that there are certain fruits and vegetables that are to be avoided during pregnancy. In case you have missed out this instruction, we present to you vegetables and fruits to avoid during pregnancy.

 ·      What to Avoid During Pregnancy ?????

 ·    Papaya During Pregnancy

Many cultures firmly believe that eating papayas during pregnancy is a strict no, no. Papaya intake apparently brings on labour early. This is partially true. Papayas, especially the unripe and semi-ripe ones are rich in latex which is known to trigger uterine contractions. There are also heating in nature and are better avoided during the third and final trimester of pregnancy.However, ripe papayas are excellent during pregnancy. Ripe papayas are rich in vitamins such as vitamin C and other wholesome nutrients that prevent the onset on pregnancy symptoms such as heartburn and constipation. Papayas mixed with honey and milk is also an excellent tonic for pregnant women especially during lactation.

·        Pineapple During Pregnancy

This fruit too is considered by many as a pregnancy no, no. Pineapples are rich in bromelain which can cause the softening of the cervix leading to early labour. However, for that to happen, a pregnant woman has to drink pineapple juice in excessive quantities that will first lead to diarrhoea! One can have pineapple in moderate quantities as it will have no effect on labour and delivery. However, its intake should be restricted during the first trimester to avoid any unforeseen event such as softening of the cervix. Many women also claim that one can drink a lot of pineapple juice if they want to induce labour!

·        Grapes during Pregnancy

It has been suggested by many medical professionals that pregnant women in their last trimester should avoid fruits such as grapes because of their heat content.

·        Avoid unwashed Raw Fruits and Vegetables during pregnancy

The most important advice for pregnant women is to avoid unwashed and unpasteurised vegetable and fruits during pregnancy. It is critical that food hygiene is given primal importance during pregnancy to avoid infections from toxoplasmosis.

Fruits and vegetables should be an integral part of every pregnancy diet. However, one must exercise caution and avoid eating some of them such as pineapples in excess in order to avoid any complication during pregnancy.

Disclaimer :- The information any where in this blog is based on literature available in ancient books, clinical studies as well as the scientific researches on GARBHSANSKAR. It is strictly advised to consult his/her family doctor, physician or gynecologist before practically implicating or following any matter or suggestion,  anywhere in the blog – for herself/himself or any one concerened.

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