Right food and nutrition is vital for the well being of all of us. Especially when you are planning pregnancy you need to be quite physically strong to face the challenges ahead. Today we would discuss about some of the food options that you can make that will be quite helpful for your preparation for motherhood as well as to live as a healthy young woman.
A common issue among a lot of young women preparing for pregnancy is ovulation disorders. It has been evident that obesity is having a negative impact on the ovulation process and on fertility in general. Obesity is caused by excessive intake of fats & carbohydrates. The energy contained in these high food high in carbohydrates are not used by the body if you are not living an active lifestyle. Therefore those fats are deposited in the body resulting in obesity.
Switch to Better Protein Sources
As we all know a lot of proteins come from meats such as beef, pork and chicken. However it has been observed that the excessive intake of animal produce has a negative effect on fertility. Therefore, it is advisable to consider more and more vegetable based protein sources. Soya (& soya milk), Pea Nuts, Tofu, Lentils & Beans can give you a good supply of proteins. Always make sure that you have a diversity in the types of food you take so that you do not get dependent on only Lentils or only Tofu on a daily basis. The whole idea is to make sure you get all the nutrition while enjoying the diet.
Take Sufficient Amounts of Dairy Products
While making efforts to fight obesity, do not cut down the fat sources completely. Small portions of dairy products without removing the fat is suitable for health. A good example is a glass of whole milk per day while rest of your meals will have non fat milk and non fat yoghurt etc. Eating ice cream is tempting, but as we all know it is full of sugars that gives a lot of energy not used by your body, leading to obesity.
Vitamins Are a Must!
Vitamins and minerals make people's bodies work properly. Although you get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat every day, some foods have more vitamins and minerals than others. Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins — A, D, E, and K — dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. The water-soluble vitamins — C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate) — need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. Because of this, your body can't store these vitamins. Any vitamin C or B that your body doesn't use as it passes through your system is lost (mostly when you pee). So you need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.
- Vitamin A & Beta Carotene: Helps bones and teeth grow. Foods that you can take; milk, eggs, carrots, spinach, green and yellow vegetables, broccoli, potatoes, pumpkin, yellow fruits, cantaloupe etc.
- Vitamin D: Helps body use calcium and phosphorus; promotes strong teeth and bones.Milk, fatty fish must be taken regularly while receiving sunshine helps body to build Vitamin D.
- Vitamin E: Helps body form and use red blood cells and muscles. Intake of Vegetable oil, wheat germ, nuts, spinach, fortified cereals gives you Vitamin E.
- Vitamin C: An antioxidant that protects tissues from damage and helps body absorb iron; builds healthy immune system. If you take Citrus fruits, bell peppers, green beans, strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli & tomatoes regularly, you will be having a good supply of Vitamin C.
- Thiamin/B1: Raises energy level and regulates nervous system. Food rich in thiamin are; Whole grain, fortified cereals, wheat germ, organ meats, eggs, rice, pasta, berries, nuts, legumes & pork.
- Riboflavin/B2: Maintains energy, good eyesight & healthy skin. You should take Meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, fortified cereals & eggs to supply this to the body.
- Niacin/B3: Promotes healthy skin, nerves and digestion. These are available in; High-protein foods, fortified cereals and breads, meats, fish, milk, eggs & peanuts etc.
- Pyridoxine/B6: Helps form red blood cells; and during pregnancy time it helps with morning sickness. Sources of B6 are; Chicken, fish, liver, pork, eggs, soybeans, carrots, cabbage, cantaloupe, peas, spinach, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, bananas, beans, broccoli, brown rice, oats, bran, peanuts & walnuts etc.
- Folic Acid/Folate: Helps support the placenta, and prevents spina bifida and other neural tube defects. This is a MUST have in your nutrition mix! You MUST consume Oranges, orange juice, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, fortified cereals, peas, pasta, beans & nuts etc regularly.
- Calcium: Creates strong bones and teeth, helps prevent blood clots, helps muscles and nerves function. If you eat Yogurt, milk, cheddar cheese, calcium-fortified foods like soy milk, juices, breads, cereals, dark green leafy vegetables & canned fish with bones, you can be very confident about your bones, teeth and nerves!
- Iron: Helps in the production of hemoglobin; prevents anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery. Beef, pork, dried beans, spinach, dried fruits, wheat germ, oatmeal or grains fortified with iron are good sources of iron.
- Protein: Helps in the production of amino acids; repairs cells. Most animal foods, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, veggie burgers, beans, legumes & nuts contain protein.
- Zinc: Helps produce insulin and enzymes. Sources of Zinc are; Red meats, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified cereals, oysters & dairy products.
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