To prevent from anemia during pregnancy, make sure you get enough iron. A well balanced diet with adequate calories and good quality protein, foods rich in iron, folic acid, Vitamin ‘B12’ & ‘C’ needs to be taken.
- Iron-rich Foods:
Cereals and millets: Bajra, ragi, whole wheat flour, puffed rice and rice flakes.
Legumes: Horse gram, moth beans, lentils, bengal gram dal, rajmah, peas dry, cow peas.
Non vegetarian: Chicken liver, egg yolk, mutton, chicken.
Dark green and leafy vegetables like curry leaves powder, mint chutney, gogu, methi, amaranth, drumstick leaves, onion stalks etc. daily.
Nuts and oil seeds: Til, chia seeds, groundnuts, flax seeds, almonds and pista, melon seeds, coconut dry.
Dry fruits: Raisins, black dates, apricot.
- Include protein-rich foods:
Sources of protein for vegetarians are milk, curds (yoghurt), cheese, soya nuggets, tofu and paneer.
Non-vegetarians are eggs, lean meats like fish and chicken.
- Eat often and eat small meals that help in better absorption and digestion.
Eating vitamin c can double the amount the ion your body absorbs.
We get vitamin c from amla, guava, berries, melon, mango, pineapple, citrus fruits, lime juice etc. along with your meals.
Use of double fortified salt (iron + iodine) is recommended.
- Do not drink tea or coffee with your meals. Take it an hour before or after the meal.
- Do not combine an iron-rich meal with too many calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, paneer etc.
- Too much fiber in the diet also affects the iron absorption.
- Avoid refined and processed foods – Limit intake of pasta, noodles, polished rice, ready-to-eat foods, etc.
- Avoid pickles
- Dietary sources of folic acid :Green leafy vegetables – Amaranth, ambat chukka, spinach, mint, Oil seeds like gingelly (til) and soya bean, Orange juice, Chickpeas, Other legumes like green gram and red gram, Black-eyed beans and cluster beans.
- Dietary sources of B12: Shellfish, liver, fish, lamb, egg and low fat dairy product.