Summer Diet Essentials: Hydration, health tips for expecting moms

Expecting mothers are advised to include complex carbohydrates like whole grains, oats, whole wheat, millets, and single-polished rice

How can you stay hydrated without consuming empty calories this summer?

HYDERABAD: Welcome to the sunny days of summer, where the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables awaits! As we embrace the season's vibrant produce, it's essential for expecting moms to nourish themselves and their little ones with the right foods.

Let's explore some expert diet tips from nutritionists tailored to keep moms-to-be cool, healthy, and satisfied during these warm months

To stay hydrated, include 8-10 glasses of water daily. Alongside water, incorporate mint lemonade, fruit smoothies, jeera buttermilk, tender coconut water, and sugarcane juice to replenish electrolytes and nutrients while staying hydrated.

Add leafy vegetables to your dals, soups, and parathas to ensure you're getting enough iron, folic acid, and calcium. Incorporate more vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables like guava, oranges, mangoes, kiwi, capsicum, tomatoes, and lemon to enhance iron absorption from your diet.

Avoid caffeine-rich foods like coffee, which may hinder iron absorption in your body. The summer season offers plenty of hydrating fruits and vegetables like watermelons, cucumbers, water apples, and ice apples, which are packed with water, vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.

Milk and milk products like paneer and curd are excellent sources of calcium. Curd, in particular, is a good source of probiotics that aid in digestion. Make your plate more colorful by adding salads with boiled vegetables, carrots, beets, and colored capsicum, all rich in antioxidants to boost immunity.

Opt for healthy snacks like Greek yogurt with fruit, chia seed pudding, hummus with carrot sticks, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds to fulfill your magnesium, zinc, B complex vitamins, and vitamin E requirements. Salads featuring baby carrots, cucumber, and boiled sweetcorn provide ample fiber to prevent constipation.

Expecting mothers are advised to include complex carbohydrates like whole grains, oats, whole wheat, millets, and single-polished rice to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and avoid constipation. Steer clear of acidic foods such as fried, oily, greasy foods, spicy gravies, chilies, and sour foods to prevent acidity and gastric problems. Consider reducing or avoiding red meat and organ meats.

Opt for frequent small meals over large meals to manage hunger. Choose cooking methods like boiling, steaming, pressure cooking, shallow frying, and sautéing to minimize added fat. Healthy fats like walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, fish, and olive oil provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids essential for the baby's brain development.

Protein is a crucial macronutrient for baby growth and development. Boiled eggs are an easy-to-prepare protein source, along with fish, lean chicken, paneer, and legumes. Avoid stress eating by reflecting on your feelings before indulging in junk food.

Ensure that junk foods are not readily accessible in your surroundings to curb cravings when not hungry. Practice mindful eating and maintain a regular eating pattern, such as three main meals and small snacks in between. By following these tips in your summer diet, you can improve your health and that of your baby. Stay hydrated and stay safe.

With inputs from Dr. V. Krishna Deepika, Sr. clinical nutritionist & lactation counselor, Apollo Cradle & Children's Hospital, Kondapur, Hyderabad

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