Beat pregnancy fatigue by making sure you consume these nutritious foods.
WORDS REBECCA WONG
Is pregnancy draining you of your energy? Be sure to include these to your pregnancy diet to keep you going throughout the day.
Citrus and Dried Fruits
It’s no surprise that citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C, another nutrient that helps combat daytime lethargy. “Vitamin C is needed to build new tissues of you and your baby’s body, so it’s no surprise that your need for it increases during pregnancy,” observes Ujjwala Baxi, registered dietitian and founder of Poshan Cure thru Diet. “Additionally, accompanying iron-rich foods with Vitamin C-dense ones help in greater absorption of iron.”
To get your daily dose of Vitamin C, choose citrus fruits
like oranges, gooseberries and grapefruit.
You can also keep dried fruits such as cranberries, apricots, and prunes handy to restore your Vitamin C levels when out and about, Baxi adds. As for daily requirements, an intake of around 85mg is usually sufficient. “Overconsumption of Vitamin C is not a good idea as it may lead to Vitamin C toxicity and induce miscarriage in some cases,” cautions Baxi.
If you’re a self-professed meat-lover, you’ll be glad to know that lean meat is a fantastic energizer thanks to its high level of protein. “Proteins are not only the building blocks of our body but also carriers for essential nutrients needed during pregnancy,” says Baxi. “Hence, while increasing the calories in your diet, focus on increasing the protein content.”
Besidesboosting energy, protein also promotes breast and uterine development, increases blood supply and ensures the growth of the foetus (including the brain), adds Celeste Viviers, registered dietician and founder of nutrition and wellness consultancy Nutrilicious. As such, make foods such as lean beef, lean pork and skinless chicken a part of your diet.
It’s advisable to consume around two to three
servings of lean protein per day, with one serving
equivalent to 90g, Viviers recommends.
Another food group that’s high in iron, whole grains are the key to avoid feeling peckish after meals. Consuming whole grains results in a slow release of energy throughout the day, keeping you continually recharged. “Whole grains also contain folic acid/ folate, which assists in the formation of the baby’s neural tube,” explains Viviers. “An adequate folate intake by the mother reduces the risk of neural tube defects including spina bifida.” She also recommends three servings of whole grains (one serving being half a cup or one slice), comprising of either bread, oatmeal or wholegrain cereals.
A class of vegetables that include peas, beans and lentils, legumes are packed with tons of energy-boosting nutrients. Not only do they contain iron, fibre and protein, they’re also low in fat and cholesterol. To satisfy protein dietary needs, Viviers recommends two to three servings of legumes (one serving equating to half a cup (125ml) cooked legumes). These can include split peas, kidney beans, black beans, navy beans and chickpeas.