Pregnant women need folic acid, a crucial mineral. Spina bifida, a form of neural tube defect, is less likely to occur if your kid gets enough of it throughout pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you take the supplement, however, there are alternatives to get enough folic acid from natural food sources. Even better, they’re both nutritious and delicious!
For folate-rich meals, expectant Indian mothers need only look in their pantry. A lot of what we’re eating on a regular basis is high in vitamins. As a result, make sure you have plenty of your favorite lentils on hands such as moong dal, chana dal, urad dal, and arhar dal. Experiment with lentil soups, dosas/chills, salads, and even Indian dessert recipes that use them as an ingredient if you’re sick of the same old dal you’ve had before.
Chana/Chickpeas with Lobia
For those of you who like chana/chickpeas or labia/cowpeas, this news is good. In addition to being easy to prepare, these foods are also high in folate. It’s up to you what you do with them. You could use them in a curry, use them in greens, create vegan galouti kebabs, or boil them and use them to make middle-eastern chickpeas.
When you’re pregnant, it can be difficult to strike a balance between eating healthily and splurging on a few sweets. Sesame allows you to indulge in both without feeling guilty about it. Sesame ladoos and chikki are easy to make at home or to purchase. Salads can benefit from the addition of sesame seeds. It provides flavor right once and is also high in folate, making it an excellent addition to a pregnant woman’s diet.
Folate can be found in spinach and other green leafy vegetables, including kale and collard greens. No matter how you choose to eat them, make sure to include some of these nutrient-dense greens in your daily menu while pregnant. Many supermarkets and specialty shops have leafy greens including lettuce and kale, beetroot greens, turnip greens, and more. Moringa/drumstick leaves and other odd Indian greens should not be overlooked.
Folate is abundant in broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, so include them on your shopping list. Steamed or roasted with just salt and pepper and a splash of lemon juice, broccoli is one of the most versatile vegetables in the kitchen and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. If you can get your hands on some, try wilting some Brussels sprouts in a little olive oil over low heat or roasting them until they are crispy and golden brown for salad leaves.
Okra, also known as ladies’ finger or bhindi, is a common vegetable that is high in folate. In addition to making a conventional dish, you can also crisp up some of the vegetables and serve them as a side dish. Steamed or fried bhindi can be used in curries such as sambar or sour yogurt-based tamarind gravy.
The folate found in whole grains is particularly beneficial to vegetarians and vegans. Take into account grains like barley, broken wheat (which is used in soups or as upma, poha), and ragi (a millet) (great for baking as well as in dosas and idlis). Whole grain flour is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, so use it in your baking. Being less processed than white flour/maida makes it a better option for pregnant women to consider using. Fortified with added folate, whole grain goods are even better.
As long as you don’t have a peanut allergy, peanuts are an excellent source of vitamin B12. When eating, drizzle some fresh honey over the peanut butter after it’s been created at home by grinding up part of the nuts and salting the mixture. Roast some and eat them with a spicy salad of veggies. Make a satay sauce to go with grilled chicken or vegetables and serve with them. Toss a few into your poha while it’s still hot. Countless possibilities abound.
Citrus Fruits and Juice
Citrus fruit is a good source of folate, and it is available throughout the year. Juices made from citrus fruits can be consumed if you like, but avoid any that have added sugars. You might also try mosambi or sweet lime in addition to oranges and lemons.
Roasted sunflower seeds are an excellent source of folate and can be consumed straight as a snack or added to a variety of baked goods, cereals, bread, cookies, and salads.
The MamaXpert community is a great place to find out about pregnancy diets, get healthy pregnancy ideas from professionals, and learn about other moms’ experiences with living with a baby in tow.