As per FDA National Dietary Guidelines, there are two specific recommendations for nutrition for expecting mother – related to iron and folate (folic acid). Folic acid or  Vitamin B9 that helps a baby’s neural tube — the part of the embryo that becomes the brain and spinal cord of the baby– develop properly by almost 70%. It is very much essential to start taking folic acid before conception and continue taking it through the third month of pregnancy, when the baby’s neural tube is developing, to prevent birth defects in the spine and skull.

  In fact, severe anaemia during pregnancy can impair growth, motor movements and mental development in children and they may exhibit a shortened attention span and decreased alertness. Such children are also having an increased risk for stroke.

Some sources of Iron-rich foods are:

Leafy greens such as fenugreek (methi), spinach (paalak), lamb’s quarters (bathua), coriander (dhania) and mint (pudina)

Spices such as cumin seeds (jeera), bay leaf (tej patta), turmeric (haldi)

Soya nuggets ,potatoes (aloo) or other vegetables such as capsicum (shimla mirch) and peas (matar)

Indian gooseberry (amla)

Foods rich in both Iron and vitamin C:

Broccoli (hari gobhi)

Peas (matar)

Beans (lobia) Sprouts of horse gram (kala chana) etc

FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DR GOVIND SHUKLA, NUTRITION EXPERT

Govind Shukla, Specializes in Pharmacology, Toxicology, Nutraceuticals & Herbal Drugs has published More than 100 research papers in National & International Journals. He is also a reviewer of International Journal of Pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics, Chief editor of IJPNR Journal & Freelance Medical Writer for Different publication Groups including Lambert Academic Publishing Saarbrucken, Germany.

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