Pregnancy brings with it great many food cravings. While we wish we could live on cakes and other delicacies forever, it is also important to consume a healthy dose of immunity-boosting foods. Pregnancy is known to weaken a mother’s immune system, which makes the moms vulnerable to infections like common cold, UTIs, Covid-19 etc. Prevention is better than cure. Since most medication is to be avoided during pregnancy, catching an infection can be somewhat daunting. Luckily, nature has provided us with an abundant supply of “Immunity-boosting foods” that help our bodies stay strong from within.
Here is a food list of 6 superfoods that you can include in your pregnancy diet.
Research suggests that the antimicrobial allicin found in garlic is known to strengthen immunity and decrease the risk of developing common cold. Garlic is also great for gut microbiota and is, therefore, a highly recommended superfood.
Lactoferrin is a compound found in milk that boosts immunity by interrupting the interactions between viral cells and body cells to lower the impact of viruses on the body. Expecting mothers can consume dairy in the form of buttermilk, ghee, yoghurt, whole milk etc for a steady dose of calcium.
- Vitamin C- Rich Foods I
t is well-known that vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system, but it is important to note that we only need moderate amounts of it. Many fruits and veggies are rich in vitamin C: oranges, guava, kiwi, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes. Two of our favourites are Guava and Kiwi fruit, both rich sources of Vitamin C. One kiwi provides around half of your daily vitamin C requirements, and it is much more delicious than a tablet!
- Vitamin E- Rich Foods
Vitamin E helps with cognitive function and development. Mixed nuts and oil seeds are powerful sources of antioxidants that help protect your immune cells from damage. Food rich in vitamin E are almonds, olive oil, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, peanut butter.
- Zinc Rich Foods
Zinc plays an important role in maintaining our body’s immune system. Low levels of zinc can lead to a higher susceptibility to various infections. Zinc is found in a variety of foods- whole grains, milk products, lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood (oysters, shellfish), beans, chickpeas, nuts (such as cashews and almonds), seeds and soy products. Take your pick!
- Gut-Friendly Foods
Eating foods rich in probiotics, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, oats, barley, legumes, nuts maintain a healthy gut microbiota. This is essential to prevent constipation, a common pregnancy concern. A healthy gut equals better immunity.
Overall, just remember that a balanced nourishing diet containing whole grains, lean proteins, dairy products, nuts /seeds and fresh fruits, veggies together serve as the best recipe to boost immunity during pregnancy.
Consult the qualified dietitians at Fernandez Hospitals to build an optimal, nutritious diet plan based on your specific pregnancy needs.