During pregnancy, it is very essential to have whole grains in your diet. A good source of nutrients, whole grains keep you and your baby fit and strong. So, if you are pregnant, then discover the lovely world of whole grains which will benefit you and your developing baby through various ways.
Some of the benefits of whole grains:
- Good source of folic acid: Whole grains are a good source of folic acid, a type of vitamin B. It helps in generating new cells in your body. Deficiency of folic acid causes diseases like anaemia, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, dementia and cognitive deficit in pregnant women. It also leads to premature infants, low birth weight and babies with neural tube defects (NTDs). So, if a pregnant woman consumes the required quantity of whole grains in their diet, it can, to a great extent, prevent major birth defects especially in the baby’s brain and spine. Cereal and fortified bread provides a good amount of folic acid during pregnancy.
- Contains high fibre: Whole grains contain a good quantity of fibre of two types — soluble and insoluble. Both are beneficial for women during pregnancy. And as fibre digests slowly, it makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. However, all types of whole grains are not high-fibre. Pregnant women can take bran, brown bread, oats and barley in their diet.
- Delivers essential minerals: Whole grains are a good source of minerals required for a healthy pregnancy. Iron, magnesium, zinc etc. can be received from whole grains which help in preventing anaemia, build bones and keep your immune system alert.
- Contains resistant starch: Complex carbs like brown rice and oatmeal are whole grain sources of resistant starch. These types of whole grains are ideal for women during pregnancy as they help fight constipation and combat nausea.
Some good options for grain sources are:
- Cooked oatmeal, wheat and barley
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat bagel
- Raisin or plain bagel
- Whole grain muffin
- Cooked whole wheat pasta and noodles
- Whole grain pancake or waffle
- Brown bread
So, eating healthy foods like whole grains, milk, vegetables, fruits etc. during your pregnancy is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and the baby in your womb healthy.