Nourishing your pregnancy is essential for the health and well-being of you and your baby. According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, certain foods can support a healthy pregnancy and promote the growth and development of a healthy baby.
One of the key principles of Ayurveda is that food is medicine. Eating the right foods can help balance the body's doshas, or energies, and promote overall health and well-being. During pregnancy, it is particularly important to nourish the body with nutrient-dense foods that support the growing baby and the mother's changing body.
One important aspect of Ayurvedic nutrition during pregnancy is to focus on foods that are easy to digest and nourishing to the body. This includes foods that are cooked, warm, and well-seasoned. Eating raw foods and cold foods can be difficult to digest and may cause discomfort during pregnancy. It is also important to avoid foods that are heavy, oily, or spicy, as these can aggravate the digestive system.
Another key aspect of Ayurvedic nutrition during pregnancy is to focus on foods that are high in protein and healthy fats. Protein is essential for the growth and development of the baby, and healthy fats are important for the mother's overall health and well-being.
Ayurveda also recommends certain foods and herbs to balance the doshas, that are specific to each individual. For example, pregnant women who have a predominance of vata dosha (air/space) should focus on eating foods that are grounding, warm, and nourishing, such as warm soups, stews, and casseroles.
Pregnant women who have a predominance of pitta dosha (fire) should focus on eating foods that are cooling and soothing, such as fruits and vegetables.
Pregnant women who have a predominance of kapha dosha (earth/water) should focus on eating foods that are light and dry, such as salads and steamed vegetables.
In addition to focusing on the right foods, it is also important to pay attention to the quality of the food you are eating. Eating organic, locally-grown foods that are free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals can help to ensure that you and your baby are getting the best possible nutrition.
It's also important to remember to stay hydrated during pregnancy by drinking plenty of water, herbal tea and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
Quick food reference to benefit pregnancy
Healthy fats - avocados, organic grass-fed dairy or raw whole milk, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia), seeds (sunflower, pumpkin), ghee (clarified butter) to cook with.
Pure clean water - may benefit from being boiled 15-20 minutes when using tap water.
Milk - boil milk before drinking. OK to add dry ginger.
Ghee - daily. OK to add to a cup of warmed milk w/ tsp. ghee.
Buttermilk - with a little cumin powder and rock salt.
Iron - spinach, fenugreek, radish greens.
Raisins, dates, beetroot, pomegranate, apples, saffron, jaggary, wheat, ragi, coconut, dried dates.
Fresh fruit juices; not from concentrate.
Favor eating whole grains.
Vegetables - bottle gourd, carrots, oakra, pumpkin, and all leafy green vegetables.
Raw, sprouted, legumes - cook before eating.
Papaya fruit, yams, mushrooms, corn, eggplant, spring onion, tomato soup, juice, and paste.
Milkshakes and smoothies.
Cookies, cakes, noodles from all-purpose flour.
Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to nutrition during pregnancy, emphasizing on nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest foods that promote overall health and well-being for both the mother and the baby. It also emphasizes on the quality of food with its impact on the body and it's a great way to ensure that you and your baby are getting the best possible nutrition.
You are welcome to schedule a private appointment with me to strategize an optimal plan for you and your growing family.
Read more about Ayurvedic lifestyle practices to support your pregnancy.
It is always recommended to speak with your healthcare provider and/or Ayurvedic Practitioner before making any significant changes to your food/beverage intake during pregnancy.