A Monsoon Food Guide For Expecting Mothers

Jul 5, 2022, 12:54 IST

food guide for pregnant women

Pregnant women must take special care of their food and nutrition needs during this very important period

Each year, the monsoon brings with it a lot of food cravings. People want to enjoy the season with a cup of tea, pakoras and samosas, but, unfortunately, the rainy season also brings with it a host of health problems. And pregnant women are more  prone to infections and illness.

Jagriti Barar, Clinical Nutritionist with the Cloudnine Group of Hospitals in  Malad, Mumbai
, details a few common mistakes that people usually make during the monsoon and some quick tips for you to follow during this monsoon season.

Up Your Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great for your immunity. People often start avoiding citrus fruits as soon as the weather changes, thereby compromising their immunity in the monsoon. Vitamin C is very crucial during pregnancy; it helps to fight infections and enhances iron absorption. If you find the fruit too sour, squeeze a lemon over your dal, consume kiwis, guavas and bell peppers as these are rich sources of vitamin C, and add sprouted pulses to your diet — sprouting enhances the vitamin C content of the food.

Add Prebiotic And Probiotic Foods

During the rains, people also start avoiding yoghurt. Probiotics such as yoghurt and buttermilk help to keep your gut clean. In pregnancy, it helps to meet your protein and calcium requirements. Probiotics boost the growth of good bacteria in the gut, and help fight the bad bacteria or the disease-causing bacteria.

Meet Your Fluid Needs

During the monsoon, fluid intake automatically decreases, but daily requirements should be met as a lot of bodily processes make use of fluids in the body to rid your body of toxins, especially in monsoons. It is always advisable for pregnant women to have boiled water, and to meet additional requirements with other fluids such as soup, broth, dal and coconut water.

Eat Your Vegetables

Vegetables such as snake gourd, arbi, yam, sweet potato, corn, bottle gourd, Indian squash and ridge gourd are commonly seen in the market during the monsoon. Include them in the form of curries, soups, raitas and cooked salads such as sweet potato salad.


food guide for pregnant women - home cooked food

Add Fruits To Your Diet
Seasonal fruits such as peaches, plums, cherries, jamuns and pomegranate are packed with vitamins A and C, fibre, and antioxidants. The idea is to consume at least two fruits daily in pregnancy. Also vitamin C rich fruits can ensure that you get your share of nutrients and build your immunity.

Don’t Forget Ginger And Garlic…

Ginger and garlic are known for their antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties that help to combat chills and fever and eliminate congestion. Recipes such as ginger tulsi tea and kadha with honey can meet the craving for something hot to drink. Garlic can be added to gravies, chutneys and soups.

…And Turmeric

Curcumin is the compound present in turmeric that has antioxidant, antimicrobial effects. It inhibits microbial growth, therefore improving immunity. Turmeric latte also known as haldi milk can be a good hot beverage instead of tea and coffee during the monsoon season.

Consider Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When the risk of infection is very high, Omega-3 sources such as walnuts, fish, shrimps, oysters, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and canola oil help in immune modulatory effect.

More Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

Keep these points in mind during pregnancy

Avoid Street Food
The monsoon season brings with it a host of health problems such as food poisoning and indigestion. That deep-fried vada pav from a street vendor might look delicious, but it comes under the list of those foods to avoid during the rainy season especially when you’re pregnant. Indeed, it is advisable for pregnant women to stay away from street food, especially deep fried food.

Avoid Raw Vegetables

The bacterial load increases if cut vegetables are kept for a longer duration, thus they should be avoided as they pose a threat to the health of the growing foetus. Vegetables such as mushrooms, lettuce, cabbage, brinjal and cauliflower should be avoided during the monsoon as they might have worms, and carry bacterial infection.

Avoid Raw Fruits

Fruits with high water content such as melons can be contaminated because the moisture in them can easily develop bacterial growth. Avoid eating pre-cut fruits and juices from roadside vendors, and stick to high-quality fresh cut fruits and juices made at home.

Avoid Uncooked Non-Vegetarian Food

Improper storage of meat can result in various microbes and parasites breeding inside it. Since it is the breeding season for fish, consuming any raw preparation should be avoided at all costs.

i food guide for pregnant women - boiled salads

Eat Cooked Food
Pick steamed or boiled salads instead of consuming raw vegetables to avoid bacterial infections and viral infections. Drinking soup is a great way of getting enough nutrients without any health risks.

Prep Right
Leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage tend to carry a lot of dirt and need to be washed multiple times in clean running water. You can also soak them in salt or vinegar water for 30 minutes, cook them and then consume them.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Expecting mothers should keep themselves hydrated especially during the rainy season due to humidity. It is advisable to consume water that has been boiled and cooled down.

Get Spicy

Spicing up your food with ginger, garlic, turmeric and apple cider vinegar might help in overcoming allergies.

Add Protein

Protein requirements are high during pregnancy. While choosing meat-based dishes, select properly-cooked food. Also balance meat out with other protein-rich vegetarian options such as milk, buttermilk, lentils, pulses and soya products.

Maintain Personal Hygiene To Stay Safe

Wash your hands regularly, especially before cooking or eating anything; bathe daily to wash off microbes and other infections; and keep your surroundings neat, clean and sanitised with a strong but safe disinfectant.

Keep in mind that there is no substitute for home-cooked meals, as one is aware of all the ingredients and the hygienic measures taken while preparing them.

Images: Shutterstock 

Also see
: Made For The Monsoon: Roma Tomato Soup & Goat Cheese Crostini