Calcium is an essential nutrient for the body and for mums-to-be, it is particularly vital. This all-star mineral helps build your baby’s bones and also gives your body the energy it needs to keep the baby safe and healthy. It also enhances your skeletal health and keeps your bones strong to bear the additional weight of your developing baby.
One of the ways to suffice your daily calcium intake naturally is by including food items that are rich in this nutrient. Apart from following a calcium-rich diet, you can also consume supplements with your doctor’s approval to meet the daily nutritional requirements.
Besides boosting your energy levels, calcium helps strengthen the musculoskeletal and nervous systems of the baby as well. Additionally, having adequate amounts of calcium in your diet can also decrease the risk of osteoporosis (a condition associated with brittle bones) in the mother.
Oranges are loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin C that can boost your immunity and ensure you experience a healthy pregnancy. The tanginess of the fruit can also stimulate your taste buds on days when you are struggling with bouts of morning sickness.
Milk is a rich source of calcium and is popular among all age groups. Having a glass of milk in the morning can help nourish your body and energise you. Not only milk but other dairy products like cheese, and yogurt can help meet your calcium requirements for the day. You can also consume tofu, which is considered a superfood rich in nutrients like calcium, iron, protein, and magnesium. So unless you are allergic to dairy products, you should consume a good quantity of milk, cheese, and tofu daily to keep you and your baby healthy.
Oats are a source of wholesome nutrition as they contain high amounts of nutrients like calcium, carbohydrates, folic acid, riboflavin, and potassium. All these nutrients are crucial to support your health, and aid in the growth and development of your baby. Oats are also a good breakfast option as it keeps your tummy full for a long time, and keeps the hunger pangs at bay for a while.
Kale is a leafy green vegetable and is a powerhouse of calcium. It helps in the development of strong bones and teeth in the baby. Additionally, kale is rich in fibre and Vitamins A and C which aid in smooth digestion and prevention of constipation. It can be enjoyed in the form of salads, and also as crispy chips. So if you want to rule out calcium and any other nutrient deficiency during pregnancy, make sure to have your bowl of greens daily to stay healthy.
Bok choy is a calcium and nutrient-dense vegetable and is a must-have during pregnancy. Consumption of the leafy vegetable benefits both the mum and the baby’s health. Besides calcium, bok choy contains other essential nutrients such as folate, Vitamins A, C, and K that help boost immunity and ensure a healthy pregnancy. Its calcium content also helps in the healthy eye and nervous system development of the baby. So if you want to increase your calcium intake and don’t prefer veggies like kale, this crunchy veggie is your saviour.
Dates are an exotic fruit brimming with nutrients and energy. This sweet fruit is also a rich source of calcium and helps safeguard the health of your bones and teeth. Dates are also loaded with fibre and keep your digestive system running smoothly. It also provides relief from the discomforts of morning sickness and can help improve your energy levels. The best part is that dates are a healthier way of satisfying your sweet tooth cravings as compared to consuming calorie-loaded ice creams and pastries.
Broccoli has a rich calcium content, which makes it an ideal veggie to consume during pregnancy. It helps bone development in the baby and prevents conditions like muscle loss in mums. In addition to this, broccoli also helps strengthen your immunity and ward off seasonal illnesses and infections. You can try several recipes using this veggie, like broccoli stir fry, salad, or a warm bowl of broccoli soup.
Dry figs are a perfect mid-day snack. They are also beneficial for you and the baby due to their rich calcium and fibre content. Eating dry figs will not only help strengthen the bones of your baby but also aid in smooth digestion and end your constipation woes. Next time you feel snacky, make sure to munch on some dry figs to meet your daily dose of calcium requirements.
Almonds are calcium-rich and can lower the risk of conditions like hypertension and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. It also helps in the bone formation of your little one. Additionally, almonds are a good source of protein and can help improve your strength and energy levels during this time. Along with other dried fruits like dates and figs, make sure to include a handful of almonds to suffice your calcium requirements.
Consuming calcium-rich foods during pregnancy is vital as it helps in the nervous function and musculoskeletal development of the baby, and maintains strong bones in mums to bear the weight of the baby. Your calcium requirements will typically increase during breastfeeding as well. You can consider increasing the intake of the aforementioned foods during that time. Apart from including calcium-rich foods in your diet, you can consult your doctor to know if you should take calcium supplements or not.