5 May 2023 | 6 min Read
Author | 799 Articles
Calcium is one of the essential nutrients that women need in excess during pregnancy. While your doctor may recommend calcium supplements right from the beginning of pregnancy, another way to suffice your nutrient intake naturally is by including calcium-rich foods in your pregnancy diet.
Read on as we tell you more about the essential calcium-rich foods for pregnancy, and how their consumption benefits your and your growing baby’s health.
Calcium is considered an all-star mineral, which strengthens your baby’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and aids in the development of their bones and muscles. Besides this, calcium also enhances your energy levels and keeps your bones strong to bear the additional weight of your developing baby.
Having adequate amounts of calcium in your pregnancy diet also decreases the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes brittle bones, and is common in women above the age of 35.
Oatmeal contains essential nutrients that help support your and your growing baby’s health during pregnancy / Image credit: Freepik
Oats are a wholesome source of essential nutrients and contain high levels of calcium, dietary fibre, carbohydrates, folic acid, and potassium. All these nutrients are crucial to support your overall health and also aid in the development and growth of your baby.
Oatmeal is considered a good breakfast option, as it helps keep you full for a long time and boosts your energy levels. You can also consider having oatmeal cookies or bars for snacks to keep the pregnancy hunger pangs at bay.
Milk is an excellent source of calcium and is popular among all age groups. Having a glass of milk regularly helps nourish your body and energises you. Not only milk, but other dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese are beneficial during pregnancy and help meet your calcium requirements for the day.
You can also include soy products or tofu in your pregnancy diet, which are considered superfoods, and rich in nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, and protein. So unless you are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products, make sure to consume an adequate amount of milk, tofu, or cheese to keep you and your baby healthy.
Oranges are loaded with antioxidants like vitamins C and K that boost your immunity and ensure you experience a healthy pregnancy. The tangy flavour of the fruit can also help stimulate your taste buds on days when you are struggling with bouts of nausea and morning sickness.
Kale is calcium-rich and also promotes better digestion and metabolism / Image credit: Freepik
This leafy green vegetable is a powerhouse of calcium. It helps in the development of strong teeth and healthy bones in your baby. Additionally, kale is rich in vitamins A and C and dietary fibre, which promote better digestion and metabolism, and prevent constipation during pregnancy.
You can enjoy kale by adding it to your salad or enjoying it in the form of crispy chips. Just ensure to have adequate amounts of green veggies regularly to rule out the chances of nutrition deficiency during pregnancy.
Dates are an exotic fruit, enriched with energy and nutrients. This sweet-tasting fruit is also an excellent source of calcium that safeguards your bones and teeth during pregnancy. Additionally, dates are loaded with dietary fibre that keeps your metabolism and digestion running smoothly during pregnancy.
Having dates in the morning can also relieve the discomfort associated with morning sickness and elevate your energy levels. Dates are also a healthier way of satisfying your sweet cravings during pregnancy, rather than calorie-loaded pastries or ice creams.
Bok choy is a nutrient-dense vegetable, which is a must-have during pregnancy. Consuming this leafy vegetable benefits both your and your baby’s health. Its calcium content helps in the healthy nervous system and brain development of your baby, and its antioxidant qualities help maintain your immunity and prevent the risk of infections.
Broccoli has a rich calcium content that helps in the bone development of your baby. This green veggie also exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps ward off seasonal illnesses and infections. The best part is that you can try several tasty recipes using broccoli like stir fry, curry, or a warm bowl of broccoli soup.
Almonds can fulfill your calcium requirements and also help boost your energy levels / Image credit: Freepik
Almonds are calcium-rich and lower the risk of preeclampsia or hypertension during pregnancy. It also helps in the healthy bone formation of your little one.
Additionally, almonds are an excellent source of protein that improves your strength and energy levels during this time. Hence, make sure to have a handful of almonds, along with other dried fruits like dates to suffice your regular calcium intake.
Dry figs are a perfect mid-day snack, and they are also beneficial to you and your baby due to their rich fibre and calcium content. This dry fruit also aids in your baby’s bone development and smooths your digestion to end your constipation woes during pregnancy. So the next time you make a snack box, make sure to add dry figs to fulfill your daily dose of calcium requirement.
These calcium-rich foods are vital for pregnancy as they help in the musculoskeletal and nervous function development of your baby. These foods also help energise you and maintain your bone health to bear the weight of your baby.
Apart from consuming these calcium-rich foods, you can also consult your healthcare provider to determine whether you need calcium supplements to meet your daily nutritional needs.
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Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com
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