NEW DELHI: A season of freshness, lush greenery, dips in temperature, slight drizzles, and chills. During this time of year, most of us prefer to stay inside and stay warm. This cold weather brings with it a slew of common ailments such as the cold, cough, flu, viral and bacterial infections, dry skin, and a slew of others.
It is also a season of immune compromise due to factors like less availability of sunshine nutrients, less hydration, bingeing on snacks over healthy nutrient dense meals and reduced frequency of exercise.
These are very true and relatable, even in the case of expectant mommies and new mothers. To-be-moms and new moms can improve their health and nutrition by adhering to a few key dietary practises during this season. Sneha Sanjay, Senior Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru shares some thoughts:
Inclusion of Immune boosting foods that are locally available
Ginger- Relieves stomach issues, boosts digestion and keeps the body warm. Gooseberry- A Natural detoxifier, and immunity booster, and since it is rich in Vitamin C, it will help in warding off infections and is excellent for iron absorption, which is crucial for mommies. Garlic- Sulphur content increases disease fighting abilities & improves body warmth. It reduces gassiness, which is quite common for mommies. Turmeric- Due to its anti-septic and anti-viral properties, turmeric is a wonder spice during pregnancy and also during the postpartum period. In the winter, haldi milk is a lifesaver. Carom seeds (Ajwain) and Pepper- Mothers can get rid of gassiness instantly with the intake of these, which treats abdominal discomfort and improves appetite due to slowed down metabolism.
Citrus fruits: They help to prevent infections, hydrate well, maintain skin health, and relieve winter dryness.
Adequate Hydration: Even though mothers might not feel the urge to drink enough liquids during these months, it is indeed an important way to keep themselves mostly healthy. Throughout the day, sip on warm fluids such as lukewarm water, homemade soups, vegetable or dhal broths, light porridges, and herbal concoctions to hydrate, replenish various nutrients, and nourish the mommy. Overall hydration should not be less than 2.5 litres per day.
Under the pretext of hydration, avoid beverages like coffee, tea, aerated beverages, packed juices, or sugar-laden beverages that may dehydrate and also restrict the absorption of certain vital nutrients, contributing to ill health. Improved hydration also speeds up the sluggish metabolism and keeps the mother away from indigestion problems.
Balanced meal/ snack pattern: A balanced diet in the winter months certainly plays a role in improving health, immunity, and mood. Opt for seasonal fresh veggies and fruits that are antioxidant backups. Inclusion of specific nutrients like Vitamin C & zinc in particular proves to be more beneficial in pepping up immunity levels to fight flu or infections, and zinc sources help ward off infections. Sticking to a 3 meal & 2 snack pattern keeps the mother away from the temptation to indulge in unhealthy, deep-fried, or outside food. The snacking options for a mommy can be yummy and healthy, like piping hot moong dhal dhokla, homemade steamed veg or non-veg momos, steamed sprouts or peanut salad, warm porridges, savoury makhana, and many such options. Snacking for mommies has to be finger-licking good and healthy too. (IANS)
Also Read: Simple Body Care Tips For Moms-To-Be