Good health can’t be divorced from good nutrition. This adage applies equally to our Mothers who are constantly occupied in nurturing the family often at the cost of their own health. Our food choices squarely impact our health giving us a reason to pay close attention to what our Mothers are eating on a daily basis. This Mother’s Day, let’s deep dive into how diet of a Mother should look like. It gets modified according to the age group of the Mother for example: a lactating Mother will need more calories & protein in her diet while a Mother in her forties needs more calcium and Vitamin D.
A complete diet should be a balance of macro nutrients like Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins and Micro Nutrients like Vitamins and Minerals. A Mother should consume about 2200 calorie per day for a moderate lifestyle. Her diet should include but not limited to:
Fruits and Vegetables: They are a great source of Vitamins and Minerals which are essential for the immunity of our body and ensure the smooth functioning of body parts like eyes, skin, bones and blood. For example, we need Vitamin A for healthy vision while Calcium is needed for development and maintenance of bones. Eat 400 gm of fruits and vegetables and avoid starchy products like Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes.
Milk, Poultry products, Legumes: The trio is regarded as a fount for proteins which is the building block of our body. A mother needs approx. 55g of protein daily. Consuming quality protein in adequate amount is very important. For example, vegetarian sources of protein lack or has lower amount of amino acids like lysine, threonine or methionine thereby affecting the quality of the protein. Our body needs protein for the development of hormones and enzymes. Another key role of protein is in the development and maintenance of muscles which are important for our day to day functioning. Lack of protein adversely impacts our muscle health impairing quality of life over the period of time.
Cereals, Fats and Sugar: These provide our body with energy and need to be consumed carefully. The key is to balance the energy expenditure ratio to pre empt obesity. It is important to ensure that only 10% of our total energy should be harnessed from free sugars which basically comprises of all sugars which is added to foods or drinks during the process of manufacturing or cooking
Around 20-30% of our total energy intake should be cultivated from fats while unsaturated fats present in vegetable seed oil like sunflower, olive, peanut etc. should be preferred over saturated fats present in butter and cream. Trans fat which is manufactured from hydrogenated vegetable oil and is present in food items like baked goods and fried foods and should be avoided as it increases levels of LDL often called bad cholesterol and reduces HDL which is considered as good cholesterol in the blood.
Things to be careful about:
- Breakfast should be the heaviest meal of the day followed by lunch. Dinner should be light
- Drink plenty of fluids like water, fresh fruit juices
- Fibre intake is important for women as it helps to maintain blood sugar level
- Food items rich in sugar like carbonated beverages, preserved fruit juices, and sugar syrups should not be a part of daily diet
- The salt consumption should not exceed 5g/day and it should be iodized salt.
- Nutrition deficiencies are quite prominent in Mothers like Iron, Calcium and Protein deficiency. It is important to include right supplement to overcome it
- Exercise regularly
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.