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Monsoon Food Guide For Expecting Mothers

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 especially for delicious monsoon foods. 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 especially in monsoon.

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 Monsoon 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.

monsoon

Meet Your Fluid Needs in the Monsoon

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 in Monsoon

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.

monsoon

…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 and Moonsoon Food

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 Your Monsoon Food

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. Moonsoon food is your best bet.

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 During Monsoon

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.

Monsoon Food: Roma Tomato Soup & Goat Cheese Crostini

Is there anything a bowl of warm soup can’t fix? Have it after a long and tiring day at work, or on a day there has been a light drizzle, and you will not regret it. Yes, Indians have been making having tomato soup for years, but follow this recipe by Chef Rajesh Wadhwa, Executive Chef, Taj Palace, New Delhi, for a newer variation, and we promise you will not regret it. With your soup goes a side of a goat cheese crostini to provide that perfect crunch!

Roma Tomato Soup With Goat Cheese Crostini – Special Moonsoon Food

 tomato soup

Prep time:
 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients For The Special Monsoon Soup
Roma Tomato Soup

Image: Shutterstock

500 gm tomatoes, peeled
8 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt, to taste
Pepper powder, to taste
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 cups vegetable stock
Olive oil to drizzle
1 tbsp olive oil to cook
2 tbsp butter, for the topping

For The Monsoon Special Croutons
monsoon

Image: Shutterstock

1½ cups torn crusty bread
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For The Monsoon Special Goat Cheese Crostini

For The Goat Cheese Crostini

Image: Shutterstock

French baguette, sourdough or bread of your choice
Fresh goat cheese to spread over the slices
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
A pinch, dried mixed herbs
A pinch, cayenne pepper
Olive oil to drizzle

Method
1. Preheat oven to 425° F or 220° C. In a large baking dish, crush the tomatoes with your hands, scatter garlic cloves over, drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for around 35-40 minutes, tossing the ingredients halfway through, until the garlic softens and tomatoes become jam-like. Once done, using a potato masher or fork, mash to break up the roasted garlic and tomatoes.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil reserved for cooking. Add the onion and sauté. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions soften. Add the tomato puree, roasted tomato mixture and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the soup to simmer for around 15-20 minutes.
3. To prepare the croutons, in another baking sheet, lay out the crusty bread. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and freshly-cracked pepper. Bake for around six to eight minutes until golden brown.
4. Puree the tomato soup mixture with hand blender or in a mixer-grinder in small batches.
5. Transfer the soup back into the pot and bring it to a bowl. Adjust the seasoning as desired.
6. To prepare the goat cheese crostini, drizzle slices of bread of your choice with olive oil. Slather with fresh goat cheese and sprinkle a dash of freshly cracked black pepper, dried herbs and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Place in the oven for about five to seven minutes until the cheese melts.
7. Serve the soup hot, topped with butter, croutons and the goat cheese crostini.

Sources:

https://www.femina.in/food/immunity-boosters/a-food-guide-for-expecting-mothers-231370.html

https://www.femina.in/food/recipes/roma-tomato-soup-goat-cheese-crostini-203386.html

https://in.musafir.com/blog/food-cravings

https://www.countryholidaysinnsuites.com/blog-details/top-6-food-that-you-must-have-during-a-rainy-day

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-super-healthy-probiotic-foods

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