Most often, while pregnant the focus is on food. Mothers-to-be are offered endless advice on what to eat for the baby’s growth and their good health. But keeping yourself well hydrated when pregnant is equally important. Here is the list of 12 must have healthy drinks during pregnancy.
1. Water: This is the number one drink irrespective of age, gender or whether you are pregnant or not. Most of us have been recommended to drink 8 glasses of water a day and this is especially true during pregnancy. Drinking water when pregnant flushes out the toxins from the body and rids you and your baby of waste. It also relieves many pregnancy symptoms like constipation, heartburn, reduces the risk of UTIs and reduces excessive swelling of ankles and feet.
2. Milk: Generation after generation we are told of the many benefits of drinking milk and the good it does to our bodies. The benefits of milk are reaped by the mother-to-be and the baby right from when he is in his mother’s womb. Milk helps keep you hydrated as most of it is water. It also provides the much-needed calcium required by pregnant women to help in the baby’s bone calcification. To get enough calcium during pregnancy, it is recommended to drink 3 glasses of milk each day.
3. Soy Milk: In case you are lactose intolerant you can replace dairy-based, regular milk with soy milk. It provides you with all the same benefits as milk, and more. Soy milk is high in protein, calcium and vitamin D and helps in the bone development of babies. Additionally, soy milk also contains Omega 3 fatty acids which aid in the brain development of babies. However, experts suggest that the consumption of soy milk be limited to 2 glasses per day.
4. Coconut Water: Coconut water is a healthy way of preventing dehydration and replenishing the natural salts in the body. Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage containing all the five essential electrolytes – minerals, sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, which provide energy. It is a natural diuretic and helps flush out the excess toxins from the body. It also regulates the body’s pH levels preventing heartburn and constipation. Next time you are tired and low on energy, reach out for fresh coconut water.
5. Infused water: If you are bored with drinking plain old water, you can infuse water with a variety of fruits and herbs to enhance its nutritional value and taste. Infused water, also called detox water is free unnecessary calories and helps rid the body of toxins. You could add slices of cucumber, wedges of lemon, a few sprigs of mint, an inch of ginger, berries or even slices of apple, watermelon or cinnamon to the water, leave it overnight in the fridge and your infused water is ready in the morning. It is easy to make using an infuser bottle now readily available in all supermarkets.
6. Fresh Fruit Juices: Fresh fruit juices are one of the healthiest drink choices when pregnant. They not only keep you hydrated, but each fruit is packed with distinct nutritional benefits. You can choose from orange, grapes, pomegranate, grapefruit, watermelon and many more to add variety and taste to your daily diet. However, opt for freshly squeezed juices only as the packaged ones are loaded with sugar and lack enough fibre.
7. Milkshakes or smoothies: Milkshakes and smoothies are filling and can be the ideal snack during pregnancy. Grab your favourite fruits and blend them well with milk or yoghurt. Apart from beating hunger pangs, they provide the nutrition of fruit with the calcium and protein of milk or yoghurt. Make sure you do not load your smoothie with extra sugar as your body does not need those unhealthy calories.
Also read: Benefits of exercises for pregnant women
8. Homemade lemonade: Come summers and there is nothing more refreshing than a tall, cold glass of fresh homemade lemonade. Lemonade is especially recommended during pregnancy as it provides pregnant women with a natural Vitamin C boost. Lemonade with a dash of ginger or mint also prevents nausea and brings relief to women suffering from morning sickness.
9. Carrot Juice: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted in the body to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for the development of the eyes, skin, bones and many organs of the growing baby. Carrots are also rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants that help in cell production. Carrot juice can provide pregnant women the energy and stamina to keep going during pregnancy.
10. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is one drink which can be had in many ways – salty, sweet or spicy and can be effective in curbing pregnancy carvings. Apart from being hydrating, it is high in protein and calcium, and good for the gut too. It is a probiotic drink which regulates the healthy bacteria in the gut. Buttermilk also helps in restoring important body salts and relieving constipation during pregnancy. However, avoid drinking buttermilk at night as it could increase the likelihood of acid reflux and cough interrupting your sleep.
11. Iced Tea: If you are suffering from morning sickness, but need your daily boost of caffeine, iced tea could be the perfect option for you. You could drink this instead of hot tea or coffee which also increase the incidence of heartburn. You could add a dash of lemon to increase it’s nutritive value or make it in peach, strawberry or other fruit flavours to add variety. However, it is advisable to limit the consumption of iced tea because of its caffeine content which when overdone can cause irritability and insomnia, especially in pregnant women.
12. Healthy Ragi drink: Ragi is a rich source of calcium, Vitamin C, fibre and various other minerals. Because of its nutritive values, it is a popular choice of food for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and babies, especially in southern India. You could make a cool ragi drink by blending Ragi with buttermilk and spices which is ideal for the summer months. Alternatively, you could boil a spoon of ragi flour with jaggery and milk for a hot drink. Whatever your preference, try and include this healthy drink in your pregnancy diet.
Drinking plenty of healthy liquids during pregnancy will not only keep you hydrated but can also help you stack up on those much-needed minerals and vitamins. Remember to not go on any sort of liquid or juice fast while pregnant. Healthy drinks should be part of a healthy pregnancy diet for the maximum benefits.
Also read: Common Infections During Pregnancy
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