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Calcium Rich Fruits for Pregnant Women
Nutrition during pregnancy is very important for the expecting mom and also for the baby’s development. Both pregnant woman and the baby need calcium for strong bones & teeth and healthy hair. Calcium also helps the blood circulation and nervous systems to function properly. Calcium is needed for clotting and even for the contraction of skeletal and cardiac muscles. Recommended daily intake of calcium is 1200 mg per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 24 and above. For women under the age of 24, recommended calcium intake is 1200 to 1500 mg. per day
If there is no enough calcium in the mother’s diet during pregnancy, the baby will take the calcium it needs from the mother’s bones and that can affect mother’s health. Inadequate intake of calcium can cause osteoporosis – a disease that makes your bones brittle and easily breakable. Excess calcium during pregnancy is however dangerous because it can trigger uterine contractions. Therefore calcium supplements drugs are not advised during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are many foods rich in calcium to avoid calcium deficiency.
Most people think that the only way to get enough calcium is drinking milk and eating meat, but it is completely false. Consumption of certain fruits and vegetables can also quickly cover your daily requirement of calcium. This is especially important for those who choose to be vegetarians. Also, plant based sources provide easy absorption of calcium compared to milk and its derivatives.
Many pregnant women love to eat fresh fruits. So, if you are pregnant and love fruits, you should definitely include some calcium-rich fruits in your diet. Among the commonly available fruits, oranges, tangerines, kiwi fruits, figs and strawberries are rich in calcium and can be a good addition to your pregnancy diet. They are nutritious as well as healthy.
You can eat these calcium-rich fruits during your pregnancy and you may even include them in your postnatal diet. Here is a list of fruits rich in calcium that can benefit pregnant women.
Dried fruits, Nuts and Seeds Rich in Calcium
Dried fruits and nuts are very rich in calcium. They contain enough calcium for those who are lactose intolerant and wish to replace milk with dried fruits and nuts.
Almonds are a good example of rich calcium-rich nuts as they contain 240 mg of calcium per 100 gm. Typical mixed nuts contain about 117 mg of calcium per 100 gm, hazelnut contain about 140 mg per 100 gm, pistachio 110 mg per 100 gm, and walnuts about 98 mg per 100 gm. Brazil nuts provide about 213 mg of calcium per one-cup of serving.
Dried fruits like dates are also very rich in calcium.
A single date contains 15.4 mg calcium. Dried apricots too contain a good amount of calcium apart from iron, potassium and folic acid – which makes it a healthy snack. Just two dried figs can provide 55 mg of bone-healthy calcium to your body. Prunes or dried plums are also rich in calcium and they can also relieve you from constipation during pregnancy
Be careful though, as some of the dried fruits and nuts are salty or sweet (dates, raisins). They contain omega 3 fatty acids which are generally good for your health and can also keep your cholesterol in control, but they are still high in calories. So, please eat them regularly but in moderation to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Less Known Sources of Calcium
Some healthy seeds are densely packed with calcium.
Sesame Seeds are an excellent source of calcium. A tablespoon of sesame seeds provides a whooping 88 mg of calcium. Keep sesame seeds handy in your kitchen and use them regularly in parathas, chutney, in curry (powdered form)
A tablespoon of chia seeds can also provide an impressive 80 mg of calcium.
Garden cress seeds/Halim/Aliv:
Is one of very less known super food. It is not only rich in Calcium but also in Iron and Folic Acid. In Maharashtra, breastfeeding moms are given Aliv Kheer a sweet porridge made up of overnight soaked Aliv. If you don’t like the sticky texture of soaked Aliv, then dry roast them lightly, powder it then use it. You can use this powder in kheer/porridge. It is healthy for Kids and breastfeeding mothers.
(Very Important Note: Please note that Aliv seeds have ability to increase uterine contraction. So please use it in a small quantity during pregnancy. The reason of including this food in the list is to highlight that you can use it regularly during breastfeeding, so please keep a note of it)
100 gm of sunflower seeds contain about 78 mg of calcium.
Calcium-Rich Fresh fruits
Fresh fruits also contain calcium, but in a lesser amount. Here are some fruits rich in calcium. You can consume these calcium-rich fruits in the form of juice or smoothies, to help you get more beautiful skin and stronger bones. Here is a list of calcium-rich fruits along with their typical calcium content per 100 gm.
|Fruit||Calcium content per 100 gm|
|3||Black currants||55 mg|
|7||Kiwi Fruit||34 mg|
|14||Pink Grapefruit||22 mg|
Now you know that not only mother cow is source for our daily Calcium needs.
Also rather than keeping little variety of healthy foods in your diet if you use various sources then it helps more absorption of these nutrients in our body.
Calcium during breastfeeding is as important as during pregnancy. So please continue to have the calcium rich diet even after delivery. These calcium rich fruits are also good for babies and toddlers.