Vitamins & Supplements

Products taken orally containing one or more ingredients such as vitamins or amino acids that are intended to supplement one's diet

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Try these calcium rich foods

Calcium intake during pregnancy is important to ensure the skeletal development of your baby. Its deficiency is associated with your increased risk of suffering from osteoporosis in the later stage in life. So, gear up mommies-to-be and pack yourself with good amounts of calcium in your diet. Some calcium rich foods that you may include in your diet for fulfilling your daily requirements are given below: 1. Milk and milk products: Milk is an evergreen source of calcium and should be taken regularly for filling in your calcium bank. At least 2-3 glasses of milk are important. You may try variations with milk like strawberry or any other fruit shake, hot or cold milk, milk with nuts or fruit custard etc. In case, you are allergic to milk, i.e. you are lactose intolerant, do not worry! Substitute milk with curd. 2. Broccoli: A superfood, broccoli is tasty and healthy. It is a rich source of not just calcium but folic acid, vitamin C and K, potassium and fiber. All these nutrients are important for you at this stage. Sauté your broccoli or steam it, bake it or make a soup, or add to your whole wheat pasta, any which way it tastes yummy. 3. Dates: Dates are a sweet treat full of calcium and energy in it. Easily available, it can be added to milk, cakes, puddings or eaten just like that. 4. Oranges: Though the sweet and sour taste of oranges remind us of vitamin C in it, it is also rich in calcium and should be included in daily diet. Prefer having whole fruit instead of fruit juice since whole fruit comes with a lot of fiber too which is not present in juice. 5. Kale: A very good source of calcium and fiber, kale is another nutritious food you should opt for. It can be taken in salads and curry. Make sure to wash it thoroughly before consuming. 6. Tofu: Made of soya, tofu is yet another super food that should be added to your diet for calcium, magnesium, protein and iron. It can be eaten in salad, curry, and other innovative ways. 7. Figs: A sweet treat for taste buds, dried figs not only have good amounts of calcium in it, but it is also full of fiber. Take it as a snack or in milk to ease out constipation other than strengthening your bones. 8. Almonds: Almonds are a great way of staying healthy. Full of calcium, fiber, healthy fat and vitamin E, this nut is a power house of goodness. Take a handful of these whenever you feel hungry in between your meals or early in the morning. For best results, have almonds with skin since skin is a rich source of antioxidants.

4 Vitamin supplements you must give your baby

Are you confused which vitamin supplement you should give your baby? You will be surprised to find that most healthy babies receive the vitamins they require from breast milk or formula. As your baby begins eating solid foods, provide a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein-dense foods. Some babies do need additional supplementation of certain vitamins. For example, premature infants – born weighing less than 1.5 kilograms – will likely need extra vitamins and minerals added directly to breastmilk or formula. Additionally, babies who are exclusively as well as partially breastfed should be given vitamin D starting at birth, and an iron supplement starting at age 4-6 months. The most common supplements recommended for babies include: 1. Vitamin K: All babies must receive a one-time vitamin K injection shortly after birth to reduce the risk of haemorrhagic disease. Vitamin K is necessary for our bodies to activate certain molecules that help the blood to clot. 2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D allows the body to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, both critical for building strong bones. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, a bone-softening disease that still impacts children usually in the first two years of life. Since breast milk does not provide adequate vitamin D, all breastfed babies should receive a supplement. Formula fed babies generally do not need additional vitamin D supplementation because formula has vitamin D already added. 3. Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a type of anaemia called megaloblastic anaemia that makes people tired and weak. Vitamin B12 is not present in plant foods, so breastfeeding moms who follow a strict vegan diet (meaning, they aren’t eating any animal foods) will need to supplement their diet with vitamin B12 to make sure that both they themselves and their babies are receiving adequate levels. 4. Iron: Breast milk is low in Iron but most babies are born with sufficient reserves of iron to protect them from anaemia, at least until the age of 4-6 months. If you had poorly controlled gestational diabetes, or your baby was premature or smaller than 2.7 kilograms at birth), your baby may not have gotten enough iron during pregnancy. Content source Featured image source

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Eating well in your third trimester: 37-40 weeks

Some women do not prefer eating at all at this stage but there are women who face the first stage for very long period; so, they need snacks and drinks from time to time. Here are few tips that can help you through. Eating Healthy With Your Baby In The First Two Weeks Once the baby is born, it’s not over yet. You still need to continue to have healthy food to recover and to breastfeed your baby. However you cannot cook alone; so, take help of your relatives or cook and keep it in your fridge. You can use it for a week and eat in batches. If you don’t have enough support or you are living just with your husband then you may want to hire a cook and a maid. Let them look after the kitchen till you recover and are able to do the household works. Some also prefer to order food from reputed restaurants. So, think about it and choose an option appropriate for you. Breakfast As always keep your breakfast simple yet healthy. Prefer a bowl of milk with cereal like cornflakes or sandwiches with lots of veggies. Salads are also good to start but make sure to have a glass of milk for energy. Keeping your breakfast simple will help you a lot by saving time and energy. Lunch Soups can be a good idea to go for. Beetroot is rich in folate, magnesium, potassium. Avoid adding cream or yogurt while preparing beetroot juice and freeze it so that you have it in batches. You need beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion, olive oil, vegetable stock, bay leaves, etc. to prepare this. Once you peel the beetroot grate it or process it and cut carrot into small pieces. Add celery and potato pieces and blitz it. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and stir in some chopped onion. Once it turn light brown add vegetables, stock and bay leaves. Boil and cover the lid. Let it boil over low flame for 25 minutes and then blend it to smooth liquid using food processor. If you add cream or yogurt then do not store it. Snack Try having fruity flapjacks in the evening as oats present in it is rich in fibre. It can be stored in the freezer for few days. You will need sunflower margarine, demerara sugar, golden syrup, porridge oats and chopped dates. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and heat margarine and sugar till they melt completely. Stir in the golden syrup, oats, dates and mix the ingredients well. Take a greased baking tin and press into it and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove and keep it aside to cool down. Cut the flapjacks and leave it to cool down. You can also have fresh fruit juice, smoothies like mango smoothie, tomato apple juice, baked banana chips, etc. Dinner Have you ever tried ragu sauce before? On freezing it, ragu sauce will can be stay for a couple of days. Have it with pasta, lasagne sheets and cheese sausage. You need lean minced beef, finely chopped onion, crushed garlic clove, smoked bacon pieces, chopped tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, red wine and oregano. Take the beef in a non-stick pan and heat it; keep stirring while breaking up this mixture. Add chopped onion, bacon, garlic and heat it to fry. Keep stirring and cooking till onions turn soft. Chop the sundried tomatoes and add them to the pan along with chopped canned tomatoes, herbs and some wine. Let this boil for some time and then reduce the flame. Cover the lid and leave it for 35 to 40 minutes and then stir well. Alcohol in the wine you added will cook off slowly. Take it out and let it cool down before you have it. This was easy to prepare this; similarly, you can try many simple yet healthy recipes to get nutrients from the food.   Feature Image Source  

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What Do Pregnant Women Crave?

What do pregnancy cravings mean? As to what a particular craving means, the answer depends on whom you ask. Some nutritionists and healthcare practitioners believe that certain cravings may be meaningful. A strong craving for something that has no or little nutritional value is known as ‘Pica’. Some of these cravings may be attributed to nutrient deficiency. For example, cravings for ice and bizarre substances such as laundry starch and cigarette butts have been linked to an iron deficiency (even though none of these items contain significant amounts of iron). Some alternative medicine practitioners believe that a craving for chocolate may be triggered by a shortage of B vitamins. Some women may need more essential fatty acids in their diet; when they start taking flax oil, their food cravings disappear. Similarly, a craving for red meat seems like a transparent cry for protein. And the reader who consumed great quantities of peaches may have been responding to her body's need for beta carotene. Should I indulge my pregnancy cravings? In the end, experts agree that you should pay attention to your pregnancy cravings -- but not necessarily give in to them. Usually, a healthy diet can meet all your nutritional needs but some experts think food also satisfies an emotional need. If you are not feeling emotionally fulfilled, maybe you need a hug more than anything else! How can I control unhealthy food cravings? Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast every day. Skipping breakfast is known to make cravings worse. Also, get plenty of exercise and make sure you have a wide-ranging and healthy diet. If you have cravings for strange things, it is worth mentioning it to your doctor to be sure it doesn’t mean anything. Content Source Featured Image Source

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9 tips to prevent cold and flu during pregnancy

The good news is that there are several ways to prevent the flu so you can stay healthy through your pregnancy. Here are nine. 1. Get the flu vaccine Even if this season’s flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it’s still better than nothing and you may even have milder symptoms if you do get sick. The antibodies you make from the vaccine are also passed onto your baby, protecting him until he’s six months old, at which point he can receive the vaccine himself. In fact, according to a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease, the flu vaccine during pregnancy was 92 percent effective at preventing infants from being hospitalized. Those same antibodies are also passed through breast milk. 2. Wash your hands Be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid picking up the virus. Use warm water and soap, scrub the front and back of your hands, in between your fingers and under your fingernails for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 3. Don’t touch your face The flu virus can easily spread into the mouth, nose, and eyes so do your best to keep your hands away until you’ve washed them. 4. Kill the germs Disinfect all surfaces you frequently touch at home and work, especially if someone has been sick. 5. Eat healthily Plenty of fruits and vegetables, ideally five to nine servings a day, will give you the antioxidants to help strengthen your immune system. 6. Avoid crowds You might want to re-think that baby expo because coming into close contact with other people can increase your chances of catching the flu. If you’ll be traveling, wash your hands frequently and wipe down all surfaces on the plane with disinfectant wipes. 7. Consider supplements Vitamin C, D3, and other supplements may help you to fend off the flu. Be sure to talk with your doctor first about which ones are safe during pregnancy. 8. Rest and relax You’re probably a restless sleeper these days, but make it a point to get enough rest because it can strengthen your immunity. Also, activities that reduce stress like a prenatal yoga class, meditation, a day at the spa, and sex can help too. 9. Get checked If you have a high, persistent fever, call your physician immediately. The swab test for the flu will give you results fast but it isn’t 100 percent accurate. Nevertheless, your physician may prescribe Tamiflu anyway. Content Source Featured Image Source

Effective tips to prevent preterm labor

Along with the joy of pregnancy, a first-time mother also experiences anxiety and fear about labor and delivery. She wants her pregnancy to be smooth and uneventful. She is scared that something might go wrong during her pregnancy and her baby might be harmed. At times, a mother is unable to carry her baby for the entire nine months and has a delivery before the full term. A baby who gets delivered before the 37th week is termed as a preterm baby. A preterm baby may or may not be completely developed and are at a high risk of various diseases and infections. Although the causes of preterm labor are not exactly known, experts point to a number of factors can trigger preterm labor- Smoking, alcohol and drug use: Short interval between pregnancies Uterine and vaginal infections Pregnancy complications Structural anomalies of the uterus and/or cervix Gum infections Stress levels Occupational factors Carrying multiples Maternal age A previous preterm birth If you were preterm yourself Although, many of the above factors are beyond a mother’s control, there are still a few precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent preterm labor – Eat healthy – A healthy diet goes a long way in ensuring that you have a healthy baby. Consume foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and vitamin C, in order to provide your growing baby all the essential nutrients and build his/her immune system. Avoid alcohol – Consuming alcohol during pregnancy has often been linked to preterm labor so quit drinking for the sake of your baby. Alcohol may also harm your baby’s growth adversely. Say no to smoking – Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to go into preterm labor and their babies are more likely to have low birth weight. Stop smoking immediately to ensure the well-being of your baby. Exercise and yoga – Staying active, exercising regularly and practicing prenatal yoga not only ensures a smooth delivery but also helps to improve the chances of carrying your baby full term. Take prenatal vitamins – Vitamin deficiency is one of the main factors responsible for preterm labor. Make sure that you take all your prenatal vitamins timely. Keep an eye on your weight – Maintain a healthy weight as prescribed by your doctor. Adding too many kilos can lead to gestational diabetes and this might lead to early labor. Being underweight may also be a cause of preterm labor. Stay hydrated – Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated, simple it helps to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Maintain adequate gap between two pregnancies- If you’re planning another baby, ensure that you conceive after a minimum of 18 months after your first baby is born. If the mother’s body is weak, the chances of a preterm labor are higher. Do not hold on to urine – Urinate whenever you have the urge to. Holding on to urine can not only lead to urinary tract infections but also put unnecessary pressure on the bladder and lead to preterm labor. Get adequate rest – Getting adequate rest is of utmost importance in ensuring that you have an uneventful pregnancy and are able to carry your baby to the full term. Maintain good oral health – This might sound surprizing but good oral health goes a long way in ensuring that you carry your baby to the full term. Keep flu at bay – Research has shown that women who catch a flu often are more likely to go into preterm labor. Make sure that you are vaccinated against the flu and are getting enough rest even if you get it. Featured Image Source

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Your pregnancy diet guide (week 33-36)

The wait is about to get over and soon you will be holding your baby in your arms. That’s awesome! But since you are in your ninth month, still your baby is completely dependent on you for nourishment. Baby’s growth is almost through except for the brain and lungs which will keep developing post delivery also. Now your baby’s focus is on steady weight gain. Some vital nutrients that are required include: Protein: Responsible for body building and repairing, protein is an energy giving nutrient. It is a must to take enough protein currently since baby is gaining weight and development is still on. Make sure you take enough protein in each meal to ensure healthy growth of the baby. Ignorance here may mean a low birth weight baby. Protein rich sources are Beans, lean meat, whole pulses and legumes, milk and milk products, egg etc. Healthy fat: Since your focus right now is weight gain of your baby, energy dense foods are essential. Take enough fat in diet to help the baby accumulate fat in the body. But over eating of fat is also to be monitored. You may indulge in consumption of unhealthy fats like margarine, vanaspathi etc. which should be avoided since these fats are only calories which will only lead you to gain unnecessary weight. Instead, opt for healthy fats- a combination of ghee 1-2 tsp, mustard oil 2-3 tsp, olive or canola oil 1-2 tsp, vegetable oil 1 tsp can provide you with enough healthy fats essential for your baby’s brain development, and over all growth. You may even like to have healthy nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios as source of healthy fatty acids. Complex carbohydrate: Complex carbohydrates are ones with fiber which is super important at this stage for proper digestion, consistent release of energy, relieving constipation, and healthy weight gain. With so many benefits, complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables with edible peel, whole cereals- dalia, brown bread, whole wheat noodles, bran rich roti, brown rice, bajra etc are your resorts to good health. On the contrary, simple carbohydrates like sugar, refined wheat flour may lead to increased release of glucose and may cause gestational diabetes, unhealthy weight gain and related problems in the baby. Folic acid: Still essential, this nutrient can be derived from dietary sources like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, kiwi, citrus fruits like orange, sunflower seeds etc. Iron: Iron is one essential nutrient at this stage since baby’s circulation is fully developed and additional blood volume needs to be compensated for. Iron supplements are continued by the doctor at this stage, but dietary iron is also essential. Sources include Beetroots, Dark green leafy vegetables, red meat etc. Make sure to have vegetarian sources of iron with vitamin C rich foods like lemon and orange for better absorption of iron in the body. Calcium: An important nutrient for the development of strong bones and teeth of the baby, calcium is also required by your body for avoiding osteoporosis at a later stage. Calcium can be received from milk and milk products, bony fish, meat, spinach, banana, ragi flour etc. Try to consume 3 glasses of milk during this time or and equivalent milk product. Some general dietary tips for 33-36 weeks: Drink a lot of water to prevent or relieve constipation Along with food, exercise is important too. A half an hour normal walk is important for easy labor and for keeping other health problems at bay Having 5-7 servings of lots of colorful fruits and vegetables will help you maintain a healthy weight, provide you with essential micro-nutrients, relieve constipation and give you satiety Fruits like papaya can also be freely consumed for ninth month to induce labor if the baby’s growth is normal Spicy food should be avoided since it may lead to acidity to which body is prone during this time Small frequent meals at a gap of 2-3 hours can help with healthy weight gain, and proper growth of the baby Some dietary restrictions during this time are: Sea food (due to high mercury content in it), unpasteurized milk and milk products like soft cheese, raw egg and undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, food from outside, excessive sugar and salt, saccharin, caffeine (not more than 2 cups coffee or tea in a day), tobacco and alcohol. These items if consumed, may cause harm you and your baby. Some may even lead to still birth, small for date baby, low birth weight baby, mentally and physically retarded baby and worst consequences. So best is to avoid these temptations! Some healthy snack ideas for your ninth month: Recipe 1: Avacado mint smoothie Ingredients: ½ avocado pulp 3-4 mint stems 1 tsp-soaked chia seeds 1/4th cup curd 1 tsp honey Method: Blend all the above listed ingredients to a smooth paste. You may add some crushed ice to it. Nutritional value: This recipe provides enough omega 3 fatty acid, fiber, calcium and protein to you. Recipe 2: Egg pizza Ingredients: 1 egg 1/4th cup Chopped vegetables like capsicum, sauted mushrooms, bell peppers, spring onion 40 g minced paneer Oregano, salt and pepper 1 tsp pomace olive oil Method: In a heated pan, heat olive oil. Once hot, break open the egg into the pan at a low flame. Sprinkle all the vegetables, paneer, and seasoning to it. Cover the egg with a lid and cook for-3 -4 minutes. You may remove the lid to check if the egg is completely cooked or not. Don’t flip the egg. Let it completely cook. Once the yolk is set, turn off the flame and serve it hot with 1 brown bread toast or with your favorite healthy beverage. Nutritional value: This recipe is rich in protein, calcium, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and folic acid. We know your baby is on the way to your arms. Make sure you hold a healthy baby in your strong arms! Eat healthy, be healthy.  

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