Pregnancy lasts a long, demanding nine months. Ensuring that you have a balanced, nutritious diet can help alleviate pregnancy problems such as anemia, and help your baby grow healthy and strong.
INDIAN WOMEN AND ANEMIA
Unfortunately, because of diet and poor nutrition, anemia is a serious problem among Indian women.
- Nearly 75% of all Indian women are anemic.
- Moderate to severe anemia is most common (50% of all cases) among pregnant women.
- 24% of maternal deaths in India are related to nutritional anemia.
- Nutritional anemia is also a key cause of low birth weight among children, affecting their learning ability.
The key to solving issues like anemia is keeping a nutritious and balanced diet during your pregnancy.
WHAT YOU NEED DURING PREGNANCY 
- Women need an additional 350 calories daily during pregnancy.
- Women also need an additional 0.5g of protein per day in the first trimester, 6.9g per day during the second and 22.7g per day during the third trimester.
- Folic acid is essential throughout pregnancy to prevent malformation in the baby
- Both mother and child need iron for red blood cell formation.
- Calcium is critical for the formation of your baby’s bones and teeth. You’ll also need it now and later to protect against osteoporosis.
- Vitamin A must be strictly controlled, because it may cause damage to the embryo.
We recommend getting a list of healthy Indian foods and meal planning tips from your doctor. But, in the meantime, keeping a balanced and nutritious diet is easier than you might think.
FOODS TO EAT
- Black grapes, banana, ripe mango, dates, cashews and apricots
- Rice, murmure, pulao, bhakari, khichri, chapati, paratha, gujarati thepla (items made from wheat and rice)
- Cabbage, cauliflower and all long green vegetables such as tondali, turai, louki, parwal, spinach and govari (however, try to avoid only eating vegetables)
- Tea, coffee and ice-cream (in small quantities)
FOODS TO AVOID
- Brinjal, suran/yam, papaya, celery, onion, chili, garlic, ginger, pepper, asafetida, mustard, bajara, carom seeds and jaggery
- Butter, clarified butter, milk, honey, fennel seeds and sweets made from jaggery
- Sandwich bread, bakery bread, buns, dhokla, pizza, handva, pancakes, khaman, steamed rice cake, curd, tomato, tamarind and kadhi
- Leftover, frozen or deep-frozen food
- Cold drinks, mutton, cocoa, chicken, eggs, alcohol, smoking, tobacco, betel nut and pan-masala
- National Institute of Nutrition, Dietary Guidelines for Indians, A Manual, 2nd Edition 2010; – 14-16, 32-34