The Importance Of Carbohydrates During Pregnancy
Reproduction is arguably the sole biological purpose of the existence of the Homo sapiens. And pregnancy can be a very demanding and stressful experience not only for the mother, but also for the family members of the pregnant lady. But at the same time, hardly any other experience can feel as rewarding as giving life to another tiny human being. And for the good health of the baby, a balanced diet is the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and also a healthy baby.
A balanced diet should include all the essential nutrients and that too in the right amount. So one may ask, why do women need carbohydrates during pregnancy? The answer lies with the fact that carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the human body as they are easier to break down than fats, which has higher energy content. And maintaining and nurturing another life inside oneself requires twice the amount of energy than usual, and since it is easier for the human body to break down the carbs into simpler forms of sugar and glucose, making energy easily available for the mother as well as the placenta to support unhindered growth of the fetus.
Which carbohydrates are better for the pregnant woman?
Carbohydrates occur in food in different forms, like simple carbohydrate and complex carbohydrate. They are distinguished on the basis of the time taken by the body to convert them into usable simpler sugar or glucose. While simple carbohydrates are easier for the body to process but during the physically stressful time of pregnancy, the body calls for consumption of the complex carbohydrates which are considered to be healthier than the other variant. And in order to meet the requisite amount of carbohydrates needed during pregnancy, the pregnant woman must consume a lot of food that are rich in carbohydrates of the complex nature.
What are the best sources of complex carbohydrates for a pregnant woman?
Listed below are the healthier and more widely available sources for the pregnant woman:
- However one must make sure to use steel cut oats and not the processed ones with artificial flavor which can be quite harmful for the health of the mother as well as the baby.
- Yams and sweet potatoes. These root vegetables are excellent sources of complex carbohydrate for the pregnant woman and they are immensely versatile to cook with and can be used in a number of ways.
- Brown rice. Though brown rice takes a considerable amount of time to cook through, but these fantastic sources of carbs retain more of their nutrients than plain white rice.
- Multigrain cereals. A mixture of various whole grains like oats, rye, barley is an excellent source of carbohydrate for the pregnant lady because these grains are a lot easier to digest.
- Beans and legumes. Probably a very underrated vegetables are legumes and beans which are not only super healthy but also rich in a lot of nutrients including complex carbohydrates.
For a pregnant woman it is absolutely essential to take good care of herself and eat a well balanced and well proportioned diet for the good health of her child.