Some women face mental health issues during pregnancy, such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks and stress. But these issues can be overcome by changing the diet. Food plays an important role not only in physical nourishment, but also in mental and emotional wellbeing. They both have a long-term effect on one’s health and well-being. There are certain wonder foods that provide maximum nutritional value. These foods are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also play an important role in boosting your hormones, which, in turn, contribute to emotions like happiness, contentment and excitement.
These miracle foods can boost the mental and emotional well-being of pregnant women:
1. Saffron (Kesar): Saffron is the most important condiment which contributes mainly to the above mentioned conditions. This helps with mood fluctuations and boosts the ‘feel good’ factor. Just a few strands of it can be added to a glass of warm milk to reap its health benefits.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids: This is one of the key mood-boosting nutrients that are not produced by the body. Including fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies, oysters) in a steamed/pressure cooked form twice a week will be beneficial. The nutrient is also found in vegetarian sources such as walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds.
3. Probiotics: They play an important role in digestion, as well as mood swings during pregnancy. It is likely that consuming probiotic foods like fermented foods, fresh curd, fermented rice, tempeh, and kefir, which contain probiotics, will benefit expectant mothers.
4. Whole grains: When you are pregnant, unrefined whole grains are crucial sources of B-vitamins – B1, B5, B6 and B12 – which are vital to keeping your mood in check. Oats, brown rice, millets and whole wheat are all whole grains that should be preferred over refined cereals.
5. Chocolate: Dark chocolate is required. Taking a dark version once or twice a week reduces cortisol, and other stress-related hormones, making the mother feel good and happy.
6. Chamomile tea: Replace a sugar-laden beverage with a warm, soothing cup of chamomile or herbal tea instead. There is a natural component in this refreshing beverage that may help reduce mood swings in pregnant women. The consumption of one cup of this tea daily helps ease mood disturbances.