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Diet for an Anaemic Lactating Mother

Woman AnaemicPregnancy and lactation depletes the body’s iron and calcium reserves and iron deficiency can lead to anaemia. Deficiency of vitamin B12 too, can cause anaemia too. A lactating, anaemic mother should, therefore, eat a diet rich in iron, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B12, vitamin C (for better absorption of iron), and vitamin D (for better absorption of calcium).

Sources of Iron

  • Spinach, leafy vegetables, green onions, radish, carrots, tomato, potato with skin, broccoli, celery, brinjal, beetroot, soya beans and munnakkas.

  • Apples, banana, dark grapes, apricots, plums and raisins.

And a calcium deficiency can lead to bone related ailments like weakening of the bones and even osteoporosis.

Sources of Calcium and Phosphorous

  • Beetroot, radish leaves, broccoli (highest), Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, white cabbage (high), carrots, celery, chickpeas, French beans, lettuce, parsley, peas, tomato, mint, green mustard, lady’s finger and bathua.

  • Orange, papaya, black currants, coconut, figs, blackberries, gooseberries, strawberries and rasberries.

  • Milk and milk products, fish, crab, pulses and grains, beans, black gram dal, Bengal gram, moth beans, soya beans, tofu, coriander seed and cumin seed, til seeds, dried apricots, dates and currants.

Sources of B12

  • Milk and dairy products, paneer, eggs, beetroot juice, carrots, spinach and tomatoes.

Sources of Vitamin C

  • Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, radish and capsicum.

  • Orange, lemon, papaya and guava.

Vitamin D is formed when the skin gets exposed to sunlight.

Diet Suggestions

  • Morning: Seven almonds with seven munnakkas, soaked overnight in water, and lime and honey in warm water.

  • Breakfast: One glass of vegetable juice made with carrots, beetroot, one amla, tomatoes, spinach, steamed sprouts or black chana or wholewheat dalia and one seasonal fruit.

  • Mid-morning: One glass of skimmed milk.

  • Lunch: Roti with extra bran and one leafy vegetable with chilka dal or legume accompanied by dahi or buttermilk or vegetable raita.

  • Evening: One glass of orange juice with one baked potato. Bake it with its skin intact.

  • Pre-dinner: One soup with shredded vegetables or one bowl of salad made with lettuce, tomato, beetroot and paneer.

  • Dinner: Brown rice or bran chapatti or millet roti with seasonal leafy vegetables and a light dal.

  • If you are not fond of milk, you can have dahi or buttermilk or milk made out of til seeds.

Points to Remember

  • Avoid too much of tea or coffee, alcohol, smoking, fried foods and snacks, maida products like noodles, pasta, cakes, pizzas, white bread, sweets, rich curries, fizzy drinks and junk food.

  • Have at least two glasses of milk in any form — curd, buttermilk or paneer — everyday.

  • Include at least one leafy vegetable in your daily diet. It can used in raita, as stuffing for roti, salads or in dals.

  • Avoid excessive salt and refined sugar.

  • Drink 10-12 glasses of water everyday.

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