5 ways to eat healthier during your confinement
Article by Cherlynn Ng
Want to quickly bounce back from pregnancy and labour? Then you will need a nutritious diet to fuel and heal your body. Eating well during confinement will also allow you to produce ample breast milk for your newborn. Small changes can go a long way, and here are five ways you can start.
1. Make smart choices when buying groceries
When shopping for groceries, select healthier options. Using the right ingredients will go a long way when it comes to preparing healthy meals for the whole family. For instance, choose breast meat when buying chicken. Salmon, which is full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, is a wonderful pick if you are craving for fish. Processed food or snacks that are high in sugar and sodium should ideally be cut out from your shopping list.
2. Have a colourful diet
It’s important to have a balanced diet loaded with the right nutrients so that your body can recover faster after childbirth. Eating right also helps in terms of breastfeeding and maintaining a healthy demeanour. Besides consuming whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats, you should also incorporate a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into your confinement diet.
Fruits are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that help to fight infection, build a robust immune system and improve digestion. Dark, leafy greens are high in iron, which work effectively to replenish blood loss and boost your recuperation. And don’t forget your protein!
3. Opt for healthier cooking methods
It’s not just about what you cook, but how you cook as well. Fried foods can put you at greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other health conditions due to their high fat and salt content. Choose healthier cooking methods instead.
Boiling: Quick and effortless, all you need to add are water and some salt.
Broiling: Broiling uses direct oven heat to quickly cook foods such as meat and fish. Although a great way of preparing tender cuts of meat (remember to remove excess fat first), it is not recommended for vegetables as they can dry out easily.
Steaming: This is one of the best ways of cooking as it allows food to stew in their own juices while retaining all the nutrients. Feel free to add a sprinkle of salt and pepper or a squeeze of lemon juice for that extra oomph. Anything from vegetables to seafood and poultry works.
Stir-fry: Requiring only a moderate amount of oil, stir-frying is ideal for vegetables and bite-sized slices of meat. Think of yummy, tender-crisp vegetables with their nutrients instact.
4. Pick the right cooking oil
Although oil is a cooking staple, you can always go for healthier choices such as extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
5. Use less salt
Excessive intake of salt has both negative short-term and long-term effects on postpartum mums. Although used to enhance the flavour of food, too much of it can result in high blood pressure. It can also cause or aggravate water retention, which you might already be experiencing during pregnancy and confinement. A tell-tale sign of edema is when you notice your face, hands and feet swelling.
Lemon juice, vinegar, herbs and spices all make tasty replacements for salt.
A first-time parent who’s new to confinement? You might find it handy to have a professional confinement nanny around the house. On top of planning and preparing yummy confinement meals for your enjoyment, she can also help with household chores and taking care of your newborn.
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