A gluten-free diet during pregnancy is often recommended because of the risks of gluten allergy or celiac disease (basically, gluten intolerance). Unfortunately, gluten is abundant in nature. Examples of gluten-rich sources include wheat, rye, and barley – ingredients that are found in most of our foods. Then, what to eat during pregnancy to stay completely gluten-free?
Time for some basics first. Most grains contain gluten, but they also contain B vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Eliminating grains from the diet during pregnancy can cut down on these crucial dietary components. Fortunately for all moms-to-be, many other gluten-free food sources contain these nutrients naturally and break the assumption that pregnancy foods are boring.
Let go of bread completely. Switch to options that trace their source to rice, lentils, and flour.The south-Indian breakfast staples – dosa and idli – are safe options as they are wheat-free and made from rice. If you’re craving fried yummies (that are often coated in breadcrumbs), choose the ‘Indian doughnut’ or vada made from lentil, rice, or potato flour.
Seafood and Dairy
Indian seafood preparations such as achari fish tikka (boneless white fish marinated in yoghurt and pickle spices), tandoori golda chingri (succulent tiger prawns cooked and marinated in kebab spices) are generally gluten-free. Go for locally-available fresh catch. Avoid smoked seafood products from refrigerated section in the malls. If you’re a vegetarian, reach for paneer. Marinate it with Indian spices and yogurt and cook in a tandoor. Simply delish yet gluten-free.
Rice is generally gluten-free in all forms. Pulao is a rice dish that’s sautéed and cooked with spices and other ingredients. It offers a plethora of flavors and styles, all based on the vegetables and ingredients that go into it. Biryani, a heavily spiced rice dish, is also safe as long as you have it with a bowl of fresh, rich curd. For that matter, curd rice is also extremely safe and can be had whenever you feel your stomach needs some cooling down.
Dishes with their base as potato, green peas, cauliflower, and almost every other vegetable prove to be excellent gluten-free food. Vegetable stew prepared with ginger, garlic, and a range of spices and vegetables may be served with rice for a hearty, scrumptious meal. Okra with onions and cauliflower curry with yogurt are some popular dishes that also help beat nausea during pregnancy apart from being gluten-free.
Most Indian soups are good gluten-free choices. Dal is the most popular lentil-based soup that contains a variety of fried spices and vegetables. Dal tadka can also be prepared using a combination of regional spices, such as cumin, pepper, coriander, and mustard seeds.
Beware of foods like bread, pasta, pizza, breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes, spices, mustards and mayonnaise, sauces, and beer. Pregnancy in spite of its restrictions and cautionary efforts is a time for celebration. So experiment away with these dishes and stay on the safe side of a healthy pregnancy.
Disclaimer: The medical information in this article is provided as an information resource only. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.
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