Building immunity through nutrition: Pregnant women

Dr. Nadine Aoun

Dietician, Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics

Medcare Women and Children Hospital

Pregnant women are considered more vulnerable to Covid-19 and it is important to keep your immunity strong. The following measures will help you build a strong immunity through nutrition.

  • Try to limit packaged processed foods and drinks that are high in salt, saturated fat, and extra sugars.
  • Probiotics: your body needs “healthy bacteria’’ to keep it healthy and boost your immunity. Including probiotics in your diet is the best way to ensure that your body has these all important bacteria. Natural sources of probiotics include: yogurt.
  • Zinc: zinc is needed to produce and repair DNA and also to help them function better. This makes it an important mineral to have during pregnancy. Examples include: cereals, dairy products, bread, beans and nuts.
  • Iron: iron helps to keep you energized and protects you against infections. To get the recommended amount of iron in your diet eat a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, red meat (in moderation), lean poultry, whole grains, pasta and bread.
  • Vitamin D: studies have shown that vitamin D boosts your immune system which helps fight off infections. So go out and get some sunshine. Foods that are rich in vitamin D include oily fish and eggs. You can also buy stuff that are fortified with vitamin d like juice, milk , and cereals.
  • Eat your phytonutrients: these compounds are found in plant foods and can be obtained by including a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Practice food safety: during pregnancy you are at particular high risk for foodborne illness because your immune system is weakened. It is important to practice food safety since food poisoning can have serious consequences for your baby. Remember to always wash your hands and kitchen surfaces before you prepare a meal. Avoid all raw and undercooked seafood, meat, chicken as well as eggs. Wash your raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
  • Have your vitamins and supplements delivered to your doorstep in UAE with Aster’s e-pharmacy. Check Asteronline or call/whatsapp +971800700600