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Women who are pregnant and healthy should include 5 main vitamins in their diet: vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium and folic acid. Of course other minerals and vitamins are equally important and they can easily be found in foods. Taking supplements is not compulsory, but there are cases when the body cannot absorb all nutrients a future mother needs for her baby.
Vitamins you can take from food
Healthy aliments are divided into four key categories:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Proteins from fish, eggs, meat, almonds, nuts
- Dairy products: cheese, milk, yoghurt
Dairy foods and sea fish have increased amounts of iodine that pregnant women need for the development of the brain of your little baby. Avoid sugary aliments and fuzzy beverages. They may be delicious and irresistible, but they can’t offer you the vitamins, proteins, and minerals that are essential for you and your baby.
During a pregnancy it’s not easy to adhere to a balanced diet. Pregnancy involves nausea, and this won’t allow you to eat as much as you should. Besides, if you go to work every day and you have a busy schedule, you won’t be able to have regular meals. In these cases, vitamin supplements are recommended.
Most supplements have adequate dosages of crucial vitamins and minerals needed for the development of your baby. Pregnant women should take one supplement per day and they shouldn’t have in their composition substances like retinol, since it might affect unborn babies. If you decide to opt for a daily pregnancy supplement, you have to choose a type that includes 10 microgram (mcg) of vitamin D and 400 mcg of folic acid. The following 5 vitamins are very important for your pregnancy.
Women are advised to consume a 400 mcg folic acid supplement on a daily basis through the first 12 weeks. Apart from taking this supplement, you also have to consume numerous aliments that include folate, the natural form of acid folic. Green vegetables are great sources of folates, and certain breakfast cereals and breads may also have it. Additionally, you should know that folic acid ensures the proper development of your baby and it protects the fetus from potential neural tube defects.
Pregnant women should take a 10 mcg vitamin D supplement daily, considering that this vitamin adjusts the amount of phosphate and calcium found in your body. Phosphate and calcium are important compounds that preserve your teeth and bones healthy. Only a few aliments contain vitamin D, including eggs and oily fish. However, keep in mind that you can get vitamin D if you expose your skin to sunlight. Don’t stay in the sun too long though, especially in the summer when temperatures are way too hot.
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B help the body of a pregnant woman metabolize carbs, proteins, and fats. The vitamin can also help with the formation of red blood cells, neurotransmitters, and antibodies, so it’s vital for the proper development of your baby’s nervous system and brain. If you’re pregnant the daily recommended dosage is 1.9mg. Note that you are not advised to opt for supplementation unless you’re deficient. Vitamin B can be taken from foods such as lean meat, beans, nuts, and fish.
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is essential for wound healing, tissue repair, healthy skin, and bone growth. It can help the body fight infections and it can also act like an efficient antioxidant. Thus, it can protect cells from great damage. A pregnant woman should include vitamin C in her daily diet because it’s important for collagen production; collagen is a structural protein that’s an extremely important part of the skin, the tendons, the bones, and the cartilages. The greatest advantage of vitamin C is that is can help the body to absorb iron.
Women who are pregnant need calcium for their babies. Their bones and teeth must growth strong and healthy, so calcium has a really important role. Also, the vitamin is excellent for muscles, heart, and nerves. If women don’t take sufficient amounts of calcium while pregnant their babies will take it from their own bones. In time, your health might be affected. During a pregnancy make sure to take 1,000 mg of calcium per day or you need to make sure that your daily diet contains plenty of dairy products.
Other recommended supplements
Pregnant women will have to take blood tests through their pregnancy in order to see if they’re suffering from any type of vitamin deficiency. Iron for example, is essential during pregnancy, since the quantity of blood keeps amplifying in order to support the development of the baby. Therefore, it is advisable to consume as many iron-rich aliments as you can, including pulses and meat. Note that you can find pregnancy vitamins in all pharmacies, supermarkets and even online. Still, the most important thing is to read the label cautiously prior to purchasing any supplements.
The following list comprises all vitamins pregnant women should consider. However, note that you won’t need them all. A complete set of blood tests and a visit to the gynecologist help you know exactly if your pregnancy is developing correctly or if you need any other vitamins.
- Beta carotene and vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Folic acid
During a pregnancy women should monitor their diets really closely. Some vitamins you can take from foods, but for others you need supplementation. Because being pregnant comes with mood swings and numerous other types of behaviors you may develop intolerances. For example, you may start to hate dairy products. Your body won’t be able to accumulate calcium at all, so you are advised to consider supplementation. The same goes for other vitamins where deficiencies may appear. Prior to starting to take vitamin supplements, make sure to consult with your physician.
This post was guest-authored by Peter Smith ,a consultant at supplemented.co.uk. If you would like to write for HealthResource4u, check our guest submission guidelines.