Vitamins and minerals are very important for you during your pregnancy. Having a balanced and nutritious meal filled with healthy foods will ensure that your body gets the required nutrients at the right time.
Your health care provider may also recommend you to take supplements along with these foods. You should educate yourself about essential minerals and vitamins needed by your body during pregnancy.
Essential Nutrients and Vitamins for Pregnancy
Prenatal vitamins contain an essential nutrient called folic acid. A regular intake of folic acid will protect you against cancer and stroke. You are required to take folic acid tablets daily to prevent birth defects. These vitamins are essential for you even if you have any health conditions. Your body requires 600 micrograms of folic acid daily.
Folic acid is also essential for your baby as it protects you from brain and spinal cord defects. Iron is another important nutrient that is needed by your body during pregnancy. Iron is a crucial tool for building muscles and protects you from becoming anemic. Anemia is a condition in which there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells. Red blood cells help in the transportation of oxygen throughout your body.
Calcium is also one of the important nutrients which you should consume during your pregnancy as it helps in making your bones and teeth stronger. It also aids in the proper functioning of circulatory, nervous, and muscular system. Deficiency of calcium in your body may cause serious health problems for you in future. You should eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acid as it is essential for the healthy development of your baby’s eyes and brain.
You should consult your health care provider before taking any supplements and vitamins. Prenatal vitamins are just as important as a healthy diet. You should know what foods are best for you to make a right choice
Vitamin A which is essential for the healthy development of your teeth and bones is found in foods such as eggs, carrot, spinach, yellow fruits and pumpkin. Vitamin E is essential for the formation of red blood cells and muscles and is found in foods such as vegetable oil, spinach, and nuts.
Vitamin C makes your immune system stronger and protects tissues from damage and is found in tomatoes, citrus fruits, green beans, strawberries, and broccoli. Thiamin or Vitamin B1 helps regulate the nervous system and is found in whole grain, wheat germ, pasta, berries, nuts and legumes. Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 is essential for a healthy skin and good eyesight and is present in foods such as meats, eggs, and dairy products.
Niacin B3 is essential for proper digestion and is found in foods such as high protein foods, breads, cereals, milk, eggs and peanuts. Protein is essential for the production of amino acids and is found in foods such as animal foods, dairy products, beans, legumes and nuts. Zinc is essential for the production of insulin and enzymes and is found in foods such as whole grains, dairy products, fortified cereals, red meats, beans and nuts.