Pregnancy causes many changes in your body like mood swings and changes in eating habits. Hormonal changes can make you a very picky eater, hence putting you and your child at risk. A healthy diet plays an essential role in the development of the fetus and it can help you feel better during and after childbirth. Learn more about the importance of some essential vitamins that you need to make sure that your baby is getting all the nutrients that he/she needs to grow.
Folate/Folic acid/Folacin (generic name)
Recommended dosage: 400 to 800 micrograms daily
Natural sources: asparagus, edamame, leafy greens, avocados, papaya, pasta, beans, liver, yeast extract spread, fortified cereals
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that your body absorbs from various natural food sources. Folic acid is a form of folate which is usually recommended for pregnant women to help prevent neural tube defects, brain and spinal cord abnormalities in the baby, and is said to decrease the risk of premature birth. If you're pregnant then you may be prescribed folic acid medicines for your prenatal supplements.
Recommended dosage: 27 milligrams daily (for pregnant women)
Natural sources: lean red meat, poultry, fish, vegetables
Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin—a protein in the red blood cells that helps carry oxygen to your tissues. Pregnant women need twice as much iron in their bodies to help supply more blood and oxygen for the baby. Iron-deficiency anemia is a common disorder in pregnant women who are at risk of developing serious birth complications. If you start to feel dizzy and light headed on top of your usual pregnancy symptoms, then you should consider getting yourself tested for anemia.
Recommended dosage: 1,000 milligrams daily
Natural sources: arugula, broccoli, tofu, dairy products, bread, sardines
Women, in general, are more at risk of developing brittle bones most especially as they age. Both you and your baby can greatly benefit from this essential mineral in your diet since calcium supports strong teeth and bones while also fortifying your breast milk. If you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, alternatives like collard greens, rocket, and oranges are great sources of calcium.
Recommended dosage: 10 micrograms a day
Natural sources: the sun, egg yolk, salmon and other oily fish
According to Americanpregnancy.org, Vitamin D boosts your immune function, promotes healthy cell division, and supports bone health. It plays a major role in calcium and phosphorus absorption plus it also helps your baby grow healthy bones.
Recommended dosage: 71 grams daily
Natural sources: red meat, eggs, fish, beans, poultry
Protein is essential for fetal cell growth, blood production, and brain development. If you are a vegetarian, then you should watch out for your protein levels according to Livestrong. Eating legumes, nuts, and soy products can provide you with the protein that you need while sticking to your original lifestyle.