Pregnant women must take special care with their health and nutrition. Therefore, apart from eating a healthy, complete and balanced diet, they should take a series of essential vitamins and minerals during pregnancy for the correct development of the fetus. In fact, some supplements are good to start taking before you get pregnant.
Throughout this article you will discover which are the essential vitamins and minerals in pregnancy.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS IN PREGNANCY: HOW MUCH TO TAKE
During pregnancy, doctors often prescribe folic acid, vitamin B12, iron, and iodine supplements. Next, we will list the essential vitamins and minerals in pregnancy.
What vitamins are essential during pregnancy and why?
1. Folic acid . It is a type of vitamin B so essential that it is advisable to start taking it even before pregnancy. While you’re looking for a baby, you should take 400 micrograms a day. Throughout pregnancy, the amount should increase to 600 micrograms daily. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects, brain and spinal cord malformations. In addition to supplementation, you can find folate in green leafy vegetables, legumes, beets, fruits, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, eggs, and some nuts such as walnuts. There are also fortified foods.
2. Vitamin B12 . You can find it in meat, fish, eggs, shellfish and milk. It is important for the proper functioning of the central nervous system and helps the formation of red blood cells.
3. Vitamin D. Sunlight and foods such as egg yolks, oily fish, oysters, mushrooms, dairy or fortified cereals provide this vitamin, which is very important for the correct bone development of the baby. The minimum daily intake is 600 international units (15 micrograms).
4. Vitamin C. We know that it acts as an antioxidant, but it is also essential for the growth and repair of the body. Oranges, mangoes, watermelons, melons, pineapples, peppers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes… All these foods offer an important contribution of vitamin C.
What minerals are essential during pregnancy and why?
5. Iron . Supplements are also often prescribed before, during, and after pregnancy. On the one hand, it reduces the chances of suffering from anemia. On the other hand, it favors the supply of oxygen for the baby. This mineral is naturally present in foods such as red meat (without abusing), egg yolks, legumes, nuts, molluscs, sardines, brewer’s yeast and green leafy vegetables. During pregnancy, the recommended daily dose of iron is between 25 and 30 milligrams. That’s twice as much as for women who aren’t pregnant. Remember that iron is better absorbed if taken with foods that contain vitamin C.
6. Iodine . This mineral helps the correct development of the embryo, its organs, the nervous system and thyroid hormones. You can find it in iodized salt, legumes, nuts, shellfish, eggs, fish, seaweed, or turnips. During pregnancy it is necessary to ingest 150 micrograms daily.
7. Zinc . It is a natural antioxidant that helps the development and growth of the baby. You will find it in dairy, nuts or meats.
8. Calcium . It is involved in the formation of bones and teeth. Women over 18 years of age should consume about 1,000 mg of calcium per day, 1,200 if they are pregnant. Calcium is obtained from dairy products or, alternatively, from tofu, broccoli, oatmeal or almond drinks, nuts such as almonds, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables or sardines.
9. Magnesium . Intake should increase, especially from the second trimester of pregnancy. Helps reduce tingling sensations and muscle cramps. Some sources of this mineral are dried fruits, cocoa, walnuts, almonds, shrimp or legumes.
10.Omega 3 . Essential fatty acids cannot be lacking in any diet, even less so in those of pregnant women. They are essential for the development of the brain and retina. The demand will be higher during the last quarter. You will find it in fish (especially blue), nuts and vegetable oils.
Do you know more essential vitamins and minerals in pregnancy?