Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Pregnant Women Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Pregnant Women

7 Essential Minerals and Vitamins for Pregnant Women

A pregnant woman has a higher need for protein, vitamins and minerals compared to a non-pregnant woman. Thus, it is necessary to have a greater concern for her diet so that the fetus can develop into a full term baby. Therefore, during this period pregnant women should give a lot more importance to their diet. They should take into account the essential vitamins for pregnant women.

How many extra calories when pregnant?

Research has shown that women aged 15 to 18 consume an average of 2110 calories daily. The daily intake for women between 19 and 49 years is 1940 calories. A pregnant woman needs an extra boost in terms of energy (about 200 calories / day) during the last three months of pregnancy. However, women who are underweight in early pregnancy stages, should eat more. Mothers who breastfeed their children during the first three months need a daily supplement of 480 calories and those who breastfeed for at least 6 months require a daily energy surplus of 550 calories.

7 Essential Minerals and Vitamins for Pregnant Women

What are the most important vitamins and minerals that your unborn child needs and which are the foods where you can find them? The list below will help you choose the right foods during pregnancy, so both you and your baby stay healthy.

vitamins for pregnant women

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1. Calcium 

Many believe that a pregnant woman should consume more milk and dairy products to provide the necessary dose of calcium. But milk is not the only food that contains calcium. Other calcium-rich foods are: broccoli, almonds, sesame seeds, kale, orange juice, soy milk. Studies show that the pregnant woman’s body retains and absorbs calcium better during pregnancy. The calcium requirements of pregnant women can also be ensured by taking supplements.

 2. Vitamin D

The whole world knows how Vitamin D is needed for proper calcium absorption. Sources of vitamin D are found in egg yolk, soy milk, rice, dairy products. The latter also contain vitamin B12. Other products that contain vitamin B12 are yeast, soy milk, soy, cereals. To stress the importance of vitamin D during pregnancy, know that a recent study showed that African-American and Puerto Rican women who have low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy are more likely to go into labor early and give birth to preterm babies. The study is the largest to date to look at the association between vitamin D and preterm birth.

3. Iron

When it comes to essential vitamins and minerals for pregnant women, iron should be on the list. For many pregnant women, regardless of the lifestyle or diet, it is very common to become anemic during pregnancy. Rich sources of iron are: vegetables, dried fruit, peanuts, sunflower seeds.

4. Folic acid

The most important vitamin you need to take during pregnancy is folic acid, a type B vitamin (vitamin B9) which can be found in green or orange vegetables, eggs, seeds etc., but also as synthetic supplement to be added to bread and breakfast cereals.

This vitamin is important before conception and during the first half of pregnancy (first three months). During this time, the additional folic acid will reduce the risk of having a baby born with neural problems.

5. Proteins

The body of the pregnant woman needs 20% more protein. Vegetable proteins are found in grains, seeds, nuts and vegetables like beans or soy. The most suitable animal proteins are found in milk, cheese, eggs and fish.

6. Omega 3 fatty acids

The most important vitamin you need to take during pregnancy is folic acid, a type B vitamin (vitamin B9) which can be found in green or orange vegetables, eggs, seeds etc., but also as synthetic supplement to be added to bread and breakfast cereals.

This vitamin is important before conception and during the first half of pregnancy (first three months) when the additional folic acid is meant to reduce the risk of having a baby born with neural problems.

7. Multivitamin Complex

During pregnancy, we also recommend you search for a multivitamin complex specifically designed for pregnant women. Each tablet should contain the whole range of minerals and vitamins needed for the harmonious development of the fetus, but in optimal proportions.

Conclusion

The diet of pregnant women is not something complicated. The normal development of the fetus in the uterus and the smooth running of pregnancy depend largely on the correct behavior of the pregnant woman and her eating habits. The mother does not have to alter her general lifestyle, nor to eat for two. It is sufficient to have a balanced diet, varied and healthy. She should take into account the slightly elevated needs in nutrients during this period and provide the essential vitamins for pregnant women.

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