Pregnancy Vitamin: The Key Nutrients for a Healthy Journey

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The journey of pregnancy is a wondrous chapter in a woman’s life, and ensuring proper nutrition is paramount for the well-being of both the mother and the growing baby.When it comes to selecting vitamin supplements for pregnant women, attention must be paid to essential ingredients that support this transformative phase.

Let us explore the vital substances that lay the foundation for a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnant woman

Folic Acid ( Vitamin B9 ): The Symphony of Development

Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, plays a pivotal role in fetal development. Adequate intake of folic acid, starting three months before conception and continuing through the first three months of pregnancy, significantly reduces the risk of neural tube defects in infants.

Natural sources of folic acid include bean sprouts, dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, nuts, milk, and bananas.

Iron: The Oxygen Conductor

Iron is a vital mineral that supports the formation of red blood cells and facilitates oxygen transport, making it essential for pregnant women. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a daily iron supplement of approximately 30 mg for pregnant women to prevent anemia.

Iron-rich foods include spinach, lean meat, sea fish, and water spinach.

Calcium: Building Blocks of Strength

Calcium, a crucial mineral, not only contributes to the development of bones and teeth but also plays a role in movement, circulation, and nerve transmission.

During pregnancy, the fetus relies on the mother as the sole source of calcium for its growth, primarily obtained from the mother’s bones and teeth. From the 29th week onwards, the fetus requires an average of 250 mg of calcium per day for proper bone formation.

Therefore, calcium supplementation is indispensable both before and during pregnancy. In addition to a diet rich in calcium, oral calcium tablets are recommended. To ensure optimal absorption, pregnant women should take calcium at the right dosage and time, avoiding simultaneous intake with substances such as iron, which can hinder calcium absorption.

DHA: Nurturing the Central Nervous System

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) holds great significance in fetal development. Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, aid in the early development of the baby’s central nervous system. DHA also contributes to the formation of the retina, reducing the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Supplementing with DHA before pregnancy establishes a crucial reserve for the baby’s central nervous system development in the initial weeks.

DHA can be found in foods such as fish, egg yolks, milk, red meat, and nuts. However, DHA supplementation through Omega-3 pills is the most convenient option. The recommended daily dose of DHA for pregnant and breastfeeding women is approximately 300 mg.

Essential Vitamins: Nourishing the Journey

Vitamin D

Vital for proper mineral absorption, such as calcium and phosphorus. Spending 20-30 minutes in the sun each day or supplementing with 15 mcg of vitamin D is recommended during pregnancy. Foods rich in vitamin D, such as cheese, fish, eggs, milk, and fortified products, also contribute effectively to meeting the body’s needs.

Iodine

A micronutrient crucial for fetal development, particularly for the baby’s nervous system. Iodine requirements increase during pregnancy, as it is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis. Severe iodine deficiency can raise the risk of miscarriage or birth defects.

Vitamin A

Supports the survival rate of the fetus and plays a vital role in visual development. Recommended daily intake during pregnancy is 800 mcg RE. Sources of vitamin A include vegetables like carrots, papaya, pumpkin, liver, fish oil, yogurt, and cheese.

Vitamin B1

Essential for glucose metabolism, found in grains and legumes.

Vitamin B2

Supports energy production, fetal development, and plays a significant role in the formation of skin, blood, bones, muscles, and nerve cells. Abundant in animal foods, milk, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

Vitamin C

Enhances the body’s immunity and aids in the absorption of iron, preventing iron deficiency anemia. Ripe fruits and green vegetables are rich sources of vitamin C. To maximize absorption, doctors often recommend taking vitamin C with meals.

Magnesium

Acts as a detoxifying agent during pregnancy, found in green vegetables, wheat, hard fruits, legumes, meat, and seafood. Magnesium absorption is improved with the assistance of vitamin D3. The daily magnesium supplementation recommendation for pregnant and lactating women is 400 mg.

Zinc

Promotes fetal growth and strengthens the immune system. Excellent sources include meat, fish, seafood (such as snails, mussels, and clams), and plant-based foods.

List of good foods for pregnant women

Here are the top 10 foods pregnant women should prioritize during pregnancy:

1. Milk, yogurt

Milk contains many essential nutrients for the body, especially protein and calcium. Calcium helps support the formation and development of the baby’s bones and teeth. The protein in yogurt helps your baby’s muscles grow. These two nutrients also contribute to the baby’s brain development right from the womb.

Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is a very useful nutrient for pregnant women. Thanks to its high calcium content that is superior to other dairy products, supplementing with Greek yogurt can help children’s bones develop better. In addition, it also provides some beneficial bacteria to help support the digestive health of mother and baby.

In particular, yogurt contains probiotics, so adding yogurt during pregnancy can help prevent the risk of complications of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, vaginal infections or allergies.

2. Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a good fatty acid, which is essential for the body, especially the pregnant body. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA play a role in the development of the baby’s eye nervous system.

In addition, salmon is also rich in vitamin D – a group of vitamins often lacking in the diet. Supplementing with vitamin D helps to enhance the body’s metabolism, including movement and immunity.

However, some recommendations suggest that pregnant women need to limit seafood consumption because it can contain high levels of mercury, and should only eat it up to 2 times a week.

In addition to salmon and seafood, there are many foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, flaxseeds, soybeans, spinach, etc.

3. Chicken eggs

Chicken eggs

Eggs are one of the best foods for pregnant women. Eggs contain many essential vitamins and minerals for the development of the nervous system, including: vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, choline, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, etc.

Eggs are rich in protein and iron, good for the brain development of the baby. Along with that, choline, zinc, lutein, folate and omega-3 in chicken eggs help prevent the risk of birth defects in children.

In addition, chicken eggs are rich in vitamin D, supplementing during pregnancy can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

Pregnant women should eat 3-4 eggs per week to be able to supplement nutrition for both mother and baby.

4. Lean meat

Lean meat is a familiar food that pregnant women can use to make many delicious and nutritious dishes. Lean meat contains a lot of protein (for every 100g of lean meat, there is about 20g of protein), this is an essential nutrient that pregnant women should regularly supplement during pregnancy to ensure the development of the fetus.

Good lean meats should include: pork helps provide more comprehensive nutrition, rabbit meat improves brain development, beef helps prevent anemia and brain development,

5. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are a healthy food, they are rich in vitamin C, vitamins of group B, especially sweet potatoes, turmeric is also rich in beta carotene – provitamin A. These are all important nutrients that contribute to the absorption of iron. of pregnant women and prevent the risk of anemia during pregnancy.

The main component of sweet potatoes is starch, but they are starches with short fibers, rich in fiber, so sweet potatoes support good digestion, help with laxatives, and reduce high blood cholesterol.

Pregnant women in the period of pregnancy all want to supplement nutrition for their children without affecting the mother’s weight, sweet potatoes are a suitable answer. In addition, sweet potatoes also support the body of pregnant women after giving birth to become slimmer again.

6. Dark green leafy vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables include: broccoli, spinach, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, etc. They include a lot of fiber, vitamins A, C, K and minerals calcium, potassium, iron, etc. folate,…

Dark green leaves are also high in antioxidants, especially beneficial plant compounds like sulforaphane, which are good for the digestive system and immunity of both mother and baby.

Thanks to the rich fiber content, the addition of dark green vegetables helps pregnant women prevent constipation during pregnancy – a common problem of pregnant women. In addition, increasing fiber, especially dark green leafy vegetables, has been linked to the prevention of low birth weight babies.

Vegetables are very diverse, so you can completely alternate them in your daily menu without fear of being bored.

7. Avocados

Avocado

Avocado is a nutritious fruit, very good for health. Avocados contain a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins B, C, E, K and many other essential minerals such as Potassium, Lutein, Folate, etc. These are all important and necessary nutrients. supplement during pregnancy.

Monounsaturated fatty acids are involved in the formation of skin, brain and fetal tissues. Along with that, potassium helps prevent cramps during pregnancy for pregnant women.

Many pregnant women also share that avocado helps to reduce morning sickness quite effectively.

Take away

In conclusion, maintaining a well-balanced diet that includes essential nutrients like folate, iron, calcium, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and vitamin D is vital for a healthy pregnancy.

Read more: Providing Natural Vitamins and Minerals

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