Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Healthy food is always important, but when you are pregnant it becomes an even higher priority. Your body needs a lot of vitamins and minerals to get through this period as well as possible, while your baby needs these nutrients for the development of all organs, the blood, and the skeleton. But what should you do when you are pregnant, which vitamins and minerals are the most important and do you need to take vitamins during your pregnancy?
Pregnancy and Nutrition
As long as you eat a healthy, fresh and varied diet you will receive enough nutrients for two. Be aware; healthy eating during pregnancy doesn’t mean that you have to eat for two; normal portions are fine. Keep the following information in mind to ensure that you receive sufficient nutrients.
Vitamin A is important for normal growth. Please note that an excess of this vitamin can be dangerous for your baby. Fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene, from which the body makes vitamin A as required – this is fine. However, liver contains a lot of vitamin A as it’s not a good idea to eat too much of this during pregnancy. You can eat pate or liver sausage, but in moderation – no more than one pate sandwich a day.
B vitamins: folic acid during pregnancy
The vitamin B family is vital for just about everything from the proper development of the nervous system to good energy management, as well as the production of certain hormones. Two B vitamins are of particular importance:
– Vitamin B11 or folic acid. Folic acid reduces the risk of spina bifida and plays a major role in the formation of DNA. It is, therefore, recommended to take extra folic acid during pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks.
– Vitamin B12. This vitamin is also important for yourself because it helps prevent anemia, a condition affecting many women in pregnancy and post-childbirth.
–Vitamins B11 and B12 are found in many green vegetables (especially broccoli and spinach), dairy products, fish, meat, and grains.
A strong immune system is important, both for yourself and your baby. Vitamin C contributes to a good immune system and promotes the absorption of iron, which helps prevent anemia. Kiwis contain a lot of vitamin C, as does red pepper. Other vitamin C-rich foods to eat during pregnancy: citrus fruits, strawberries, and potatoes. Try and eat as many delicious fruits and vegetables as you can!
It is also crucial to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D during pregnancy. This vitamin is needed for strong bones, muscle strength and function for your child and helps balance your mood after delivery. Vitamin D can be found in margarine, low-fat milk, oily fish, and eggs. It is important to have this vitamain to avoid getting a vitamind d deficency.
However, because most vitamin D comes from sunlight, which is often unreliable in the UK, midwives advise women to take extra vitamin D during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, you have an additional need for calcium. Your baby needs it for the formation of bones and teeth, and calcium also appears to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia so make sure you eat enough calcium-rich foods during pregnancy. The largest source of calcium is milk. If you don’t like drinking milk, you could opt for yogurt or custard, and have a cheese sandwich for lunch. Calcium is also found in nuts, spinach, and green beans.
Zinc is a valuable mineral that, inter alia, plays a role in the growth and renewal of tissue, the build-up of proteins and the resistor. To eat zinc-rich foods during pregnancy, choose foods such as milk, pork, and wholewheat bread.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are not classed as a mineral or vitamin but they are just as important. These unsaturated fatty acids contain EPA and DHA, substances that play an important role in the development of the eyes, heart, and brains. It is a good idea to eat oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel) about once a week during pregnancy because it’s such a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. If you don’t like fish, you can opt for fish oil capsules.
What foods do you need to Avoid?
Unfortunately, there are a number of ‘illegal drugs’. Some products may contain listeria bacteria that could endanger your baby. Raw meat (including things like Steak Tartare and carpaccio), raw eggs, raw fish, raw seafood, packaged ready-to-eat fish and unpasteurized milk cheeses are risk factors. Avoid these products and wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them raw. Don’t eat fish more than once or twice a week; fish may contain dioxin contaminated by seawater.
Multivitamins during pregnancy
If you eat healthily, you do not need to swallow additional supplements during pregnancy in addition to vitamin D and folic acid, However, women who are pregnant do not always eat by the book. This may be due to nausea, loss of appetite, lack of time or fatigue. You might develop a deficiency of a particular substance. If you want to be sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals, you can take a multivitamin.
Choose a multivitamin for pregnant women as the composition of these supplements is specially tailored to meet the needs of you and your child.
You don’t need to take folic acid or vitamin D separately because a multivitamin for pregnant contains all the vitamins and minerals you need.