Essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy
Pregnancy is a nutritionally demanding period of a woman's life, when the requirements for some vitamins and minerals increases.
The healthy development of your baby involves rapid cell division and organ development, and an adequate supply of nutrients is essential to support this tremendous growth.
Your daily need for vitamins and minerals not only increases before and during pregnancy but also after the birth when your body’s nutrient stores need replenishing. Breastfeeding also increases the need for fluids and nutrients. Vitamin D is also important during this time because it is passed to your baby via breastmilk, helping them to develop strong healthy bones and teeth.
Each nutrient has its own function in maintaining your health and the health of your growing baby.
|Nutrient||Important for||Which foods?|
|Folic acid||The development of the organs and tissues; ensures the healthy development of the neural tube||Found in a variety of foods including broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas, chickpeas, brown rice, some fruits such as oranges and bananas, fortified cereals and bread. Make sure you don't overcook vegetables, as this destroys the vitamin. It is recommended that you take a folic acid supplement before conceiving and until the twelfth week of pregnancy|
|Omega-3 essential fatty acids||
Contribute to the normal development of the brain and eyes of your unborn baby
Research indicates that having a daily intake of 200mg of DHA on top of a combined 250mg of DHA and EPA from your daily diet, as recommended by the Department of Health, can have a beneficial effect for you and the unborn baby
|Cold water fish (mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines etc), nuts and seeds|
|Vitamin D||Important for growth and maintenance of strong healthy bones and teeth||Oily fish such as sardines, eggs, margarine and low fat spreads. The body produces vitamin D in sunlight. According to the Department of Health, if you are pregnant you should take a 10µg supplement of vitamin D|
|Iron||Helps to support the transport of oxygen through the formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin||Lean red meat, dark green vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts, fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruits|
|Copper||Antioxidant that protects cells from damage, helps maintain connective tissue and helps release energy from food.||Shellfish and nuts|
|Calcium||Growth and maintenance of strong healthy bones and teeth.||Dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, bread|
|Magnesium||The bones and teeth and for repairing tissues||Nuts, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, bread, fish, meat, dairy produce|
|Vitamin E||Protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage||Plant oils - soya, corn & olive oil. Nuts, cereals, wheat germ|
|Vitamin C||The absorption of iron and for the immune system||Most fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, blackcurrants, potatoes|
|Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins (B1, B2, B6)||Healthy red blood cells and for releasing energy from food||B12: Meat and fish Fortified breakfast cereal|
|Zinc||Helps to support the normal function of the immune system||Sardines, red meat, shellfish, milk, dairy foods, bread, cereals|
Are you getting all the nutrients you need from food?
Unfortunately many women enter pregnancy already with low levels of some vitamins and minerals. Stress, eating on the run, dieting and recent pregnancies may all be reasons for this.
Some pregnant women’s vitamin intake can often be below the recommended levels. This is important as your nutritional status plays an essential role in the healthy development of your baby, starting before you conceive and continuing throughout your pregnancy.
By taking Sanatogen® mum to be, or Sanatogen® mum to be + Omega-3, before conception and during pregnancy you can help to ensure that you're getting all the key vitamins and minerals your body needs to help support the healthy growth of your baby and keep you healthy too.