Pregnancy is a special time for any woman as she nurtures and cares for a new life growing within her. During this time, it’s crucial for a woman to provide her developing baby with the essential nutrients. The baby in the womb relies on the mother for all its nutrients. This is why it’s important for her to eat a healthy diet.
The following are the most important nutrients required by pregnant women for the proper nourishment of their baby.
Folic acid is a B vitamin that is important in the early stages of pregnancy. Folic acid promotes the growth of a baby’s brain and spinal cord. It is also required for the production of red and white blood cells. Pregnant women are recommended to take at least 400-800 micrograms of folic acid daily, either from their diet or from supplements.
Iron is important for preventing anemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness, and it also supports the fetus’s oxygen needs. Pregnant women need more iron than non-pregnant women and are recommended to take at least 27 milligrams per day. Iron-rich foods include meat, poultry, seafood, beans, lentils, and iron-fortified cereals.
Calcium and vitamin D are essential for strong bones and teeth. Pregnant women need at least 1000-1300 milligrams of calcium per day. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy greens, tofu, and fortified orange juice.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is also important for maintaining healthy bones. Pregnant women are recommended to take at least 600-800 international units (IU) per day. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, mushrooms, and fortified foods like milk and orange juice.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for fetal brain development. Pregnant women are recommended to consume at least 200 milligrams of DHA per day. Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Iodine is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in the development of the fetus and child. The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce hormones that aid in growth and brain development. If a woman doesn’t get enough iodine during pregnancy, her baby could be at risk of thyroid problems, developmental delays, and learning difficulties. Iodized salt and seafood are the best sources of iodine.
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