ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS
pregnancy your body goes through a lot of changes and to cope
up with all the changes and for proper development of the
baby it is necessary that you eat a very nourishing and healthy
diet, which is rich of vitamins and minerals. Following is
the list of all the vitamins and minerals that are essential
to your body during pregnancy.
Calcium is obtained from milk, milk products, fish, cashew
nuts, brazil nuts, beans and pulses, green vegetables particularly
spinach. Best taken with vitamins A, C, D, essential fatty
acids, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.
Promotes strong and healthy bone production. Controls blood
clotting mechanisms and proper nerve and muscle function.
During the first trimester, bone density tends to diminish
therefore it is important to increase levels prior to conceiving.
Recommended during labour to ease pain when used in conjunction
with vitamin D.
is found in black pepper, liver, wholegrain, wheatgerm, vegetables,
butter, beer, and molasses.
Needed for the regulation of the glucose and the synthesis
of fatty acids and cholesterol. Research indicates that deficiency
may be linked to heart disease. Chromium is not always easily
absorbed though it can be readily lost.
Cobalt is found in Green leafy vegetables, meats, seafood,
nuts, fruits and wholegrains.
An essential part of vitamin B12 for the normal functioning
of cells, especially red blood cells. Deficiency is associated
with slow growth and goitre.
Copper is found in brazil nuts, organ meats, dried legumes,
green vegetables. Best taken with cobalt, iron and zinc.
Helps brain development, bones, nerves and connective tissue.
It is involved in many enzyme systems and essential in the
production of RNA. Copper deficiency is rare and copper in
excess can be toxic.
Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach
etc, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, fortified breakfast
cereals, wholegrains, oranges, meat and potatoes. Recommended
Significantly helps reduce the risk of spinal deformity such
as spina bifida by 70 per cent and reduces the incidence of
cleft lip or palate. Aids in the production of blood cells
and haemoglobin. Can also help reduce your risk of developing
heart disease, colon cancer and cervical cancer.
Iodine is found in water, iodised salt, onions, shellfish,
mushrooms and dark leafy green vegetables.
Necessary for growth, mental and physical development and
maintenance of health. Deficiency in pregnancy can result
in cretinism in children, a congenital disease with mental
and physical retardation.
Iron is found in fish, meat, lentils, beans, nuts, dark molasses,
eggs, green leafy vegetables, seaweed, fortified cereals,
wholegrains, dried fruit especially apricots, raisins, prunes,
parsley. (Avoid liver as it contains high Vitamin A content).
Extra iron is often prescribed during pregnancy if you are
iron-deficient (anaemic). Check with your doctor.
Essential in production of red blood cells. During pregnancy
this volume increases by a third to nourish you and the developing
baby. If your blood does not contain enough haemoglobin, insufficient
oxygen will be carried to your baby. Warning signs may be
tiredness and pallid colour.
Magnesium is found in cereals, nuts, soya beans and soy products,
milk, fish and meat.
Can help is preventing muscle cramp. Often levels of this
mineral are low in pregnant women.
Manganese is found in nuts, wholegrains, seeds, leafy greens,
egg, liver, parsley, cloves, ginger. Best taken with vitamins
B1, E, calcium, phosphorus.
Needed for numerous enzyme reactions, formation of thyroxine,
bone growth, fat metabolism, nerve function, and blood clotting.
Nickel is found in soybeans, lentils, nuts, grains, vegetables.
Is found in RNA and DNA and in all tissues and fluids. Deficiencies
have been linked with reproductive failures and growth problems.
Phosphrous is found in Whole grains, breads, cereals, meat,
fish, poultry, eggs, seeds, and nuts. Best taken with vitamins
A, D, EFA, calcium, iron, manganese and protein.
Is the second most abundant mineral in the body and is found
in every cell. Plays a part in almost every chemical reaction
in the body including metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins
and fats, in muscle and nerve function, digestion, kidney
function and skeletal growth.
Potassium is found in Wheatgerm, wholegrains, vegetables,
fruits and nuts. Best taken with vitamin B6 and sodium.
Needed to regulate blood pH and proper nerve function. Helps
maintain the fluid balance in the body and is necessary for
growth. A deficiency may cause headaches, water retention,
irregular heartbeat, bone and joint pain, constipation, cramping,
irritability and insomnia. It may be linked to poor sperm
mobility. Deficiency may cause abnormality in the kidneys
of the developing foetus.
Selenium is found in butter, brazil nuts, wheatgerm, wholegrains,
garlic, breast milk. More effective when taken with vitamin
Powerful anti-oxidant that helps prevent chromosomal damage
associated with birth defects and cancers. Helps the body
fight infection. Useful during preconception to detoxify the
Silicon is found in Wholegrain, wholemeal bread, vegetables,
Crucial in the formation of connective tissues, bones, the
placenta, arteries and skin.
B6 & B12 B6 is found in fish, egg yolk, avocados, seeds, bananas
and B12 is found in eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, and
some breakfast cereals.
Vitamin B12 assists in the production of genetic material
DNA and works with folic acid in preventing neural tube defects.
Vitamin C is found in fresh fruit and vegetables particularly
kiwifruit, citrus fruits. Recommended: 1000mg daily.
Vital in helping your body to absorb iron. Boosts your immune
system and aids growth and repair.
The body synthesises Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
Dietary sources include eggs, milk, and oily fish such as
salmon, mackerel, tuna.
Assists in absorption of calcium and aids in building healthy
Recommended 2 litres daily. Add squeeze of fresh lemon or
grapefruit for taste.
Vitally important to maintain hydration and overall body health.
Improves skin, lowers risk of constipation, cystitis, and
water retention, all of which are common during pregnancy.
Zinc is found in high fibre foods, brazil nuts, meat, cheese.
Zinc is one of the first supplements recommended for fertility
problems. It is an important component of semen and deficiency
in males is linked to a low sperm count and is thought to
produce sperm that are too weak to penetrate the egg. Deficiency
is common and can also lead to miscarriage, growth retardation
in the uterus, long labour, stillbirth and congenital handicap.
It is also necessary for strong muscle contraction.