Here are ten essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy that are recommended for you:
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for kidney, pulmonary and cardiovascular health, immune and red blood cell production. The recommended daily intake for pregnant women is 770 micrograms, good sources include eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, dark green vegetables, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
2. Vitamin B12
It is essential for the production and metabolism of amino acids, which are organic compounds that make up protein and are key to growth, tissue repair and a number of other bodily functions. In addition, B vitamins help with energy production from fat and protein, synthesis of hemoglobin, function of the pancreas and prevention of neural tube defects. The RDA for pregnant women is 2.6 micrograms, good sources include shellfish, crab, sardines, salmon, beef and nonfat yogurt.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin. Protecting against toxins from the environment, vitamin C is necessary for optimal brain development and immune function. The RDA for pregnant women is 85 milligrams, good sources include bell peppers (especially red and yellow), guava, orange juice, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, and cantaloupe.
4. Vitamin D
It is important for mothers and babies to get vitamin D intake, babies who are deficient in vitamin D will increase the risk of bone disease. So pregnant women are advised to consume fish oil, salmon, tuna, shrimp, and milk fortified with vitamin D, soy milk and orange juice.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting and normal cell growth, as well as prevention of osteoporosis and heart disease. The RDA for pregnant women is 90 micrograms, good sources include raw kale, turnips, parsley, spinach and soybeans.
Calcium is an essential nutrient in the formation of bones and teeth and supports the proper function of blood vessels, muscles, nerves, hormones and more. The RDA for pregnant women ages 19 and older is 1,000 milligrams, good sources include cheddar cheese, milk, yogurt, tofu, white beans, bok choy, kale and broccoli.
Helps regulate amino acids, supports DNA and RNA formation, prevents neural tube defects and supports the pancreas, kidney cells and brain. The RDA for pregnant women is 600 micrograms, good sources include lentils, beans, spinach, and orange juice.
Iron is essential for oxygen transport, cellular energy production, immunity and more. Pregnant women transfer some iron to the fetus during the third trimester, so iron is especially important towards the last months of pregnancy. The RDA for pregnant women is 27 milligrams, good sources include tofu, soybeans, beef tenderloin, spinach and kidney beans.
It plays a role in many functions, including energy production from carbohydrates and fats, structural integrity of bones, cell membranes and chromosomes, muscle contraction, nerve impulses, heart rhythm and control of blood pressure and blood sugar. The RDA for pregnant women ages 19 to 30 is 310 milligrams, for women age 31 and older is 320 milligrams. Good sources include pumpkin seeds, spinach, radishes, soybeans, green beans, salmon, sunflower seeds.
10. Zinc, such as magnesium
It is key to several functions including the kidneys, heart, pancreas, nerves and immunity. The RDA for pregnant women is 60 micrograms daily. Recommended sources include oysters, crab, salmon, shrimp, sunflower seeds, brown rice and eggs.