Eight Essential Ingredients For a Healthy Pregnancy
May 23, 2018
Science knows more now about nutrition, pregnancy and fetal development than ever before. However, that information often does not make to mothers who are newly pregnant, or hoping to become pregnant. Being deficient in some important nutrients can result in birth defects and learning disabilities for your baby, and complications for mom throughout pregnancy and delivery. Mothers need diets that are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fatty acids to ensure the best start for their babies and themselves. Here are eight nutrients that every pregnant woman needs to be sure she is getting enough of.
Folic acid is required for neural tube development. Birth defects due to insufficient amounts can lead to serious birth defects such as anencephaly, cleft lip, low birth weight and more. Get your RDA of 600 mcgs by munching leafy green vegetables, bananas and nuts!
Iron plays a critical role in the development of your baby’s brain. Babies who are born with low iron can have trouble comprehending sound, low birth weight and more. Get your iron from a healthy diet that is rich in dark leafy greens, dried fruits like apricots, raspberries, broccoli, eggs, and meats.
Zinc helps your unborn babies cells grow and replicate. Zinc deficiencies increase the risk of early miscarriage, and can cause toxemia. Good sources include beans, nuts, poultry and red meat.
Iodine is required for proper brain development. Low fetal iodine is linked with ADHD in children, and if extreme, mental retardation. Pregant women require even more iodine than normal, due to increased thyroid hormone production, which results in iodine loss. Good sources include Sea vegetables, cranberries, organic yogurt, organic navy beans, and organic strawberries.
Docosahexaenoic Acid (trying saying that 3 times fast!) or DHA, is an essential fatty acid that is required for proper brain, eye and nervous system development. This fatty acid can make your baby smarter, and give them better attention and learning capacity. Good sources are Pacific salmon and organic eggs that have been fortified with DHA.
Calcium is necessary for bone growth, it aids in blood clotting, sending of nerve signals and heartbeat regulation. Good sources include collard greens, broccoli rabe, kale, bok choy, canned sardines with bones, and dairy products.
Vitamins are required for mom and for fetal growth and development. Eating a diet that includes a rainbow of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and essential fatty acids helps to insure that you will be eating the alphabet of vitamins: A, B’s, C, D, E, and K.
Protein is needed to build new cells for your baby. It provides the amino acids that are used for bone and muscle development, and is necessary for healthy blood production. Inadequate protein intake can lead to deformities, brain damage, miscarriage, and high risk of birth defects. Pregnant women need 70 grams daily from high quality sources like eggs, organic peanut butter, dairy and meats.