If you’re a mother-to-be, having a healthy diet during pregnancy can help you get the right amount of vitamins you need for your baby’s growth and development. It’s an essential health goal that you shouldn’t be taking lightly. Although a balanced diet can be the best way to get all the necessary nutrients, it’s also advisable to take vitamin supplements if your physician sees any deficiencies. Here are the eight best vitamins to take during pregnancy.
To ensure the healthy growth and development of your unborn child, your doctor may require an increased level of folate intake during your pregnancy. Being a vital micronutrient for DNA synthesis, folate helps prevent congenital disabilities such as spina bifida.
Along with the prenatal vitamins that your doctor may recommend, you can also find a good source of folate from the following foods:
- Breakfast cereals with folic acid and other grain-based foods such as bread
- Yeast extract
- Beans and legumes
- Orange juices with folate
- Vitamin A
This vitamin plays a vital role in ensuring the optimal eye development of your unborn baby. It also helps in the development of essential organs including the ears, heart, limbs, spinal cord, and vertebrae. If you have vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy, you have an increased risk of bleeding problems, premature birth of the baby, low birth weight of the baby, and many others.
If you’re looking for an abundant source of vitamin A in foods, you can find them in:
- Darkly colored vegetables such as spinach
- Green and yellow vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, and squash
- Yellow fruits
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 is crucial for the healthy development of the fetus. It also helps regulate muscle function and the proper utilization of carbohydrates in your body. Thiamine deficiency may result in shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, and pain in the limbs.
Aside from vitamin B1 supplements, you can also get such vitamin from the following food sources:
- Whole-grain products
- Lean pork
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B1 is one of the vital vitamins that your body needs during pregnancy. It helps metabolize fat and protein and combat fatigue and morning sickness. Moreover, this vitamin has an essential function in the development of the baby’s bones, muscles, and nervous system. It also helps absorb iron, which keeps you from having anemia during pregnancy.
If you’re a mother-to-be, you can incorporate these riboflavin-rich food sources into your daily diet:
- Sesame seeds
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a vital micronutrient for your baby’s brain development and function. Taking this vitamin can help prepare your body for pregnancy. If you lack vitamin B12 during pregnancy, you may encounter many complications such as shortness of breath, palpitations, fatigue, low energy, memory loss, mood change, and impaired bladder and bowel control.
Take advantage of the following good dietary sources of vitamin B12:
- Dairy products
- Red meat
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C has an important function in maintaining good dental health for you and your baby. It also helps produce collagen (a skin component), cartilage, blood vessels, and bones. The lack of vitamin C during pregnancy may cause some maternal complications such as hypertension and premature detachment of the placenta from your womb.
To avoid these complications, consume the following excellent sources of vitamin C:
- Leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and sprouts
- Citrus fruits such as oranges
- Other fruits such as kiwi and black currants
- Vitamin D
Pregnant women like you should have an adequate intake of vitamin D to promote healthy bones for your baby. The first few months of your baby is very critical because vitamin D deficiency can cause a disease that affects bone growth in children. Also, vitamin D assists the body in absorbing the right amount of calcium and phosphorus, and it’s an essential nutrient required for maintaining muscle strength and healthy skin during pregnancy.
Aside from exposure to sunlight to activate the production of vitamin D, it can also be obtained through the following dietary sources:
- Oily fish
- Some breakfast cereals
- Fortified margarine
- Vitamin K
To avoid blood clotting during pregnancy, you should have an adequate amount of vitamin K intake. This micronutrient helps regulate the thinning and thickening of the blood. Lack of this vitamin can cause bleeding disorders, which may be fatal during childbirth.
Good sources of vitamin K include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Green vegetables
- Plant oils
For most women, having a baby can be a rewarding experience. That’s because pregnancy and motherhood come with great benefits. During this delicate phase of your life, take good care of your entire well-being by understanding each stage of pregnancy and monitoring any vitamin deficiencies in your body. And to make sure you’ll get the right amount of vital nutrients to support fetal growth, consider these eight vitamins to take during your pregnancy. Don’t forget to always consult your ob-gyn when taking food supplements.