Before we begin, check out part 1 of this post.
Now you have a good understanding of macronutrients, let’s take a look at some key vitamins and minerals for our Kidso mamas!
Folate – also known as B9 is required for at least 3 months prior to conception in order to prevent the development of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Most women are usually told to take Folic Acid – but this is a synthetic form, which can bind to folate receptors, and prevent the natural nutrient from getting into cells, so it is always best to use ‘food grown’ supplements or increase natural folate consumption from food. The best sources are green leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, broccoli, beetroot, asparagus and oranges.
Choline – works in synergy with folate to prevent neural tube defects and it is also essential for embryonic development. Egg yolks are considered one of the best sources, but broccoli, legumes, beans and shitake mushrooms are also great.
B12 – required for energy production, red blood cell production and the development of baby’s nervous system. Most sources of B12 come from animal products; there is some evidence of tempeh, Nori and Chlorella containing B12, but if you are vegan you may require an extra supplement, so do check your levels and consult your GP if in doubt.
Vitamin A is a key antioxidant, which supports the development of your baby’s immune system and normal development of eyes and skin. The best sources are your orange fruits and vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, mango, papaya and fresh apricots. Foods such as liver should be avoided as high intakes of Vitamin A can be dangerous.
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, mental health, immune health and hormonal health. This is known as the sunshine vitamin but due to inadequate sunshine – this is another key Vitamin that often requires supplementation – do get your levels checked, especially if you are pregnant during the winter months.
IODINE is a trace element needed for making thyroid hormones and your baby’s brain development. The best sources are found in foods such as Atlantic dulce, seaweed, kelp, and kombu – try to add these into soups or salads daily if you can.
IRON + VITAMIN C – iron is essential for oxygen production and the transport of oxygen around the body. During pregnancy, your blood volume increases and so iron levels often decrease. The best animal sources such as red meat and chicken, could be consumed weekly, or plant based sources such as lentils, beans, chickpeas, tofu, almonds, dried figs, and abricots should be consumed with Vitamin C such as broccoli, red pepper, tomatoes and oranges to aid absorption.
SELENIUM is another essential mineral for optimum function of the thyroid gland. The best thing you can do is eat 2-3 brazil nuts a day to keep your levels topped up!
ZINC supports cell division and the immune system. Sprinkling your food with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts and sunflower seeds can be great ways to top up your levels.
MARVELLOUS MAGNESIUM – the MAMA of all minerals – needed for over 300 processes in the body such as DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, energy production and nerve and muscle relaxation. The best sources come from your dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, cacao and blackstrap molasses!
Special Pregnancy Recommendations – foods to avoid
· Alcohol – there is no safe recommended amount (sorry mamas!)
· Caffeine – not more than 200mg daily
· Raw meats and fish (risk of infection)
· Unpasteurised dairy
· Soft cheeses
· Raw or softly cooked eggs
Special Pregnancy Recommendations – Supplements
Certain supplements are necessary during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months
Some of our favorite brands for the most important supplements are listed below:
Pre Natal Multi
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