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5 Important Nutrients For Pregnant Woman | Hea Boosters

Carrying a life inside you is one of the most beautiful experiences. However, pregnancy can often be as daunting as it is exciting. All the advice pouring in from everywhere can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused. One of the most common themes of advice is generally related to food and nutrition. It can be tough to listen to your body when you’re surrounded by various voices advocating the best way to “eat for two.”


Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential during every phase of life, but it is even more critical during pregnancy when the body’s need for vitamins and nutrients increases sharply. It can be difficult to meet these requirements through your diet alone but they are absolutely crucial to ensure that both you and your baby stay healthy and grow well. Vitamin supplements are a good way to do this without being demanding with your already hectic schedule.

5 vitamins that pregnant women should take:

  • Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that the body requires for many processes including building and maintaining strong bones. It also plays a critical role in the immune system, digestion, and heart function and helps in developing strong teeth and bones of the baby. Pregnant women need around 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day.
A cup (237 ml) typically contains 2.6-2.9 micrograms of vitamin D. A cup of fortified soy milk can fulfil 26% - 29% of the daily requirement. A cup (237 ml) of orange juice can start your day off with up to 2.5 micrograms of vitamin D. This is approximately 25% of the daily requirement. A can (100 grams) of tuna contains approximately 13.85 micrograms, which is 138% of the daily value.

  • Vitamin B12:

Also known as cobalamin, this vitamin helps in synthesizing DNA, (the genetic material in our cells), helps mothers stay healthy, and is vital for the proper growth of the baby. This nutrient is crucial for the development and functioning of the baby’s brain. Additionally, vitamin B12consumption should be ensured everyday, since this is a water soluble vitamin and does not get stored in the body.
Pregnant women need 1.2 micrograms of vitamin B12. An egg has 0.6 micrograms of B12, which fulfils 60% of the required daily value. 100 grams of paneer contains 0.6 micrograms of B12. 200 ml of fortified soya milk provides vegans with 0.8 micrograms of B12, (80% of the daily value).

  • Vitamin C:

A powerful antioxidant, it helps in tissue repair and recovery during pregnancy. For the baby, it helps in the development of bones and teeth. 60 milligrams of vitamin C are required for pregnant women daily.
An orange contains 35mg of vitamin C, which is equal to 116% of your daily requirement.

  • Folate:

Vitamin B9 also called folate or folic acid plays an important role in producing red blood cells and helps in fetal growth and development. The requirement of folate for women increases from 200 micrograms per day to 500 micrograms per day during pregnancy.
100 grams of spinach have 194 micrograms of folate, which is equivalent to 39% of the daily requirement. 100 grams of sprouted beans have 61 micrograms, which makes 12% of your daily requirement. One medium-sized orange has 74 micrograms of folate, equal to 14% of your daily requirement. Therefore, taking a folate supplement which can fulfil 100% of your daily requirement will be helpful.

  • Iron:

The need for iron during pregnancy increases significantly as iron helps in making hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in our blood and helps in oxygen supply for the baby. The deficiency of iron may cause fatigue for the mom too. The requirement of iron for women increases from 21 milligrams a day to 35 milligrams per day during pregnancy.
100 grams of fortified cereal contains 24 milligram of iron, which is equivalent to 68% of the daily requirement. 100 grams of spinach contains 2.7 micrograms of iron, equal to 7% of your daily requirement. Taking an iron supplement will help you in covering your daily requirement.

Calcium, protein and iodine are other nutrients that you need to sustain a healthy pregnancy. Supplements usually come in handy during this period and are especially useful when you have a chronic condition, are allergic to certain food groups, or cannot absorb enough from your diet due to other reasons. Paying attention to your nutrient intake might be one extra thing getting added to your to-do list, but it will also ensure that both you and your baby enjoy a healthy, happy pregnancy

Sources:

Vitamins and supplements that support healthy pregnancy:
https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/vitamins-and-supplements-pregnancy/

Importance of Iron during pregnancy:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/iron-deficiency-anaemia/

Summary of recommended dietary allowances:
https://www.fssai.gov.in/upload/advisories/2020/01/5e159e0a809bbLetter_RDA_08_01_2020.pdf

Vitamin D during pregnancy and their advantages:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991049/

Importance of folate and folic acid supplementation during pregnancy:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3218540/

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