Essential vitamins and minerals for pregnant women
To ensure the health of the mother and the development of the fetus, pregnant women need to increase their nutrition more than usual.
Therefore, in addition to a diet that ensures all the necessary groups of substances, it is necessary to add more energy, protein, and fat.
Essential food groups include: group of carbohydrates (mainly from grains); protein group (meat, fish, eggs, milk, legumes, beans…); group of fats (animal fats, vegetable oils); group of vitamins and minerals (vegetables, tubers, fruits…).
It is necessary to use a variety of foods. Eat a variety of foods. Pay attention to foods rich in micronutrients. Especially a food source rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, C, E…; minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, folic acid…
In addition to the above 4 essential types, vitamins B1, B2, B5, C, E, A, iodine and zinc are also needed. DHA supplements are also recommended by nutritionists.
Some important foods to supplement for pregnant women
- Foods rich in folic acid
Folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy is essential. Because folic acid participates in hematopoiesis and neural tube formation. The neural tube of the fetus is completed between 3-4 weeks of pregnancy, if it is missing, it can cause congenital neural tube defects.
In addition to additional sources of drinking, pregnant women need to supplement folic acid from foods in their daily diet. Folic acid is found in foods such as oranges, milk, dairy products, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, egg yolks, potatoes, whole grains…
- Iron rich foods
Iron plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and in the formation of immune system enzymes, helping to strengthen the body’s resistance.
Iron deficiency can lead to anemia in the mother affecting maternal weight gain during pregnancy as well as the birth weight of the newborn and increases the risk of obstetric complications such as preterm birth, infections. postpartum, babies born with low birth weight.
According to recommendations, women who start pregnancy should take iron tablets immediately, taking them until one month after giving birth. The supplement dose is 60mg iron plus 400mcg folic acid/day. In addition, it is also recommended to use iron-rich foods in daily meals.
Iron is abundant in red meats such as: Heart, liver, poultry, fish, clams, oysters, egg yolks; legumes, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pumpkin and dried fruit. In particular, foods of animal origin are better sources of iron absorption than plants.
- Foods rich in calcium
Providing adequate calcium needs during pregnancy will help form and develop the fetal skeleton while ensuring the integrity of the mother’s bone health. The recommended calcium intake is 800-1000mg per day during pregnancy and lactation.
Calcium is abundant in: shrimp, crab, fish, milk and milk products. To increase calcium in the diet, pregnant women need to drink more calcium-rich milk and dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, or take calcium supplements with vitamin D.
- Foods rich in vitamin D
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which contributes to bone structure. If too much vitamin D deficiency can cause birth defects, osteomalacia, convulsions due to hypocalcemia, osteoporosis in the mother.
Food sources of vitamin D include: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, soybeans, almonds, salmon, herring, broccoli, oranges, fresh milk, egg yolks…
- DHA-rich foods
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in many foods. Research shows that DHA is an extremely essential nutrient for the body, especially in children.
DHA plays an important role in the development of the brain and the development of vision in children. Research also shows that DHA reduces preterm birth rates.
DHA is abundant in seafood such as deep-sea fish, shellfish, fish oils, and some seaweeds. Certain types of fish are considered an excellent source of DHA: salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and caviar.
In addition, DHA can also be found in small amounts in the meat and milk of grass-fed animals or in eggs.