During pregnancy, the body undergoes a lot of physical and hormonal changes. Therefore it is important to ensure that both mother and fetus are obtaining sufficient nutrients from various sources.
Some people may wish that there is some secret formula for a diet that will guarantee a healthy pregnancy. However, there is no such thing and the basic principles of healthy eating remain the same during pregnancy. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Having that said, there are a few nutrients that deserve special mention. Below are a few of what tops the list.
1. Folic acid
A research report shows that if a pregnant woman lacks folic acid when the fetus is between 0-6 weeks old, the fetus can be prone to fetal neural tube defects. There has been another report which shows that a lack of folic acid during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery or a low birth rate.
What to eat: liver, eggs, rice germ, wheat germ, dark green vegetables, beans (mung beans, soybeans), soybean sprouts, spinach, leeks, bananas, lemons, dried bamboo fungus, seaweed slices, dried shiitake mushrooms.
If there is severely insufficient iodine intake, it may affect the fetus’ brain development and may also increase infant mortality. However, pregnant women suffering from hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis, thyroid tumors and other diseases should take the dose recommended by their doctors.
What to eat: moderate intake of iodine-containing salt, kelp, seaweed, mussels, seafood and milk.
Pregnant women need higher amounts of iron to nourish and support the fetus's development, as their blood volume will be greatly increased. Their blood supply will increase by 20-40 times compared with non-pregnant women, and 75% of it will be sent to the placenta. In response to the increase in blood volume, the veins will also increase compensatory, which increases the chance of a pregnant woman having bruises. Also, insufficient iron intake may lead to pregnancy anemia (mostly iron deficiency anemia) in pregnant women.
Therefore supplementing enough iron during pregnancy not only ensures adequate nutrition to the fetus, but can also help relieve the uncomfortable condition of anemia for pregnant women.
What to eat: black sesame seeds, pig blood, liver, seaweed, ginseng, fish, egg yolk, red meat, whole grains, dark green vegetables.
4. Dietary calcium and silica
The risk of osteoporosis in women has always been higher than that in men. During pregnancy, it becomes even more important to get enough calcium and silica, not only for the fetus but also for the mother’s own bone strength. At five months, the fetus will begin to develop bones. At this time, it is recommended that the mother drinks 1.5 cups of milk every day and eats more dried fish and soy products to replenish calcium and lower the risk of osteoporosis. Adding whole grains and cereal products into their daily diets can also help increase silica levels in the body. This is important because silica is essential for bone formation and the health of connective tissues.
What to eat: dried fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, shrimp, perilla, amaranth, black sesame, celery, soy milk, soy products and whole grains, cereal products, and root vegetables.
5. Vitamin D
Adequate intake of vitamin D can help the fetal bones to grow healthily.
What to eat: Eat more fish, chicken eggs, dairy products, mushrooms (black fungus, shiitake mushrooms) and other foods, and stay in the sun moderately.
The DHA and EPA in Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for the early growth and development of the baby. They can support the baby's brain development and reduce the risk of allergies. In addition to helping the baby's eye development, it can also improve their hand-eye coordination.
What to eat: Mackerel, salmon, saury, eel, sardine, trout, herring, cod, walnut, linseed, chia seeds, seafood should be avoided raw.
You can also consider:
LABO Nutrition OmaxPure DHA76
OmaxPure DHA76 is an ultra-concentrated fish oil with 76% DHA. Each softgel offers 1250 mg ultra-concentrated fish oil. Within which 1000 mg is omega-3 fatty acids with 950 mg DHA content. This pharmaceutical grade DHA fish oil would easily fulfil the daily DHA requirement to lower the risk of pre-term labour, support positive mood and healthy fetal development. More importantly, 1 softgel easily meets the DHA gap to support a healthy pregnancy.
LABO Nutrition I ♥ My Kids Brain and Bone Burstlets
I ♥ My Kids Brain & Bones Burstlets is an ultra-concentrated 76% DHA chewable burstlet with an enjoyable natural citrus flavor that caters to children’s tastebuds while supporting their brain and eye development. Each burstlet offers a functional dosage of 400 mg omega-3 (with 380 mg DHA). That is also equivalent to 28 DHA gummies! Each burstlet also contains vitamin D3 and vitamin K2, which are crucial for optimal bone growth and development during the growing years. CAUTION: I ♥ My Kids Brain & Bones Burstlets is for those aged 4 and above. It is not recommended for younger children due to the risk of choking. The product should be fully chewed under adult supervision.
LABO Nutrition Bioactive Organic Silica
Bioactive Organic Silica is a rich source of highly absorbable silica, each serving provides 91.5mg organic silica (42mg of elemental silicon) and is fortified with vitamin K2 (MK-7), vitamin D3 and coconut origin MCT oil. The synergistic effects of multiple potent ingredients in this unprecedented formula help support bone density and strength. Beneficial for joints, muscles, blood vessels, digestive tract and brain, as well as beautifying skin and strengthening hair and nails.