Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that reduces the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. It also assists the body to build strong red blood cells, and studies have proven that it can lower the incidence of miscarriage and reduce the likelihood of premature births. Foods folic acid can be found in include whole-wheat bread, beans, leafy vegetables, fruit, and yeast.
VITAMIN B COMPLEX
This family of vitamins forms the backbone of supplementation. They are found in many foodstuffs, including yeasts, meat, dairy products, eggs, and grains. Nutrients in a food state form are bonded to proteins which act as the chaperones to guide the nutrients to the appropriate sites in the body. Supplements containing a full range of B-complex vitamins should be taken daily.
Calcium builds strong bones and teeth and is found in green vegetables, sardines, and dairy products. The developing baby needs a great deal of calcium throughout the pregnancy and the daily intake through the diet will seldom meet the requirements. Without that additional calcium, the baby will take it from the mother’s body, which may ultimately weaken the mother’s bones.
Iron helps to make haemoglobin which enables the blood to carry more oxygen to the baby. Iron-containing foods include dried fruit, leafy vegetables, red meat, and whole-grain bread.
OTHER VITAMINS AND MINERALS
- Vitamin C helps build bones and teeth and is present in citrus fruits and broccoli.
- Vitamin D helps build strong bones, teeth, and tissue and is found in milk, eggs, sardines, and salmon.
- Zinc boosts the baby’s growth and guards against premature delivery. Red meat and seafood are sources rich in zinc.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help develop and boost the baby’s brainpower and can be found in oily fish, almonds, walnuts, and sesame seeds.