Once a month I visit an alternative therapist. He hooks me up with the vitamins and supplements my body needs and gives me tons of tips and advice on diet issues. As expected, we’ve now switched up my regular routine adding prenatal vitamins and making changes to my diet ensuring both me and baby are getting all the nutrients we need. Do you know what these are? After three pregnancies I’m still learning.
Here’s a list of the basic nutritional needs of a pregnant person and which foods you need to include in your diet to make sure you get them.
Calcium: Babies need calcium to grow strong bones and if your intake hasn’t increased they’ll be robbing YOU of it. And that’s how you develop osteoporosis later on in life. Make sure you get enough from plant based sources too as it’s easily digested. Get it from: broccoli, oranges, kale, any dark leafy greens, okra, sesame seeds, quinoa, kiwis, almonds, goat yoghurt, almond milk with added calcium, carob powder.
Protein: A diet rich in protein will help stabilize blood sugar and avoid weight gain. It’s also full of amino acids. Again ideally you should mainly rely on plant based sources for a healthier way to grab all the protein your body and baby needs but whatever rocks your boat is cool. Get it from: beans, grains, tofu, free-range eggs, organic red meat, poultry and salmon.
Vitamin D: Here’s one I didn’t know. Calcium needs Vit D to be absorbed. Now obviously living in a sunny country helps us get great amounts but in many cases a supplement is required. The boys and I take it in a liquid form. A few drops in our mouths everyday and we’re good to go. Get it from: Egg yolks, fatty fish, fortified orange juice. But the general consensus is that this isn’t enough so you have to rely on supplements.
Folic Acid: It’s the first thing your OB/GYN will recommend you take as soon as you know you’re pregnant. It’s an important nutrient that can decrease chances of a neural tube defect and thankfully if your diet is plant-based you’ll be getting tons. Get it from: Avocados, spinach, lentils, beans, leafy greens.
Iron: You need twice the amount of iron you needed before because your body is actually making/producing extra blood and it needs iron to do that. Get it from: Organic meat and poultry, leafy greens, beans, lentils, raisins, iron-fortified cereals like oatmeal, quinoa, peas, baked potato with skin.
Vitamin C: It goes without saying, right? But it also helps the body absorb iron. Get it from: pineapples, kiwis, blackberries, grapefruit, spinach, edamame, tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, grapefruits.
While I am doing my absolute best to eat as healthy as possible there are days when I won’t even sit down for a proper lunch so I rely on these brilliant prenatal vitamins that I highly recommend.
In no shape or form am I a doctor or health counsellor therefore these guidelines should be followed with the advice and expertise of a professional.