Folic Acid: Required for early development, the neural tube and spinal cord folic acid can help to prevent Spina Bifida and other neural defects. It is recommended women trying to conceive should start taking folic acid supplements and continue to take for at least the first three months of pregnancy. The recommended daily dosage is between 400-600 micrograms. You’ll find folic acid in beans, leafy greens, asparagus, strawberries, avocados and oranges.
Iron: Helps form haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the blood. Recommended daily dosage is 27 milligrams and sources of iron include beef, poultry, grains and beans and most dark leafy green vegetables such as watercress, spinach and kale. There are some great juicing recipes on my recipe page with kale. Although liver is a great source of iron; do not eat this while you are pregnant as it contains high levels of vitamin A which can be damaging to your unborn child.
Zinc: Plays a vital role in cell growth and building a strong immunity. Daily dosage required is 11 milligrams and zinc can be found in chicken and poultry, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes (beans)
Calcium: Maintains a healthy blood pressure and necessary to build strong bones. Calcium can be found in a number of foods including milk, yoghurt green leafy vegetables and cheeses ( remember to stay away from soft unpasteurized cheese)
Vitamin D: Helps build strong bones and protects the immune system. Vitamin D can be found in egg yolks, beef, soya, oily fish and fortified cereals. It is advised you should be getting 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day during pregnancy.
Fibre: Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet and aids digestion and can reduce constipation as well as helping prevent heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. There are two types of fibre – insoluble and soluble and a healthy diet should include both. It is recommended we should be getting between 18 and 28 grams a day. Sources for both types of fibre can be found in oats, barley, fruits such as bananas and apples, root vegetables, linseed, wholemeal bread, cereals, nut and seeds. To avoid constipation during pregnancy remember to drink plenty of water and eat a high fibre diet. Due to the increase in progesterone during pregnancy, the muscles throughout the body relax including the digestive tract. This means food passes through the intestines more slowly. Don’t worry too much ladies its just another one of those things we have to deal with but my high fibre juices and smoothies on my recipe page should help.
Have a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy x