While good nutrition is always important, it becomes even more vital when you are pregnant. During this time, your body is building a whole new body inside of it, and it needs plenty of building blocks to do this. For this, it uses proteins and a variety of other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. If it cannot get the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat, the necessary nutrients will be leached from your own tissues, leaving you at risk of disease. Therefore, be sure to get plenty of the following five nutrients, which are among the top most nourishing ones during pregnancy.
Without enough calcium in your diet, your fetus will begin to pull calcium from your bones in order to get enough to build its own body. To decrease this unnecessary risk for osteoporosis, be sure to eat plenty of calcium-rich foods, including dairy products, canned fish with bones included and green, leafy vegetables.
Pregnant women need about 50 percent more iron than usual. This is because iron is a necessary part of red blood cell formation and the amount of blood in your body goes up significantly by your second and third trimesters. Without enough iron, you may feel very tired.
This is the most commonly known nutrient that is necessary for pregnancy. Often thought of in conjunction with a healthy placenta, it is also important for preventing numerous birth defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid, also known as vitamin B-9, is found in high amounts in leafy, green vegetables, beets, nuts, beans and many fortified foods. If your baby has a birth defect related to low amounts of folic acid because your doctor failed to inform you about it, you can get legal help from birth injury lawyers.
Niacin, another B vitamin, is important for healthy nerves and skin. In fact, some studies have shown that low amounts of niacin during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or to fetal defects. Niacin can be found in fortified foods, meat, eggs, fish and milk.
While protein is not a vitamin or a mineral, it is a huge source of nourishment for you and for your growing fetus. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the human body. These nutrients are used to build every single tissue in the fetus. You will need to increase the amount of protein that you consume each day while you are pregnant. High sources of protein include many animal products, such as meat and cheese, as well as beans, legumes and nuts.
Of course, this is just a brief glimpse at some of the most important nutrients that women need when pregnant. A chat with your doctor will give you more information specific to your needs. For even more help, a certified nutritionist can be invaluable.