PREGNANCY

The Big 3 Nutrients for You and Baby

By: Brightest Editors

September 28, 2016

It certainly comes as no surprise that there are nutritional building blocks needed in every woman’s diet during pregnancy and while breastfeeding to help support the overall health of her baby. While all vitamins, minerals and nutrients are important, here is an easy way to remember the big three nutrients that help support brain development and health.

Be sure to speak with your health care practitioner about the best ways to get these nutrients into your daily diet – through foods and high-quality dietary supplements.

1. Folic acid (also known as Folate / Vitamin B9)

Folic acid (also known as Folate / Vitamin B9) is essential for many functions in the body, particularly when cells divide during periods of rapid growth and development. Inadequate intakes during early pregnancy, when most women do not even know they are pregnant, may increase the risk of birth defects such as neural tube defect. Therefore, it is recommended that all women planning to become pregnant take folic acid supplements. It is found in significant amounts in foods such as beef liver, peanuts, spinach, broccoli and asparagus. To achieve the required intake level for women who are planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant, it is important to take dietary supplements.

2. Calcium

Calcium, a mineral, is found in bones and teeth, giving them their strength. This mineral is very important during pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adolescence, when bones grow and teeth are formed. It also plays a role in the functioning of muscles and helps signals to be sent from nerves to the brain. Milk, dairy products and meat are rich sources of calcium, but it is also found in a variety of vegetables such as spinach, collard greens and turnips.

3. DHA omega-3

DHA omega-3, a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, is the most abundant omega-3 in the brain and eye, it is an important structural component of heart tissue and is naturally found in breast milk. DHA supports infant brain and eye development and supports brain health of children as they grow. Dietary sources of DHA include fatty fish (anchovies, salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna and halibut), eggs and DHA fortified foods, beverages and dietary supplements.

Remember, you pass these important nutrients along to your developing infants via the placenta during pregnancy and through breast milk after birth – so eat up and supplement responsibly.

Recent Posts