The reason why it is important for you to have a good diet is, not only for you to feel healthy and well during pregnancy, but also for your growing baby.
I thought I would list here the important vitamins and minerals and the food sources where they can be found.
Vitamin A (needed for bone and tissue growth, , healthy skin, eyes and mucous membranes)
Raw carrot, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, parsley, celery, capsecum, cabbage, watercress, tomatoes. Also found in fruit such as mango, papaya, oranges and dried apricots.
Vitamin B (For development of the nervous system and brain)
Also known as the complex vitamin and is found in leafly green vegetables, meat, yeast extract, egg yolk, fish, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beansprouts, avocados, banana, nuts, mushrooms, currants and wholegrains.
Vitamin C (For the immune system, tissue formation and helps with iron absorbtion and is depleted by smoking)
Found in red pepper, leafy freen vegetables, tomatoes, parsley, kiwi fruit, cherries, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, citrus fruit and melon.
Vitamin D (Needed for bones and teeth)
Also called the sunshine vitamin. Spend 20 minutes a day in full spectrum sunlight. Also found in fish liver oil, salmon, egg yolk and butter.
Vitamin E (Needed for circulation, wound healing and tissue growth)
Found in dark green vegetables, broccoli, eggs, whole grain cereals, tomatoes, olive oil, nuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados and wheatgerm oil.
Vitamin K (Required for normal blood clotting)
Found in leafy green vegetables, kale, turnips, brussel sprouts, broccoli, spring onions, tomatoes, lettuce and asparagus.
Iodine (Thyroid function and energy levels)
Found in seaweed, kelp and iodinised salt.
Zinc (Immune function, nervous and skeletal system)
Found in green vegetables, lentils, almonds, tofu, rice, nuts, pumpkin seeds, whole grain, brewers yeast and oats.
Calcium (Needed for muscle contraction, brain function, involved in blood clotting). Stored in the bones and found in leafy green vegetables, kale, almonds, chick peas, carrots, avocado's, brown rice, sardines and celery.
Iron (Needed to make oxygen carrying proteins and found in red blood cells)
To prevent anaemia, it is found in egg yolk, fish, meat, brewers yeast, kelp, sunflower seeds, pulses,lentils, oats and seaweed.
A friends sister used to make a wonderful nutritious energy drink for our labouring ladies and consisted of delicious lemon and honey, both of which are easily absorbed by the body.
Thank you to Nicole who loaned me, "The Birthkeepers" by Veronika Sophia Robinson. A wonderful book that helps us, as midwives, women, and mothers to remember our roots and to protect and reclaim the ancient tradition of birthing. I have to say that I loved it and it totally resonated with me.
Donley, J., (2003). Compendium for a healthy pregnancy and a normal birth. Auckland.
Robinson, V.S., (2008). The Birthkeepers:reclaiming an ancient tradition. Starflower Press.