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Calcium and vitamin D

Vitamins and mineral salts

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Vitamins and mineral salts are essential for sustaining your body during these nine months. Each has its own role to play and will benefit your baby via the placenta. Eat a varied and balanced diet to be sure that you get enough!

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

What are vitamins and mineral salts good for?

Vitamins…

  • Vitamin A plays a major role in the function of the cells, vision, the integrity of the skin and the mucous tissues and the functioning of the immune system. It is found in milk, butter, eggs, fish and - in the form of beta-carotene - in spinach, tomatoes, carrots, apricots and mangoes.
  • The vitamins of the B group contribute towards the energy metabolism and the functioning of the nervous system. The best sources are whole grains, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products and eggs. Please note: vegans (who do not eat any animal products) may suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is essential for producing all body cells. A deficiency may particularly effect rapidly replaced cells such as red blood corpuscles.
  • Vitamin C is part of the immune defence system of the body, protecting the cells and boosting the absorption of iron. It is found in fruit and vegetables, especially in citrus fruit.
  • Vitamin D plays a role in bone mineralisation, helping to fix calcium. It is taken in through food (salmon, fish, liver, etc.) but is also produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. You should therefore not hesitate to go outdoors! A supplement is frequently systematically prescribed during the seventh month of pregnancy in the form of an oral solution.

Mineral salts…

  • Iron is the primary constituent of haemoglobin. It is mainly found in red meat, offal and, to a lesser extent, in dried and fresh vegetables.
  • Calcium aids the development of the skeleton. The food types richest in calcium are dairy products, certain mineral waters, green vegetables, sardines, etc.
  • Iodine ensures the good functioning of the thyroid gland. It is found in fish and iodised table salt (be careful not to use too much).
  • Magnesium is essential for cell division. It is found in dark chocolate, dried fruit, dried vegetables, bananas, etc.
  • Selenium contributes towards the function of the immune system. The best sources of selenium are meat, fish, eggs and whole-grain cereals.
  • Zinc is essential for cell multiplication and the functioning of the immune system. It is found in meat, fish, dairy products, cereals and daal.
  • Fluoride boosts the mineralisation of teeth. It is found in fish, spinach, tea, lettuce and apples.

On my plate …

During pregnancy, your need for vitamins will increase by about 10%. A varied and balanced diet will mostly suffice to cover your requirements if you are in good health and if your pregnancy is without complications.

In some cases, your doctor may prescribe food supplements during or towards the end of your pregnancy: if you are expecting twins or have recently had another pregnancy, if you are a vegetarian or vegan. Do not take such food supplements of your own accord without first speaking to your doctor.

Folic acid supplements (vitamin B9) are almost systematically prescribed these days, even before pregnancy. They may be prescribed by your doctor .

Eating a varied diet is the key to balance: take your time to plan and cook meals. You will do both yourself and your baby a favour!

Opinion

Some mineral salts and vitamins are sensitive to water, air or light. To enjoy the full benefits of all your foods, especially fruit and vegetables, they should be consumed fresh and gentle cooking methods such as steaming should be preferred.

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