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8 Vital nutrients for your pregnancy

(Discount code for Maven Clinic at the end of this article)

You are pregnant, now what? Don't worry, you're not alone. All women wonder what they should eat and drink to have a healthy and happy pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time when women simply need an abundance of nutrients from whole and minimally processed foods, however, navigating the food and nutrition landscape - and finding variety while maintaining flavor and excitement – can be challenging!

Expecting moms want to consume a mix of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins with minimal to no added salts, sugars and fats. These foods provide vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants that are vital for both mom and baby.

Here, I’ve provided some basic information on 8 of the vital nutrients that expecting moms should look out for in the foods and beverages that they enjoy during pregnancy.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: EPA & DHA

Why you need it?

EPA and DHA help to open blood vessels, thin the blood and reduce inflammation. These functions help to protect the integrity of the vascular system. Throughout pregnancy, and specifically during the third trimester, omega 3 fatty acids are integral to fetal brain and eye development.

How much do you need?

During pregnancy 300mg per day is an adequate intake

Where can you get it?

Omega 3 fatty acids are naturally found in fish or via supplementation

Folate

Why you need it?

Having sufficient amounts of folate during pregnancy reduces the risk of neural - tube defects and improper formation of the brain and spinal cord

How much do you need?

During pregnancy, aim to get 400 mcg from a supplement and 600 mcg from foods containing naturally occurring folate

Where can you get it?

Folate is a compound that is most bioavailable from supplements or fortified foods.. Naturally occurring folate can be found in foods, such as leafy greens, citrus, legumes and whole grains

Choline

Why you need it?

Choline is a B complex vitamin involved in intracellular signaling and gene function.

How much do you need?

During pregnancy 450mg of choline are recommended per day.

Where can you get it?

This vitamin is abundant in eggs and meat, specifically beef, or via supplementation.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is vital to the process where cells become specialized to carry out specific functions during fetal growth and development. It is important to note that current recommendations suggest that vitamin A supplementation come from beta-carotene rather than retinol due to potential toxicity. This is why bundle organics only uses the naturally occurring nutrients in carrots!

Vitamin D

Why you need it?

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential for growth of the fetus. Maternal vitamin D stores directly affects those of the fetus. Vitamin D is the key that works in tandem with calcium for proper tooth and bone formation.

How much do you need?

During pregnancy, the official recommendation is 15mcg daily.

Where can you get it?

You can get Vitamin D via 15 minutes of sun exposure during the summer months (if you are in the northern hemisphere) twice weekly, or via supplementation.

Calcium

Why you need it?

Calcium is needed for proper bone growth and development. Your bones literally hold you up, so you want them to be well formed and strong!

How much do you need?

It’s important to get 1000mg of calcium per day.

Where can you get it?

You can meet your daily needs by drinking milk or a fortified calcium drink, or eating sufficient quantities of legumes, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and kelp.

Iron

The mineral Iron is imperative for the delivery of oxygen to cells and organs. Iron can be found in leafy green plant sources, but is not as bioavailable as animal sources and needs to be eaten with a source of vitamin C to increase its availability. Iron taken as part of a prenatal vitamin (containing other minerals) is not readily absorbed in comparison to iron taken alone. The recommendation is that iron be supplemented based on the mother’s hemoglobin levels. 

Iodine

Why you need it?

Iodine is needed for fetal brain development and proper thyroid function.

How much do you need?

The recommendation is consumption of 220mcg per day.

Where can you get it?

Iodine is naturally occurring in fish, shellfish and seaweed or via supplementation. 

Ensuring that you get all 8 of these nutrients in your diet is best accomplished with the support of a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who will combine their skills to use evidence-based practices and clinical know-how to translate the science of nutrition into everyday dietary habits. Maven, the digital clinic for women, offers a safe and convenient way to bring top-tier nutrition counseling to your fingertips.

Cheers to your and your little one’s good health! 

Maya Feller MS, RD, CDN, CLC is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Certification in Lactation Counseling and a Maven Practitioner. She received her Masters of Science at New York University and completed her clinical nutrition training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in affiliation with NYU. She is the current membership chair of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Women’s Health Dietetic Practice Group. Her areas of expertise include women’s health, family nutrition and medical nutrition therapy.

You can book an appointment with Maya on Maven by searching for “Maven Clinic” in the App Store and downloading the app. Use code BUNDLEORGANICS to get your first appointment free!

Sources used:

Nutrition Through the Life Cycle Fifth Edition Judith E. Brown

August 17, 2015 by Bundle Organics
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Comments

Ruth Burns

Ruth Burns said:

I couldn’t get enough strawberries while I was pregnant!!

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