Important Minerals During Pregnancy
Did you know that your nutritional status affects embryonic genome expression and is associated with development of diseases in later life stages? An increased need for minerals before and during pregnancy is essential to support the mothers and growing baby. The mother’s vitamin and mineral deficiency intake is associated with diseases such as spina bifida, neural tube defects, hypertension, coronary artery diseases, and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. This makes health care for pregnant women essential for a healthy pregnancy.
★ CAN YOU TAKE MINERALS WHILE PREGNANT?
Most minerals are in the form of water soluble salts, either carried to the body tissues to be readily absorbed or quickly excreted. Unlike fat-soluble salts, your body doesn’t store any excess amounts of minerals, making them highly unlikely to cause toxicity. This doesn’t mean extra is good, do not exceed more than the recommended guidelines.
You can constantly replenish your body with mineral-dense foods, mineral water, or a prenatal vitamin to help fill in nutritional gaps in your diet.
★ IS MINERAL WATER BAD FOR PREGNANCY?
It is safe to drink mineral water during pregnancy and is not harmful to you or your developing baby. Mineral water is safe during pregnancy and is a great alternative to purified water, as the minerals give it an appealing taste. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t replace your regular water supply in your daily diet. Continue hydrating yourself with eight glasses of water per day.
Carbonated mineral water during pregnancy is a great alternative for soda cravings. Just keep in mind, mineral water can be high in sodium salts and can induce swelling if consumed regularly. Check out our blog on Tips & Foods That Help Reduce Pregnancy Swelling.
★ WHAT MINERALS ARE NEEDED DURING PREGNANCY AND LACTATION?
Minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, sodium, zinc are very crucial during pregnancy. Each plays a sufficient role in embryonic and fetal growth and development.
Here is why each of these minerals is important during pregnancy.
Calcium is needed by the body to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions for both mom and fetus. Calcium supports the mom's musculoskeletal system to prevent loss of bone density and is necessary for the nervous and circulatory systems. It also helps the fetus build strong bones, teeth, nerves, muscles, as well as developing a healthy heart, rhythm, and blood-clotting abilities.
Chromium helps moms by giving mom energy by helping the body break down and store fats, protein, and carbohydrates. It also works together with your hormone insulin to maintain a normal level of glucose in your body. This is specifically important if you’re diabetic or if you get diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Copper is a vital mineral your body uses to carry out many important functions, such as helping maintain mom's immune system and forming red blood cells to support fetal development. It also helps form your baby’s heart, blood vessels, and nervous and skeletal system.
Fluoride helps keep mom’s bones strong and stimulates new bone formation for the fetus.
Food and water do not contain much fluoride. Sometimes fluoride is added to public water supplies providing households tap water “fluoridated” drinking water. Most of the fluoride you consume comes from drinking fluoridated water, which can also be bottled water.
Iodine helps maintain mom’s normal functions of the thyroid and helps the balance of fluids and electrolytes in your body’s cells. It is an important mineral for the fetus’s brain and nervous system.
Check out our blog on The Importance Of Iodine During Pregnancy.
Iron helps maintain a healthy immune system for mom and is a crucial mineral needed to make more hemoglobin as the blood in your body increases by almost 50 percent during pregnancy. This increase helps support the growing baby and placenta.
Magnesium is a mineral that is important for many processes in a mom’s body, such as regulating blood pressure, blood sugar level, and muscle and nerve function. It is also known for helping with leg cramps and creating protein, bone, and DNA. Supporting your baby’s bones and teeth.
Manganese plays an important role in aiding the formation of bone and cartilages in your developing baby. Mom’s body uses manganese for energy and helps her immune system by protecting cells from damage.
Manganese is a fat-soluble mineral, stores excess amounts in the body. Getting more than 11mgs a day can be toxic for both mom and baby.
Molybdenum plays a role in the synthesis of red blood cells and is used to process proteins and genetic materials such as DNA in the body. It also helps break down toxic substances in the body tissues, supporting fetal health.
Both pregnant and nursing moms should not exceed 50mcg per day, as some research shows excess amounts may be linked to adverse health effects.
Phosphorus helps your developing baby build strong bones while in the uterus. Phosphorus can benefit mom during child labor aiding her with muscle contractions, blood clotting, tissue, and cell repair. Each cell in our body contains this mineral and is a component of DNA and RNA.
Potassium enhances your nerve transmission and helps your muscles contract including heart function. It is also a vital mineral playing a major role in maintaining the balance of fluids and electrolytes in mom’s cells during pregnancy, optimal for fetal growth. It is important to monitor your potassium levels during pregnancy, high levels can lead to hyperkalemia.
Selenium helps regulate mom’s thyroid function, immune system and protects the body from damage caused by infections and free radicals. It is important for DNA synthesis, which helps support fetal development.
Sodium helps keep the amount of fluid in and outside the body’s cells and electrolyte balance of the body. Some other important roles include muscle function and nerve impulse transmission for both mom and developing baby.
Sodium could be added to many foods. Keep in mind that too much sodium can increase your developing baby’s blood pressure, can be damaging to their kidneys, and raise their risk of heart disease later in life.
Zinc is a mineral that is needed for mom to stay healthy by helping the immune system fight off invading viruses and bacterias. Zinc structurally supports the proteins that build new cells, tissues, and DNA. Supporting the rapid growth and development of tissues for the creation of your baby’s genetics.
FOODS RICH IN CALCIUM, CHROMIUM, IODINE, IRON, MAGNESIUM, MANGANESE, MOLYBDENUM, PHOSPHORUS, POTASSIUM, SELENIUM, SODIUM, AND ZINC FOR PREGNANT WOMEN:
- Meats - Beef, Ham, Turkey & Chicken.
- Fish - Baked Cod, Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, Seaweed, canned Sardines, and Tuna (No more than 12 ounces per week).
- Dairy Products - Milk, Eggs, Yogurt, and Cheese.
- Leafy Greens - Kale, Chinese Cabbage, Spinach, Lettuce, and Collard Greens.
- Vegetables - Acorn Squash, Asparagus, Broccoli, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Potatoes.
- Fruits - fresh, dried, or juiced - Apples, Apricots, Avocados, Bananas, Blueberries, Grapes, Oranges, Peaches, Pineapple, Raisins, Prune and Tomato Juice.
- Legumes - Black Beans, Black-Eyed Beans, Chickpeas, Edamame, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Peas, Soybeans, and White Beans.
- Nuts and seeds, including nut butters - Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Peanuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and Sunflower Seeds.
- Whole-Grain products - Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Tortillas, Iron-Fortified Breakfast Cereals, and Breads.
- Iodized Table Salt.
★ BEST PRENATAL VITAMIN WITH MINERALS
One of the best over-the-counter prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is Feed Mom & Me Complete Prenatal with DHA.
This prenatal supplement is formulated by an OBGYN & Registered Dietitian, containing all the nutrients needed to conceive and during pregnancy. Each small and easy-to-swallow pill is packed with 22 vital natural nutrients to provide nutritional support for you and your growing baby. It contains Folate, DHA (omega-3 fatty acid), Iron, Calcium, Choline, Zinc, and much more.
The vegetarian formula is free of artificial colors or flavors, chemicals, preservatives, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, or gluten-free. Each capsule contains B6, Organic Ginger, and Peppermint Powder, which can help alleviate morning sickness and nausea.
Adding to that, it is a women-owned company. Who better than a female would understand pregnancy!