5 Nutrients you are probably not having enough during your first trimester
Your body is the first home of your baby. Nurturing and protecting a human life inside your womb is nothing sort of a miracle. And a healthy diet is one of the key factors that make this miracle possible. A mother’s diet has to be loaded with nutrients, vitamin, and minerals for baby’s optimum growth. The more nutrition you have on your plate, the better it is for the baby.
When it comes to food, the first trimester is quite challenging for most mothers-to-be. The morning sickness and nausea makes it difficult to eat well. At the same time, the first trimester is the time when your little one’s brain and spinal cord begin to develop. Even major organs such as heart start developing in the early months. So it is all the more important to pick healthy, nutritious foods that will help ensure the healthy of you and your baby. Focus on small meals but choose your foods wisely. We suggest that you focus on foods that are rich in these 5 essential nutrients - the must-have for the first trimester of the pregnancy.
Folic acid required for fetal brain and spine development. When it comes to conception and early weeks of pregnancy, no nutrient more vital than Folic Acid. It might surprise you, but a regular intake of Folic acid reduces the risk of neural-tube defects in the baby by 70 percent. A B vitamin, it is important in the production of blood and protein. It also supports the placenta.
Source: Spinach, beetroot, broccoli and citrus foods.
For your and baby’s bone health, calcium is crucial. The fetus leaches calcium from your body, so getting enough of this nutrient can protect your bones too. Besides bones, calcium is also important to build baby’s teeth and to grow a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles. Most importantly, your baby needs calcium to maintain a normal heartbeat. Other body functions like hormone secretion, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting also depend on calcium intake.
Source: Milk, green leafy vegetables, oranges, nuts, figs, and apricots.
It is going to stay throughout your pregnancy. However, it is most crucial in the first trimester. Iron is critical for oxygen transport, healthy growth and the development of the fetus and placenta. Sadly, most women start their pregnancy iron deficient and once you are pregnant, the high demand for iron depletes a mother’s iron stores. As a result, it increases the risk of maternal anemia. Did you know? Iron deficiency is linked to poor immune system in mothers and increases the risk to preterm delivery and low birth weight.
Source: Pomegranate, spinach, cashews and pumpkin seeds.
Protein is essential for fetal growth and development. It affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. For mommy-to-be also, it is required as it helps the breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy and plays a role in increasing blood supply. The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your baby’s body so it is important to get enough protein throughout the pregnancy. During pregnancy you need to have 55-60 grams of protein in a day.
Source: Paneer, dahi, dal
Did you know that Vitamin D supplementation is linked to reduced childhood wheezing and type1 diabetes in children? Yes, it is that important. Often ignored, Vitamin D helps with the development of strong bones and healthy immune function in the baby. It aids in the absorption of calcium to help build baby’s bones and teeth. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, and preterm birth. Also, researchers at the University of Southern California have found that kids born to mothers with very low vitamin D levels during their first trimester had bigger waists than peers whose mothers had enough vitamin D in early pregnancy. These kids also had 2 percent more body fat.
Source: Egg yolks or supplements
The first trimester is often called the hardest trimester of the pregnancy. Let food be the cure and strength. Sign up for our Pregnancy & Postnatal Nutrition Program for a smooth, happy & healthy pregnancy, click here.