Updated: Jan 22
The supplements section of health foods stores usually bursts with pill bottles containing every single vitamin and mineral you can imagine. Supplements are a great way of getting in those important minerals but to find out which ones your body actually needs and which ones the wellness industry is just trying to make you think you need are two different things. Your diet plays a huge part in providing you with the necessary vitamins and minerals and chatting with your doctor can give you clarity on what to take as a precaution or which minerals your body is lacking.
Today we want to give you some background on the most vital minerals and nutrients and which food groups will help you get the most of them.
There’s no way to write a post about the most important nutrients during pregnancy without including folic acid. It can be found in all pregnancy supplements and for good reason: Folic Acid is a superstar during pregnancy. The B-Vitamin can naturally be found in dark green vegetables (think spinach, arugula, kale), legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), broccoli and citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes.
Iron is a mineral that is important to maintain general health. Many women, pregnant or not, take iron supplements, however, you should check with your doctor to determine if you have an additional need for added iron.* If you don’t have an iron deficiency, you can get iron from many delicious foods such as chickpeas, peas, whole grain rice and pasta, rolled oats and dark leafy greens.
Our bodies need calcium - something that we’ve all been told since we were little. We need it for strong bones and teeth and during pregnancy, calcium is not to be missed. Luckily, the mineral can be found in a number of foods, such as almonds, broccoli, tofu, kale, and of course in dairy products like milk and yogurt. Supping dairy milk for almond milk will also give you plenty of calcium and in some cases, even more than dairy milk would.
There is a lot of information out there about what to eat and which supplements you should be taking but the simplest way to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins you need is by eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and protein (and yes, those pizza or burger cravings are part of keeping that balance).