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Vitamins & Minerals In Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a special event in a woman's life. It is a time when many women become more health conscious. During pregnancy it is important to eat well to ensure the health and safety of the unborn baby. It has been shown that you need extra folic acid and iron during pregnancy and in most cases during the preconception period.

A good multivitamin and mineral supplement is often suggested. Unless prescribed by your physician it is best to avoid vitamin A supplements although beta-carotene is an important antioxidant and is safe to use during pregnancy.

What you can do to help during pregnancy

Try to avoid pollutants and toxins that may cause damage to the unborn baby by interfering with the multiplication of cells. The following have been shown to interfere with the conception and birth of a healthy baby:

Eat a diet rich in whole foods and antioxidants, as well as foods that are known to reduce the damage caused by toxins or 'mutagens' (substances that are capable of causing a mutation).

Foods or nutrients that neutralize mutagens include:

The beneficial effects of these foods seem to be lost when the food is boiled.

Avoid taking drugs or medications unless prescribed by your physician.

Avoid drinking coffee and caffeine containing drinks.

Eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day - organic if you can get them (because the organic foods have up to 100% more nutritional value than the commercially grown varieties and they don't contain the chemicals that may be toxic.)

Supplements for preconception and pregnancy

Also see preconception recommendations.

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Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart., 1997, Nutritional Medicine. Pan.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf, 2003, The Ultimate Guide to Health from Nature. Asrolog Publication.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Ed.) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996, The Choice Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. A Choice Book Publication.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to a Health Diet and Safe Supplementation. Harper Collins.

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