Biotin is a water soluble vitamin B, and as a result, your body does not store it. This nutrient is crucial for many enzymes in both mother and baby to function well. It is especially important in helping to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins and essential in normal embryonic growth. There is also evidence that suggests it can strengthen hair and nails. Food sources high in Biotin include fruits, nuts, yeast, sardines, liver, and egg yolk. Raw egg whites contain a protein called avadin that can interfere with the body absorption of biotin.
Copper is a trace mineral that is essential in many enzymes and proteins necessary for iron use in the body. This is an important mineral for the proper development of connective tissue and red blood cells in both mother and baby. The daily recommended amount of copper during pregnancy is 1000 mcg/day.
Foods high in copper include organ meats, shellfish, nuts and seeds (sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin).
Calcium is essential for the baby to grow strong bones and teeth. It is also very important for proper development of the heart, nerves, and muscles.
Food sources high in calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, enriched soy and rice beverages. Non-dairy sources include vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli.
Chromium is a mineral that is essential in helping your body to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It works with insulin to help maintain normal blood sugar levels. Chromium is also essential in helping your baby build up their muscles and tissues.
Chromium has been shown to help people with diabetes to better control of their blood sugar levels. It has also been used by pregnant women who have gestational diabetes to help better control their blood sugar levels.
Foods high in chromium include whole grain breads and cereals, lean meats, and cheeses.
Choline is similar to vitamin B and is important in metabolism, cellular structure integrity, and neurotransmitter synthesis.
It is important in foetal brain development as it has a key role in stem cell proliferation. There is evidence that suggests choline deficiency can increase the risk of neural tube defects. Since the neural tube develops in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it is important to take choline even before you know you are pregnant to ensure you have adequate stores in your body.
Foods high in choline include meat, poultry, fish, dairy foods, pasta, rice, egg-based dishes, Spinach, beets, wheat, and shellfish.
Magnesium is an important mineral that is used by the body in many important biological functions. There is some evidence that magnesium supplementation can prevent pre-eclampsia, which is a dangerous medical complication that can occur during pregnancy.
It can also help prevent leg cramps that may occur during pregnancy. Sources of magnesium include green vegetables such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole and refined grains.
This is also known as vitamin B3. It helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It is also necessary for normal growth and development of the fetus.
Vitamin B3 is found in many foods such as fish, milk, eggs, beans, and cereal grains.
Vitamin B12 is essential in the creation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and proper neurological function. Deficiency of vitamin B12 has been associated with problems during pregnancy such as preterm birth, increased risk of miscarriages, and intrauterine growth retardation. Vitamin B12 deficiency in infants can result in permanent neurological problems.
This vitamin is commonly found in animal products like meat, fish, eggs, cheese, and poultry. Therefore, vitamin B12 supplementation is important for vegetarians and vegans.
Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant that is very good at blocking damage caused by oxidative stress. It also helps to promote a healthy immune system, and is important in collagen synthesis. Collagen is critical for the baby’s developing tendons, cartilage, bones, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also helps to improve iron absorption.
There is also evidence that suggest that vitamin C deficiency by the mother can increase the risk of pregnancy problems such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
The best sources of vitamin C come from citrus fruits and vegetable, (such as red and green peppers, broccoli, and brussels sprouts).
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress during pregnancy and can help to protect the fetus from oxidative damage. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, nerves, heart and circulation, muscles and red blood cells.
Food sources of vitamin E include nuts (almonds), seeds (sunflower), spinach, and vegetable oils.
This is a very versatile plant that has been safely used by many traditional medicine practitioners for thousands of years. It has been traditionally used to treat conditions such as motion sickness, gas, diarrhea, and upset stomach. Modern uses of ginger have focused more on its antiemetic effects.
Ginger has been used to help treat motion sickness, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy or pregnancy. Randomized controlled clinical trials have showed that ginger is effective at minimizing morning sickness with minimal side effects. In one study, ginger was just as effective as the prescription drug, dimenhydrinate. Not only was it effective, but ginger also had significantly less side effects.
Calendula is an annual herb from the daisy family. It has been extensively used for medicinal and culinary purposes throughout history. In traditional medicine it has been used to treat upset stomach, relieve menstrual cramps, and minor skin ailments.
Calendula is high in flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin E, which are all antioxidants. These compounds will help protect cells from being damaged by free radicals. Calendula is also a great anti-inflammatory, partly due to the high amounts of conjugated linolenic acid. Studies have shown that Calendula can help repair photo-damaged skin, keep skin hydrated and moisturized and shorten wound healing time.
Apricot Kernel oil is obtained from the seeds of the apricot fruit. It has been used as a cooking oil and also in traditional Chinese medicine for treating ulcers and tumors.
Apricot kernel oil is high in oleic acid which gives the oil the softening, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. Apricot kernel oil is also high in B-sitosterol, a phytosterol, which works to helps to alleviate itchiness, redness, and dry skin.
Shea Butter is obtained from the nut of the African Shea tree. It is heavily used in cosmetics because of the great moisturizing and hydrating properties.
This is partly due to the fatty acid profile of Shea butter. It has lots of oleic acid, which is known to offer moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and softening properties. Shea butter is also rich in cinnamic acid esters, a phytosterol, which has many beneficial effects on your skin. It can help protect your skin from UV damage, reduce redness, anti-inflammatory and reduce irritation.