Vitamins Α, Β, C, D, Ε and Κ act in conjunction with minerals and enzymes to help the body’s metabolic system work as efficiently as possible. The human body cannot function without them. They occur naturally in many vegetables and fruits, particularly in the skins and in green leafy vegetables. It is safer to eat the skins of organic fruits and vegetables as these do not contain pesticides. It is possible, however, to destroy or reduce the vitamin content of vegetables by overcooking, so steam or stir-fry instead boiling, or eat raw.
Essential for the skin and mucus membranes, it is present in vegetables, dairy products and liver. Avoid liver, pâte and liver oil in pregnancy because of high concentrations of vitamin Α, and if you take vitamin supplements ensure they contain less than 10,000 IU of retinol. Excess may affect fetal brain and eye development.
The Β vitamins affect the nervous system, mucus membranes, digestion, oxidation, cholesterol levels, fluid retention and blood cell formation. Vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, eggs, poultry, fish and milk αll contain elements of the vitamin Β complex.
This is a Β vitamin that assists a growing baby’s neurological development in the womb and reduces the chance of spina bifida. Fresh or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts, asparagus and spinach are α rich source of folic acid. The recommended dose of 0.4 mg (400 mcg) per day is particularly important during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and before conception. Regardless of diet, all women are advised to take folic acid supplements daily during this time.
This helps oxidation and prevents infection, is an anti¬pollutant, boosts connective tissue, reduces cancer risk and is important in iron absorption. It is present in all raw fruits and vegetables. Excess vitamin C may be harmful: the maximum safe dose is 1000-1500 mg daily.
Necessary for calcium absorption and skeletal development, it is an important factor in guarding against osteoporosis. It is made in the skin by exposure to the sun, and is found in liver, dairy products and eggs and it may be added to bread during baking.
This assists normal blood clotting, tissue healing and skin oxygenation. It is found in wholegrains, dairy products, Soya beans and many seeds.
Essential for normal blood clotting, vitamin K is made by bacteria in the bowel. However, newborn babies do not have bacteria for a few days so currently vitamin K is given at birth. Minerals Minerals are essential to wellbeing. Each one performs a specific task, maintaining your health while supporting the development of your baby.