Article courtesy of Donna Hargrove, D.O., Nutrition Editor
Important foods to choose often:
Avocado – Folate, potassium, Vitamins C, B6
Broccoli – Vitamins A, C, calcium, folate
Carrots – Vitamins A, C, B6
Omega 3 Eggs – High quality protein, choline
Lentils – Folate, protein, Vitamin B6, iron – GI friendly
Mango – Vitamins A, C, potassium
Nuts – Minerals, Vitamin E, DHA
Oatmeal – Fiber Vitamin B, iron, minerals
Red Pepper – Vitamins A, C, B6
Spinach – Folate, iron, Vitamin A, calcium
Yogurt – Calcium, protein, folate
What These Nutrients Do
Protein – Building block for all cells.
Choline – Important for nerve and brain development, and development of most cell membranes.
Folate– Needed to make DNA & RNA, red blood cells, helps prevent neural tube defects (spina bifida).
Iron– Builds red blood cells that carry oxygen to cells.
Vitamin A – (From food sources = beta carotene) – involved in the formation of skin, hair, mucous membranes, bone growth. Vitamin A supplementation in pregnancy can be harmful to the developing baby. Food sources of Vitamin A are the safest to consume.
Vitamin B – B1 (thiamine) – involved in the formation and function of the nervous system, digestive system, muscles, and heart. B2 (riboflavin) – important for the formation of skin, hair, nails, sight and the digestive system. B6 (pyridoxine) – involved with skin, nerve and digestive development. B12 (cobalamin) – part of red blood cell and nerve development.
Vitamin C – Helps build strong bones, cartilage, muscles, blood vessels, teeth, cardiovascular and nervous systems.
DHA – An Omega 3 fatty acid important for adult brain function and fetal brain and nervous system development.
Calcium – Needed for bone & teeth formation, muscle, nerve & cardiac function, and blood clotting.
Potassium– Necessary for fluid & electrolyte balance, nerve & muscle function, and obtaining energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates.