Your Baby Today

Pregnancy

Your Vitamin Needs

Your Vitamin Needs

From the moment of conception, you and your baby need a well-balanced diet, including 13 essential vitamins, both the fat-soluble and water-soluble types. Here's a rundown on those important vitamins and their best dietary sources.

A vitamin-rich diet
The good news is that many of the foods you probably are already enjoying are excellent sources of vitamins. By including an ample supply of fruits and vegetables, a variety of animal products, and an assortment of whole grain breads and fortified cereals in your diet, you're sure to have the bases covered.

Prenatal vitamins are a good insurance policy, but shouldn't replace a vitamin-rich diet. Here are some of the most common food sources for each of these vitamins:

 

  • Fat-soluble vitamins:

    • Vitamin A and Beta carotene (converted, by the body, into vitamin A):

    • Liver, milk, eggs, and dark orange and green vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, and cantaloupe

    • Vitamin D: Milk, fatty fish, and egg yolks

    • Vitamin E: Vegetable oil, margarine, wheat germ, nuts, and spinach

    • Vitamin K: Dark green leafy vegetables


  • Water-soluble vitamins:

    • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and juices, bell peppers, strawberries, potatoes, broccoli, and tomatoes

    • Thiamin (B1): Whole grain fortified cereals, organ meats, rice, and pasta

    • Riboflavin (B2): Meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, fortified cereals, and eggs

    • Niacin (B3): Fortified cereals and breads, meats, fish, milk, eggs, and peanuts

    • Pyridoxine (B6): Chicken, fish, liver, pork, eggs, soybeans, oats, peanuts, and walnuts

    • Cobalamin (B12): Meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products

    • Folic acid: Oranges and their juice, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, dried peas and beans, and nuts

    • Biotin: Liver, egg yolks, cereals, grains, yeast, and legumes

    • Pantothenic acid: Meats, poultry, whole grains, and dried peas and beans

You should aim for 2 fruits or vegetables at each meal so you have at least 5 servings a day.

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About The Author

Topeka, Kansas native Jill Tomlin writes about health issues for Your Baby Today. Her work appears in national publications.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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