Did you know that zinc is one of the essential minerals for pregnant women? It is vital for developing the baby’s brain and nervous system. It also helps regulate the immune system, which can help prevent infections during pregnancy. We will discuss the importance of zinc intake during pregnancy and provide some tips on making sure you are getting enough in your diet.
1. Essential for Fetal Development
If you are pregnant, your baby needs it to develop correctly. Zinc deficiency can reduce the body’s supply of insulin and cause a slower breakdown of carbohydrates, which increases susceptibility to infections. A lack of zinc can also lead to a lack of collagen, which damages bodily tissues and the digestive system.
2. Helps Maintain a Healthy Appetite
This is important, as many pregnant women experience morning sickness or food aversions. Its deficiency can cause an aversion to food and the inability to eat properly, which may lead to malnutrition and affect your baby’s health. This is why you need to consume enough during your pregnancy.
3. Essential for the Mother and Baby’s Immune Systems
It helps the immune system mature, which means that it becomes more robust and more resistant due to early exposure to various germs. This is essential for both you and your baby’s health, as it will help protect against diseases. It may also help prevent preterm birth.
4. Helps with Healthy Skin and Hair Growth
It is essential for developing healthy skin and nails throughout your pregnancy, which will help you look beautiful during this transitional time in your life. It also aids in the scalp’s health and may help prevent hair loss during the postpartum period.
5. Helps with Cell Division and Growth
Did you know that zinc deficiency can lead to an alteration of your DNA and RNA proteins, which can affect fetal development and lead to preterm birth? If you suffer from a zinc deficiency during your pregnancy, it can also slow down the division and growth of cells, which may lead to a smaller baby or even a miscarriage.
6. Helps with Fetal Brain Development
It stimulates essential nutrients from mother to child, which is very important for your baby’s neurological development. It also plays a role in breaking down fatty acids, which are essential for developing your baby’s brain. As you can see, it is vital for fetal growth and a healthy mother and child.
7. Helps in Early Childhood Development
It has been shown to stimulate your baby’s immune system and cell division, which leads to healthy growth during infancy. It is essential for your child’s well-being. The deficiency of zinc in children may also lead to delayed mental and physical development, which can cause learning disabilities later on. Vitamin A can help zinc absorption, so if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, be sure to get enough vitamin A in your diet.
8. Promotes Healthy Vision
Did you know that zinc helps with healthy eyesight? Its deficiency can lead to night blindness, affecting your ability to take care of yourself and your loved ones during pregnancy. It is essential for the retina’s health (the back of the eye), so be sure you are eating enough zinc-rich foods throughout your pregnancy.
9. Has Positive Effects on the Heart and Lungs
It helps with maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. If you are pregnant, eating enough can help regulate your blood pressure in order to provide a healthy environment for your baby. It may also aid in preventing respiratory infections, which can be very dangerous for both mother and child.
These are a handful of the reasons why it is crucial to ensure that you are getting enough zinc during pregnancy. Some recommendations include:
- Consuming the top zinc-rich foods during your pregnancy such as meat (beef, lamb), fish (such as trout or halibut), legumes (beans, chickpeas, and lentils), nuts and seeds (pumpkin and sesame seeds as well as pine nuts, almonds and cashews) and whole grains (such as quinoa, rice and oats). While most fruits and vegetables do not contain a significant amount of zinc in their nutritional makeup, potatoes, kale and green beans do have a higher amount than other options.
- Including a zinc supplement in your daily routine which can ensure that you are getting the recommended daily dose of 11 mg a day.
Zinc is one of the essential minerals for pregnant women. If you are deficient, it can affect your baby’s development or result in poor immunity and an increased risk of infections during pregnancy. To ensure that both you and your baby are healthy throughout this transitional time, eat foods containing zinc, take a prenatal vitamin and check with your doctor to see if you need a supplement.