Essential Nutrients

Maternal nutrition plays a fundamental role before and during the entire gestational period, affecting the development of the fetus and determining the future growth of the child. For this reason you can find some easy guidelines to help you during this wonderful journey!

Essential Nutrients Why is it important Where to find it

Folic Acid

  1. For mental/ normal and overall development of foetus.
  2. To prevent spina bifida.
  3. Plays a role in the formation of red blood cells.
Leafy green vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes, Brussel sprouts, rocket, peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, oregano, parsley and fortified cereals.

Vitamin B12

  1. For the formation of red blood cells.
  2. For the proper functioning and health of nerve tissue.
Milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, meat and fish (herrings, salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel).

Vitamin D

To prevent: preeclampsia, low birthweight, neonatal hypocalcemia, poor postnatal growth, bone fragility.
Food contains a very small amount of kit D, so you can increase sun exposure and consider some supplements only when recommended by your O&G.

Calcium

  1. It helps build/to support development of strong bones and teeth.
  2. It helps to prevent osteoporosis in mother.
Milk and dairy or dairy free alternatives with added calcium, sardines, dried basil, cumin seeds, green leafy vegetables, rocket, broccoli, almonds,
flax seeds, tahini sauce, tofu, water high in calcium (>100 or 150 mg/dl).

Iron

It helps to:
  1. make extra blood (hemoglobin) for you and your baby,
  2. to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Dried and fresh aromatic herbs (thyme, basil, mint, marjoram, cumin, dill, turmeric, oregano), cumin seeds, dried tomatoes, meat, oily fish, eggs, legumes,
leafy vegetables, pine nuts, almond, beans, lentils, chickpea, quinoa, flax seeds, chia seeds, tofu and tempeh.

Zinc

It helps to:
  1. support protein synthesis,
  2. cellular division,
  3. normal fetus development.
Meat, legumes, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds.

Omega 3

To supply important building blocks for development of the brain and eyes in infant.
Fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring). Nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed and flaxseed meal, chia seeds and walnuts).

Food Safety

Clean Fruits and Vegetables

1
Wash fruit and veggies with vinegar and water and rinse well before consuming.
2
Do an additional soaking in cold water for veggies with irregular surface (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, curly salad).
3
Remove the skin if not sure about the origin or while outside and you cannot wash it properly.
4
Always wash your hands after handling fruits and veggies, as well as worktop and utensils with hot water before and after use.
Risk Avoid Be Careful with

Salmonella,
Toxoplasma

  1. Raw shellfish or raw fish, sushi/sashimi and smoked products like salmon.
  2. Raw eggs or runny eggs, dessert with raw eggs e.g. Tiramisù.
  3. Raw and under-cooked meats and chicken. Avoid meat when it is not well done.
  4. Avoid uncooked processed meat like sausages, salami, Parma ham or Serrano ham.
Always wash hands after handling raw meats and poultry and store raw foods separately from cooked foods.

Listeria

  1. Soft ripened cheeses including Brie, Camembert and some goats cheeses, blue veined cheese like Danish Blue and all unpasteurised dairy products.
  2. Unpasteurised foods like pâte, sauces or soft serve of ice cream from vans or kiosks.
Ensure takeaway and cooked-chill ready meals are heated thoroughly and keep hot.

Mercury and Dioxin Contamination

Shark, marlin, swordfish.
Reduce the consumption of canned tuna to 1 time per week.

Caffeine, Stimulants

Coffee and other caffeine containing foods like cola, energy drinks or chocolate.
One mug of coffee or 2 cups of tea a day might be allowed, but always seek advice from your Gynecologist.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Alcohol