Minerals and Trace Elements During Pregnancy-2

Minerals and Trace Elements During Pregnancy

Minerals and Trace Elements During Pregnancy

Iron

What is the role of iron?
Iron has many functions within the body but its main role is to carry oxygen in the red
blood cells. The oxygen is transported to body cells where it is used to produce energy. Iron also has a role in the human immune system, as well as helping to change beta-carotene into vitamin A, producing collagen, and helping makes amino acids within the body. During a pregnancy, the baby consumes an impressive amount of iron when developing the circulatory system.

What are the recommended daily intake levels?

In general, the RDA is around 28mg per day during a pregnancy. Doctor's advice should be sought before taking any nutritional supplements. An upper limit of around 40mg/day, depending on weight and height, is important to remember because excessive iron in the body can be toxic and in very high levels can be lethal (above 50mg per kilogram of weight). Vitamin C is used by the body in the process of iron absorption.

Which foods are a good source of iron?

  • Fruits and juice: Strawberries.
  • Vegetables: Yeast extract, cocoa powder, spinach, parsley & cress.
  • Pulses, cereals & nuts: Corn flakes, beans, soya flour, muesli, pistachio, lentils, wheat germ., fortified cereals.
  • Animal products: Beef, rabbit, lamb, chicken liver, fish, mussels, lamb liver, rabbit liver, black sausage, roast pigeon, egg yolks.

Manganese

What is the role of manganese?

Manganese is used by the body to promote enzyme function in a multitude of ways. During a pregnancy, Manganese is also important for the development of the hearing system.

What are the recommended daily intake levels?

The RDA for manganese is not normally quoted, however between 2.5mg and 5mg is considered safe and adequate.

Which foods are a good source of iron?

  • Fruits and juice: Strawberries.
  • Vegetables: Brewed black tea, Kale (seaweed), spinach.
  • Pulses, cereals & nuts: Black beans, whole oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, nuts.

Zinc

What is the role of zinc?
Zinc is another trace element that is essential for the growth and development of human life and has an active role in body functions from the brain to the pancreas. During a pregnancy, zinc is also used to assist the fetus to develop the brain and also to be an aid to the mother in the 1st and 2nd stages of labor (dilation and pushing). Studies have shown that a deficiency of zinc during pregnancy can be an attributing factor of membrane ruptures during the birth process.

What are the recommended daily intake levels?

The RDA for zinc is around 10mg per day, with an increase of 50% during pregnancy. Ingestion of excessively high levels of zinc can be toxic.

Which foods are a good source of zinc?

  • Fruits and Juice: Watermelon seeds.
  • Pulses, cereals & nuts: Beans, most nuts, pumpkin & sunflower seeds.
  • Animal products: Oysters (best source, but do not eat raw!), most animal proteins.

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