Pregnancy is a life-changing experience for women, giving them the opportunity to bring new life and love into the world. To ensure the baby properly develops while in the womb, it's critical for mothers to make exceptionally healthy lifestyle adjustments. Staying hydrated, getting enough sleep every night and exercising moderately are essential, but following a proper diet is just as critical. There are a number of crucial vitamins and minerals mothers need to prioritize during pregnancy to ensure the baby's proper mental and physical development.
We recommend mothers consume the following vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and after the baby is born:
Vitamin B12 is critical for maintaining the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers and optimized blood cell growth, according to what Olin Idol shared in his book, "Pregnancy, Children & The Hallelujah Diet." Because plant-based foods do not contain this vitamin, we recommend trying our Hallelujah Diet B12/B6/Folate supplement instead.
Calcium plays a role in fetal bone development, especially during the final trimester, according to Idol. Because you won't rely on dairy products during pregnancy, consume calcium-rich vegetables such as kale, broccoli and turnip greens.
Magnesium is essential for muscles to relax. Lack of magnesium has been linked to preeclampsia and supplying supplemental magnesium during pregnancy greatly reduces the risk of preeclampsia. Good sources of magnesium are spinach and other leafy greens, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, organic whole grains, and most vegetables and blackstrap.
To maximize calcium absorption and utilization in your baby, prioritize vitamin D. Having optimal levels (between 50 and 80 ng/ml) of vitamin D is so critical during pregnancy that we strongly suggest getting a vitamin D blood test for 25(OH)D. Spending time in the sun is the best way to ensure you're getting your daily dose of this mood-enhancing vitamin. Continue to spend time outside with your baby after he or she is born, remembering to take breaks and wear protective clothing. If your vitamin D level is not optimal even with sun exposure, consider taking a vitamin D supplement, such as our Hallelujah Diet D3/K2 to boost your levels.
Folate is necessary for proper cell tissue development in your baby. Excellent dietary sources of folate include leafy greens, other green vegetables, whole grains, root vegetables, beans and lentils.
Iodine is critical for mental and physical development. Lack of iodine can lead to mental and neurological impairment and higher infant mortality. Sufficient iodine leads to a higher IQ. Iodized salt helps your thyroid a little, but it is an insufficient source for your whole body. Consider using our Hallelujah Diet Nascent Iodine for you and your baby's health.
Protein is essential for helping your fetus develop and thrive during your pregnancy. Since Hallelujah Diet followers avoid meat, you can get your daily protein from beans, lentils, delicious leafy greens, organic whole greens, seeds and nuts.
Throughout your pregnancy, your bloodstream intertwines with that of your fetus, and you both create and pump new blood. This makes prioritizing iron critical to healthy baby development and your overall wellness, according to Idol.
"Because of the extra iron needed to support the increased blood volume, as well as that required by the placenta and the fetus, it is important that daily requirements are met through the mother's diet," he noted.
Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, beets, lima beans, lentils, almonds, peaches, pears and sea vegetables and blackstrap molasses make excellent sources of iron.
Essential Fatty Acids
During the last trimester, essential fatty acids are key for helping your child's brain fully develop. They also play a role in building and maintaining structural cell membrane throughout the body. Mothers can consume flaxseed oil and chia seeds to meet their EPA omega-3 fatty acid requirements. However, DHA is best supplied by a clean fish oil.
For more information on following the Hallelujah Diet before giving birth, during pregnancy and after your child is born, read our very own health expert Olin Idol's book "Pregnancy, Children & The Hallelujah Diet."