Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet throughout life is really important in order to live life to the fullest, but when you are pregnant, the body needs special attention and the food habits must be checked strictly to ensure that the baby grows to be fit and healthy. B Vitamins that are also called Vitamin B complex, are of vital importance for your nutrition during pregnancy. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 are specifically helpful in minimizing the risk of birth defects and relieve some pregnancy symptoms. The vitamin B complex of eight vitamins plays an important and crucial role in maintaining your strength during pregnancy and the development of the baby. The best way to absorb these vitamins is through vitamin-rich foods rather than supplements. We will list here all benefits and sources of each of these vitamins.
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine:
Thiamine plays a major role in the development of the brain of the baby. A consumption of 1.4 mg every day is sufficient. Some of the foods rich in thiamine are peas, lentil, oats, salmon, pork, dried beans, and brazil nuts. Incorporate these into your diet to ensure the intake of thiamine.
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin:
Riboflavin is required for a good eyesight and its added benefits include giving the skin a fresh and a healthy glow. Riboflavin is water soluble, so it is not stored in the body. During pregnancy, a dose of 1.4 mg is required compared to 1.1 mg in the regular days. Roasted almonds are an excellent source of riboflavin. Other sources include spinach, broccoli, oats, carrots, sweet potatoes, egg, milk, etc. Riboflavin deficiency can cause anemia, dermatitis, skin rash, and other such problems
Vitamin B3 – Niacin:
Niacin improves digestion, reduce nausea, and relieves the mother from painful migraines. A dose of around 18 mg is considered sufficient. Pregnant women are not recommended to intake doses larger than 18 mg. Natural sources of niacin are turkey, chicken breast, tuna, liver, kidney beans, sunflower seeds, avocado, tomatoes, and brown rice. You should keep in mind not to overdose on niacin during pregnancy.
Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid:
Vitamin B5 greatly helps in easing the painful leg cramps that you may get during pregnancy. It is also attributed to produce important pregnancy hormones. Aim to consume 6 mg of pantothenic acid every day. Whole grains and fortified cereals are a great source of vitamin B5. Cashew nut, egg yolk, broccoli, brown rice are other rich sources of pantothenic acid. It also helps to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine:
Vitamin B6 is essential for the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system. It can also help to alleviate nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. A dose of 25 to 50 mg each day is required to maximize the health benefits for the baby and yourself, but do not exceed the amount above 100 mg, as excess may lead to numbness and nerve damage. Garlic, beans, chickpeas, hazelnut, prune juice, bananas, papayas, etc. are rich sources of B6. It also helps in preventing low birth weight and maintains the blood glucose levels.
Vitamin B7 – Biotin:
Vitamin B7 helps in hair loss, skin rashes, and brittle nails. It is also essential to the growth of the embryo during pregnancy. Pregnancy can cause a deficiency of Biotin. Its deficiency can cause depression, hair thinning, listlessness, tingling sensation in the limbs, and even hallucinations. An intake of 30 mcg is recommended for pregnant women and 35 mcg for nursing mothers. The natural sources are oats, cauliflower, legumes, mushrooms, cheese, raspberries, soy etc.
Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid:
Folic acid is one of the most important vitamins to take in a pregnancy. It reduces the risk of the baby developing a neural tube birth defects like spina bifida. It also helps in the production of the red blood cells. A dose of about 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid is required every day throughout the pregnancy, but it should not exceed 1000 mcg. Lentils, citrus fruits like oranges and grapes, asparagus, spinach, sprouts are rich natural sources of vitamin B9. Folic acid is also important for the growth of the placenta, and the synthesis of DNA.
Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin:
It is required to maintain your nervous system’s health. When combined with folic acid, it prevents spina bifida and other nervous system defects in the baby. Aim for a dose of around 2.6 mg every day. Wild salmon, yogurt, Swiss cheese, red meat, cod are the rich sources of cobalamin. It aids the development of brain, nerves, and blood cells, and their functioning.