Here we are in the dead of winter, and I want to talk about the importance of Vitamin D during your pregnancy.
Vitamin D is an essential chemical that in adults facilitates the absorption of bone and muscle strengthening ingredients like phosphorous and calcium. It’s also necessary for helping your baby grow healthy teeth and bones, as well. Vitamin D is also associated with lowering inflammation and risk of infection by bolstering the immune system for mom. It supports thyroid health, as well as nerve health that supports our brain’s ability to communicate with our body. Vitamin D has even been linked with cancer prevention, lowering blood pressure and risk of preeclampsia, preterm birth, and even reducing insulin resistance/risk of gestational diabetes.
It’s an amazing micronutrient!
Vitamin D is made in our skin through sun exposure or through certain foods such as mushrooms (grown under UV light), fish and fish oils (tuna, mackerel and salmon), animal livers/liver oils, and eggs, or fortified products like cereals, orange juice, soy and dairy products. Those unable to get enough Vitamin D from either of these methods may take supplements (specifically Vitamin D3 / cholecalciferol).
Sure it’s harder to avoid making Vitamin D living here in Arizona in the winter with 299 days of sunshine each year. Studies have shown, though, that about 10 percent of the American population (especially in higher latitudes) is deficient in this important vitamin (which is recommended at 800-1,000 IU/day) due to the long winter months spent indoors.
And for pregnant women, that need is higher than the average population with a daily recommendation of 4,000 IU. Some studies have even shown intake of 10,000 IUs to be beneficial.
While it’s impossible to “overdose” on Vitamin D from sunlight, care is needed when supplementing. Consult your primary care provider or dietitian before supplementing, though, of course. And take supplements as prescribed or recommended on the packaging.
Need help meeting your nutritional needs?
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getting pregnant, or are currently pregnant and need
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