Kathy is wondering whether she needs to take prenatal vitamins, or if it is just a bunch of hype. She feels fine, and eats a decent diet, so she isn’t sure it is really necessary for her. She really doesn’t like swallowing pills anyway.
Are Prenatal Vitamins Necessary?
The nutrients are certainly necessary, but to take fractionated isolated vitamins is absolutely not the same thing. Why is nutrition important? Because it will help you to conceive naturally, have a healthy pregnancy, an uncomplicated birth, and a healthy baby. Good nutrition comes first and foremost from food.
Supplements should never be taken to compensate for a poor diet. They may be helpful to ‘supplement’ the diet, as the name implies, but never instead of.
Here are the nutrients we absolutely know are essential for a fertility diet:
- Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2
- Folic acid and other B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, and Iron
- Essential Fatty Acids
What foods provide these nutrients?
The fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamins A and D, are found in animal products. Choose high quality animal products from healthy grass-fed animals. (Click here for grass-fed animal product information.) This includes raw dairy products.
B vitamins, including folic acid, are found in whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seafood and organ meats.
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables and in certain animal organs. It is destroyed by heat. Alcohol and many common drugs including aspirin and oral contraceptives may reduce vitamin C levels in the body.
Minerals come from plants grown in mineral rich soils, bone broths, unrefined salt, and mineral rich water.
Essential Fatty Acids are fatty acids that the body cannot make and must be obtained from food. Luckily they are present in essentially all whole foods, and the body only needs them in small amounts. Good sources include nuts, seeds, some grains, eggs, organ meats and fish (if the animals are raised naturally), and green vegetables (if raised organically).
Are you getting the idea that food is important, and that the quality of that food is very important? You are worth it. Worth the effort to learn what good nutrition is, and properly nourish yourself.
Other articles will discuss some specific whole food natural vitamins that you may want to consider. Such as Fermented Cod Liver Oil, which is naturally high in vitamin A and D, and many other nutrients.
Why these nutrients are so important is explained in other articles, such as “Is a Special Fertility Diet Important?” This will help you begin to understand what you need to do to truly nourish yourself to get pregnant and have a healthy, happy baby.
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, DO