Beta Carotene: An Essential Food For Pregnancy

Beta Carotene: An Essential Food For Pregnancy
July 1, 2017 Sophie Wishart

Why is Beta Carotene important to include in your pregnancy diet? Read why Beta Carotene is an important prenatal vitamin for a healthy pregnancy here!

beta carotene as part of a healthy pregnancy diet and good nutrition for pregnant women Beta-carotene is an orange-red pigment commonly found in vegetables and fruits – and is essential for a healthy pregnancy diet. It’s an inactive form of Vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant and required by your body for healthy eyesight, especially night vision – all those so-called ‘old wives tales‘ about carrots helping you to see in the dark are actually true!
For your baby, Vitamin A is also important for general growth, including the development of internal organs, eyes, bones, circulation, respiratory and central nervous systems – pretty much everything in fact! It’s also worth bearing in mind that Vitamin A will help with tissue repair after the birth so is essential for mums too.
Pregnant women need around 770 mcg of Vitamin A daily – and you need even more if you’re breast-feeding. Whilst a good daily dose of Vitamin A is essential, it’s not advisable to take specific supplements as too much, ingested in its full form, can be detrimental to your baby. Beta-carotene however converts naturally into Vitamin A in your body and is not linked to any side effects – just half a cup of raw grated carrot will provide more than your recommended daily amounts.

As a general rule most yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are rich sources of beta-carotene. Top beta-carotene favourites for your healthy pregnancy are:

  • Carrots (of course!) Click here for some inspiration and try new ways to include carrots in your pregnancy diet
  • Pumpkins
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • It might not be orange in colour, but spinach is a good source of beta-carotene and so is kale
  • Dark colourful lettuces, such as Lollo Rosso
  • Cabbage

If you’re worried about whether you’re getting enough beta carotene from your regular pregnancy diet, have a chat with your doctor or midwife.

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