Looking to include Vitamin C in your pregnancy diet? Read why Vitamin C is vital prenatal vitamin for a healthy pregnancy and how to enjoy eating it!
Vitamin C is such an important prenatal vitamin – it’s vital for so many aspects of your baby’s development and to make sure you stay healthy in pregnancy too!
Essential for bone growth and repair, healthy skin and tissue repair, Vitamin C is also important to boost your immune system, so your body can fight infection. It helps prevent anaemia and is especially important for pregnant women who have an increased need for iron and are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anaemia.
Your baby needs Vitamin C to make collagen, a structural protein that builds cartilage, tendons, bones and skin. Recent studies have suggested that Vitamin C deficiency can damage brain development, resulting in poorly developed memory potential.
During pregnancy you’ll need around 85 mg of Vitamin C per day.
Fruit and vegetables are the best and easiest sources of Vitamin C – especially citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, strawberries and tropical fruits such as pineapple, melon, guava and papaya. Whilst most of us tend to use oranges as their go to source of vitamins, in fact it’s guavas and papayas that are top of the pops when it comes to Vitamin C content – a guava has around 377mg of Vitamin C which is four times as much as you’ll find in an orange and more than you’ll need in a day!
Yellow, red and green peppers pack in a powerful Vitamin C punch too. Yellow peppers provide the most at 184 mg per 100gm serving. Best eaten raw in a salad they are still valuable as part of your pregnancy diet if you prefer them cooked. Add in lots of dark leafy green vegetables (kale is a winner!), broccoli and tomatoes. Herbs and chilli peppers are good sources of Vitamin C although you’ll need to include a significant amount in your pregnancy food plan to really enjoy the benefit.
Multivitamin supplements designed for pregnant women will include appropriate levels of Vitamin C as a substitute for lots of fruit and veg, but you should be able to get all you need from a balanced and healthy pregnancy diet.
And bizarrely you CAN have too much of a good thing! Some sources suggest that more than 500mg of Vitamin C a day can cause stomach pain and diarrhoea and that you should avoid excessively high levels of Vitamin C (more than 2000mg a day) when you’re pregnant.