Women’s Health: Getting Pregnant and Fertility

6.4 Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin A & Beta Carotene

  • Found in green and yellow veggies, carrots, greens (turnip, mustard, kale, collards) and fruits (cantaloupe, mango, apricots, tangerine) etc.
  • Important for normal vision, a healthy immune system, reproduction, proper organ function.

Zinc

  • Found in beans, nuts, fortified cereals,  etc.
  • Important for a healthy immune system, production of proteins and DNA, wound healing and efficient senses of smell and taste.

Vitamin C

  • Found in citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes and cantaloupes.
  • Protects cells and tissues from damage, important for a healthy immune system and the absorption of iron.

Vitamin D

  • Found in vitamin D fortified foods (plant and dairy milk; breakfast cereals, margarine, yogurt) fatty fish and sunshine.
  • Helps the body to utilize phosphorus. Maintains bones and teeth.

Vitamin E

  • Found in vegetable oils (peanut, avocado, olive), nuts (pine nuts, peanuts, brazil nuts) seeds (sunflower seeds), avocado, wheat germ and green vegetables .
  • Helps protect cells against damage, important for immune function and heart health.

Vitamin B12

  • Found in shellfish, dairy items, poultry, red meat, eggs etc.
  • Helps prevent neural tube defects, maintains a healthy nervous system, helps prevent megaloblastic anemia.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

  • Found in legumes (split peas), brown rice, whole grains (oats, whole wheat), fish and fortified cereals.
  • Helps convert your food into energy and maintains the quality of the cells your body produces.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

  • Found in eggs, nuts (peanuts), and fortified products (cereal, bread).
  • Helps convert your food into energy and maintains the quality of the cells your body produces.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

  • Found in fortified cereals and breads, legumes, peanut butter etc.
  • Helps to promote healthy skin, nerves and digestive health.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

  • Found in broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, whole grain cereals etc.
  • Helps produce blood cells and converts your food into energy.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

  • Found in whole wheat and whole grains (oats), legumes, nuts (peanuts, soybeans).
  • Important for brain development during pregnancy and carrying out metabolic reactions.

Biotin

  • Found in, fish, eggs, seed, nuts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach etc.
  • Helps convert your food into energy.

Iodine

  • Found in fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables (grown in iodine enriched soil) and iodized salt.
  • Helps to produce thyroid hormones which affect bone and brain development.

Magnesium

  • Found in legumes, nuts, seeds, fortified cereals, milk, yogurt etc.
  • Helps maintain strong bones, muscle function, optimal blood sugar levels, nerve function and optimal blood pressure.

Iron and Copper

  • Found in  fortified cereals and grains, nuts, spinach, kidney beans, peas etc.
  • Important for growth and development, production of red blood cells, some hormones and connective tissue.

Folic Acid

  • Found in vegetables (beets, asparagus, collard greens, okra), fruits (papaya, orange), soy nuts, legumes (lentils, pinto beans, chickpeas) , fortified grains and cereals etc.
  • Important for DNA production and prevention of neural tube defects.

Phosphorus and Calcium

  • Found in  green leafy vegetables, most grains, fortified food items, dairy etc.
  • Helps maintain the skeletal system (the body’s structure), the nervous system and muscle movement.

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