Staying healthy is of the utmost importance during pregnancy and the best way to ensure good health is through a well-charted out balanced diet. Vitamin C is important because it is water soluble and hence your body cannot store it. You need to have a fresh supply of this nutrient everyday through the food you consume.
Therefore, it goes without saying that this nutrient that is an absolute must during pregnancy. But, as with every other nutrient, you need to be careful not to go on an overdrive. What’s the required amount and what’s the flip side of excess intake?
Doctors across the globe do not specify a particular dosage of Vitamin C during pregnancy, but they do agree that it should not exceed 2,000 milligrams. The American Pregnancy Association recommends 80 to 85 mg/day, while according to the National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus, it should be 120 mg/day.
However, doctors are unanimous in their opinion that it is best to get your Vitamin C requirement from natural sources like fresh fruits and vegetables rather than from supplements. Many women take multivitamin tablets during pregnancy but these are considered unsafe as it may contribute to excess intake of Vitamin C. Therefore, it is necessary to exercise caution and opt for supplements that are specifically designed for pregnant women which have just the right amount of the required vitamins.
Vitamin C is found in abundance not just in citrus fruits but in some leafy green vegetables as well. Some of the well-known sources of Vitamin C are:
Vegetables: Tomato, beetroot, bell pepper, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, potato
Green Leaves: Parsley and sorrel
Animal Sources: All kinds of meat and fish.
As already mentioned, it is always best to opt for natural sources to get your daily requirement of Vitamin C during pregnancy. Many women want to opt for supplements to meet the daily requirement, but it is quite risky as it could lead to preterm delivery. Many women turn to Vitamin C as a treatment for pregnancy induced high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. However, research shows that Vitamin C supplements taken with Vitamin E supplements do not help in minimizing the effects of pre-eclampsia. If not monitored carefully, it could cause growth restriction in your baby and could cause heart attack for the mother. Therefore, though Vitamin C is a vital nutrient, mega doses must be avoided. Always make sure to consult your doctor when you plan to include/remove anything from your diet. It is true that during pregnancy our diet is the most important factor that contributes to our health and ensures a safe delivery, but it is necessary that the diet is balanced and includes the right amount of daily nutritional needs. This is just a word of caution and not meant to overwhelm a mum-to-be. Stay safe, eat healthy and enjoy your pregnancy!