Pregnancy Nutrition: Getting Nutrients from Vitamins versus Vegetables
Eliminating vegetables from your diet could leave you without the benefits of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Antioxidants are known for neutralizing free radicals, which are tiny molecules found in the body that can lead to health problems like heart disease and cancer. Phytochemicals are biologically active chemicals in plants which protect against disease. Both are important considerations in pregnancy nutrition.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is the best way to obtain antioxidants and phytochemicals. If you absolutely can't find a way to eat any vegetables, adding more deep-colored fruits such as apricots, strawberries, blueberries and cantaloupe can give you the protective health benefits of both antioxidants and phytochemicals.
There's no question that eating a balanced diet, including a variety of vegetables, supplies all the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain healthy pregnancy nutrition without supplementation. And with today's abundant food supply, it's easy to do. A pill simply cannot substitute for a healthy diet. Still, I recommend that people with special dietary needs take a daily multivitamin. This is especially important when you're pregnant and need folic acid and B vitamins in large quantities. I recommend that pregnant women eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in addition to taking their prenatal vitamins in order to assure that they get the nutrients they need during pregnancy.