Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) in Your Pregnancy Diet
Maintaining a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for your better health, especially, when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, your body needs essential vitamins and minerals to keep functioning properly. Like other vitamins, Vitamin B6 plays an important role in supporting a healthy pregnancy. Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, produces amino acids and helps in the metabolism of macronutrients such as, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It also helps in the creation of red blood cells. Read on to learn more about including this Vitamin in your pregnancy and how!
Is it Safe to Take Vitamin B6 During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is safe and necessary to take Vitamin B6 during pregnancy. But when including Vitamin B6 in your diet, make sure you get it from natural sources and not supplements.
Why Do You Need Pyridoxine/Vitamin B6 During Pregnancy?
Listed below are some benefits of including Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) in your pregnancy diet. Vitamin B6 can help with certain pregnancy symptoms.
- Intake of Vitamin B6 helps ease nausea and vomiting.
- It aids in regulating blood sugar levels in your body.
- Vitamin B6 in pregnancy boosts your baby’s brain development and nervous system.
- It also metabolises carbohydrates and protein in the body.
- It aids in the generation of red blood cells and antibodies in the body.
How Much Vitamin B6 Do You Need?
|Women||The daily requirement of Vitamin B6|
|In Pregnancy||1.9 mg|
|While Breastfeeding||2.0 mg|
|Others (non-pregnant women 19-50 years)||1.3 mg|
* mg = milligrams
It is crucial for a pregnant woman to consume the required amounts of Vitamin B6; however, it is also advised to monitor any excess intake of this vitamin. Though limited excess amounts do not pose much threat, high levels of Vitamin B6 may lead to numbness, nerve damage, and other serious complications.
Various Food Sources of Vitamin B6
Listed below are some food sources of Vitamin B6:
- Cereals and whole wheat grains
- Nuts and seeds, such as hazelnuts and cashew nuts
- Fruits, such as papayas and bananas
- Lentils, such as chickpeas and kidney beans
- Fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals and bread
- Salmon and tuna
- Lean beef and lean pork
- Dried fruits, such as apricots and prunes
- Leafy vegetables such as spinach
Vitamin B6 Snack Ideas
Here are some delicious Vitamin B6 snack ideas:
- You can roast some hazelnuts, cashew nuts and pistachios, add a little salt. They are very tasty and healthy, so you might be tempted to eat more. But it is advised not to go overboard with them.
- You can bake a sweet potato and sprinkle some salt on it, and add a few drops of lemon, for a perfect filling snack.
- You can eat your favourite breakfast cereal with some milk.
- You can snack on raisins, apricots, and prunes. It will satiate your sugar cravings.
- You can drink homemade vegetable juices.
- Add cooked chickpeas to your pregnancy diet. Add salt to taste, and enjoy!
- You can eat sunflower seeds too, they make a healthy snacking option!
- You can eat a medium-sized banana or avocado.
Can You Take Vitamin B6 as a Supplement?
Although a healthy diet during pregnancy can help meet the requirements for Vitamin B6, taking pregnancy multivitamins containing reasonable amounts of Vitamin B6 can also help. But these multivitamins should only be taken only after checking with your doctor. If your health practitioner feels that you need supplements, she will prescribe the required amounts of supplements. You will be prescribed Vitamin B6 supplements to ward off morning sickness or nausea. It is recommended not to take any Vitamin B6 supplements on your own as it may lead to various health complications for you and your baby.
Symptoms of Vitamin B6 Deficiency
Many reasons cause a deficiency of Vitamin B6 in your body. Though the deficiency is generally milder in non-pregnant women, it may reach alarming levels in pregnancy due to your body’s increased demand for Vitamin B6. The most common cause of the deficiency is not getting adequate amounts of Vitamin B6 from your diet, however, increased consumption of processed foods, sugary foods, or alcohol may lead to this deficiency also. Some health conditions or illnesses may also lead to a deficiency of Vitamin B6. You need adequate amounts of pyridoxine hydrochloride during pregnancy. But in case you have a deficiency of this vitamin in your body, you may notice the following symptoms:
- lethargy and fatigue
- neurological degeneration
- mood swings and depression
- inflammation of the digestive system, joints and skin
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is suggested that you seek immediate medical help. Prompt action and assistance in dealing with Vitamin B6 deficiency may not cause severe complications for you or your baby.
Taking good care of your health during pregnancy is very important, and for that, you need to maintain a healthy diet, that comprises essential vitamins and minerals. Make sure the foods you eat to meet your requirements for Vitamin B6. You can also check with your doctor and nutritionist to understand what foods you should eat to meet your Vitamin B6 requirements.