Vitamin K During Pregnancy – Importance and Food Sources
A healthy diet is crucial for healthy living, and it becomes all the more important during pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, your body needs essential vitamins and minerals for the healthy growth of the baby. A deficiency of any vitamin or mineral can cause complications, which is why you need to pay extra attention to your pregnancy diet and make sure each nutrient is covered by it. An important vitamin that a pregnant woman needs is Vitamin K. This article highlights why you need it, i.e., its importance. We’ve also covered food sources of these vitamins and other necessary information about the same.
Why is Vitamin K Important for Pregnant Women?
Vitamin K is important during pregnancy, but too much consumption can lead to thinning of the blood, which can be potentially harmful. Its adequate intake is all the more important during the third trimester, as it helps during labour and post-childbirth. Vitamin K also helps heal a woman’s body. Let’s look at some of the benefits of Vitamin K in pregnancy.
1. It helps heal the body.
It helps in the clotting of blood which prevents the body from losing excess blood in case of injury. However, too much consumption of Vitamin K can lead to thinning of the blood, which can be potentially harmful during pregnancy.
2. Fights Tooth Decay
Pregnancy can lead to some bad dental issues such as gum disease. Vitamin K helps in bone mineralization and prevents acids from harming the teeth.
3. Promotes Bone Health
Studies have shown that it helps to increase bone strength and improves bone density.
How Much Vitamin K is Needed in Your Pregnancy Diet?
Our body makes Vitamin K with the help of friendly bacteria in the intestine.
Although your pregnancy diet should contain a safe level of the required levels of Vitamin K, there hasn’t been an established safe upper level. The requirement for this vitamin during pregnancy will be determined by your size or weight; that would basically be around 1 mcg per kg of your body weight per day.
But you must check with your doctor and dietician regarding the quantity of this vitamin during pregnancy. Your diet should include this vitamin in adequate amounts. The lack of this nutrient in your body can lead to continual bleeding, which could lead to infections. When the wound is dressed, this nutrient helps in healing quickly.
Food Sources of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient, which means the liver will store it up, and your body will use it whenever the need arises. It contains a group of compounds like Vitamin K1 found in leafy green veggies and Vitamin K2 that are in abundance in meat, eggs, and cheese. This nutrient is essential for many bodily functions, so you can also resort to the use of supplements.
Yummy and nutritious is what you will be craving during the nine months. You can stock up on essential nutrients by including the following food sources, especially for some Vitamin K!
- Leafy veggies like spinach, kale, collard, and lettuce
- Fresh vegetables such as beetroot, broccoli, celery, red cabbage, cucumber, leeks, celery, cauliflower, artichokes, peas and beans
- Well cooked lean meat like beef and liver
- Dairy products like cottage cheese and cream or milk
- Olive, canola and soybean oil contain the highest amount
Do You Need to Take Vitamin K Supplements During Pregnancy?
If you maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy, the deficiency of Vitamin K will be rare, as you will get it through the food you eat, and it will also be produced by your body.
However, if due to some medical conditions, if your body’s chances of absorbing the nutrient are less. This can be risky as you and your baby may not get the benefits of the nutrient. This is where supplements can help. You need to watch the amount of the nutrient entering your body through food, prenatal vitamins, and supplements. Nothing in excess is ever good. However, Vitamin K injection during pregnancy is not required.
Unless your doctor recommends them, do not take supplements. Certain medical situations change the requirement of supplements. If you are on any anti-seizure medications, you should then have supplements for two to four weeks prior to your due date to reduce the risk of bleeding in the newborn. Supplements are also introduced in case you develop cholestasis, a liver disease that occurs during pregnancy, to avoid haemorrhaging.
A healthy diet is important for a baby’s healthy growth and development. Vitamin K is one of the most vital nutrients that contribute to a very healthy pregnancy, so you must make sure that you get it in adequate amounts. You can check with your doctor about the quantity of the nutrient to make sure that you are getting enough of it, and not more or less!
Also Read: Vitamin C Intake in Pregnancy