Antioxidants During Pregnancy


Importance of Antioxidants During Pregnancy


The Importance of Antioxidants During Pregnancy

Our body is a complex system, influenced by various external factors, our lifestyle and the food we eat every day. Because of our lifestyle free radicals are continuously forming in the body. Those are poisons that cause chronic diseases and accelerate aging. And antioxidants protect us from those harmful effects. The importance of antioxidants during pregnancy is even increased as they protect their unborn baby as well.

Antioxidants in our bodies are used to kill free radicals, so we need to replace them over and over. How? With food rich in antioxidants!

Important antioxidants are:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • selenium
  • flavonoids
  • polyphenols

As you can see food rich in antioxidants plays an extremely important role in the fight against free radicals.

Most antioxidants are found in fruit and vegetables, so it is important to eat them every day during pregnancy. Legumes, whole grains, and their products don’t lag behind them as well.

Fruits rich in antioxidants:

  • lemon
  • mandarin
  • orange
  • apricot
  • peach
  • apple
  • raspberry
  • currant
  • watermelon
  • grapes
  • kiwi

Vegetables rich in antioxidants:

  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • peppers
  • carrots
  • tomatoes
  • beets
  • cauliflower

Consuming these food groups daily, the pregnant woman will enter a sufficient amount of antioxidants into her body!


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The most important antioxidants in pregnancy


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C plays an important role in the development of the fetus’ brain. It is known for having a positive effect on the immune system, controlling the level of blood sugar, preventing accumulation of cholesterol in the vascular walls, improving the functioning of the lungs and intestines, protecting collagen fibers and eyes and helping to reduce stress.

Vitamin C also helps to restore the antioxidant properties of vitamin E.


Vitamin E (tocopherol)

Vitamin E (tocopherol) is crucial for cell metabolism. This vitamin prevents the aging of tissues and cells’ dying. It is also responsible for the proper formation and growth of the placenta!

Vitamin E is fat-soluble, so it is important to eat food with sufficient fat content as well.


Vitamin A

For the synthesis of vitamin A, we need beta-carotenoids. Beta-carotene is a substance from the carotenoid group, also called provitamin A, which is synthesized in the body into vitamin A.

Vitamin A is necessary for the fetus development, for normal reproductive functions, for the light and color detection and the development of bones. It increases our immune resistance, strengthens hair and nails and helps with skin problems.



Selenium is a micronutrient that helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid, protects livers, protects us against environmental influences and heart disease.



Most flavonoids are in fresh vegetables and fruits. During storage, their quantity decreases. They are heat persistent and water-soluble. When cooking, they get into the water, so we pour them away. To avoid this, cook rather in steam.

They are powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and protect against cancer. In addition, they inhibit the development of harmful bacteria and viruses. Flavonoids protect us against cardiovascular diseases and take care for healthy blood.



Polyphenols act as antioxidants, which prevents inflammatory, cancer, virus, and bacterial infections. Polyphenols improve your health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

Antioxidants in foods or dietary supplements

Antioxidants are found in conventional foods and dietary supplements. Vitamin C is water-soluble and is therefore metabolized faster than vitamins A and E, which are soluble in fat.

  1. Foods rich in Vitamin A: carrots, tomatoes, eggs, fish oil, milk, yellow fruits and vegetables, and green vegetables
  2. Foods rich in Vitamin C: blueberries, currants, citrus, melons, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple and other fruits, parsley, kale, cauliflower, tomato, spinach, peppers, and other vegetables
  3. Foods rich in Vitamin E: cold-pressed vegetable oils, nuts, bran, cereals, legumes, spinach
  4. Foods rich in Selenium: cereals, fish and seafood, eggs, meat, and milk
  5. Foods rich in Flavonoids: citrus, plums, apples, nuts and beans, tea and dark chocolate
  6. Foods rich in Polyphenols: cloves, star anise, cocoa powder, flaxseed, chestnut

Antioxidants can also be found in dietary supplements that may contain synthesized vitamins or natural extracts which containing vitamins.

Antioxidant supplements during pregnancy

Natural and synthetic vitamins are the same in their function and chemical structure.

Despite the fact that overdose with vitamins in the vast majority of cases – especially for water-soluble vitamins of natural origin, is not very risky, take vitamins supplements with caution, especially during pregnancy! In case of taking vitamins through dietary supplements, you must carefully follow the recommended daily intake and instructions.

Taking dietary supplements is rational and advisable during increased needs for vitamins and minerals, and in cases where is due to health or other circumstances not possible to ingest sufficient amounts of these substances from food.

Talk to your doctor or pregnancy adviser before taking any dietary supplements!



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