Zinc is one of those minerals whose importance is almost always relegated to the background compared to the importance of others such as iron, whose needs are widely known and publicized, whether during pregnancy, as later in the puerperium and during lactation. It is true that, given the increase i
Zinc is one of those minerals whose importance is almost always relegated to the background compared to the importance of others such as iron, whose needs are widely known and publicized, whether during pregnancy, as later in the puerperium and during lactation.
It is true that, given the increase in blood volume in pregnancy and its loss in childbirth and postpartum, the iron needs are very high and its deficiency is very debilitating for the mother, but zinc is essential during pregnancy, let's see why.
Importance of zinc in pregnancy
Zinc is an essential mineral for the organism. It is necessary for functions such as protein synthesis, cell division and growth and the metabolism of nucleic acids. During pregnancy, the growth and division of cells reaches a very high rate, since the new baby originates from a cell that is divided into multiple occasions. In addition, the genetic information of the new baby that is growing, which is stored in DNA and RNA-nucleic acids, requires a considerable amount of zinc.
Zinc is part of many hormones and enzymes, especially important in pregnancy, as well as being part of the ovum and sperm, being its deficiency of great importance for fertility.
It is also necessary for the development of the brain of the fetus forma, forming part of many of its structures, and, in addition, its benefits are known in the immune system, helping to increase the protection against infections and to maintain the army of antibodies .To this day,
most of the fortified foods contain zinc , so it is difficult not to get the recommended daily amount for the pregnant woman. However, it is better to ensure a weekly contribution and not a daily one, as it is much easier to obtain.Foods rich in zinc to consume in pregnancy
Animal proteins are generally a good source of zinc in pregnancy
, of high bioavailability. Beef, pork and lamb meats contain a greater amount of zinc than fish, while chicken and turkey meats are an intermediate contribution. Nuts, especially pistachios and nuts, whole grains and legumes are another recommended source of this mineral.The egg, the egg yolk in particular, and the milk and milk products - cheeses and yoghurts - also have appreciable amounts of zinc.
It is estimated that around
80% of pregnant women worldwide consume zinc amounts below the recommended , and although the deficiency is usually only moderate, it can affect the outcome of pregnancy, with pre-term births and babies with low birth weight. In spite of this, it is not recommended to supplement this mineral during pregnancy, but to control -and increase if necessary- your intake from the diet.