Pregnancy
      Grilled Steak

      Zinc in pregnancy

      Grilled Steak

      In sync with zinc

      Everything you need to know about zinc

      The rapid growth and development of tissue and DNA that’s taking place in your baby’s body relies on a good supply of zinc during pregnancy. Learn how this important mineral supports your own health too, and which foods to eat for an adequate supply.

      A building block of life

      Zinc, a mineral present in many foods, plays an essential role in the construction of your baby’s cells and DNA during pregnancy.

      It is needed for cell division and tissue growth, supporting normal development as your baby grows. As pregnancy is a time when your baby is growing from a single cell into a little person comprised of trillions of cells, a healthy intake of zinc as part of a well-balanced diet is crucial.

      Zinc is also well-known for its benefits to the immune system, helping to protect against infections and heal wounds, and aids in the metabolising of other vital nutrients.

      A good start for a healthy brain

      An adequate supply of zinc during pregnancy has various benefits for your baby, besides normal growth.

      Found in high concentrations in the brain, it is important for normal brain function, which contributes to all future learning and development.

      It also helps to build a robust immune system by helping to maintain a healthy amount of antibodies.

      Pregnant Woman Cutting Avocado

      Zinc, a mineral present in many foods like avocado, plays an essential role in the construction of your baby’s cells and DNA

      Can you take zinc in pregnancy?

      Getting the right amount of zinc in your diet is especially important during pregnancy, when your immune system is naturally suppressed, leaving you more vulnerable to infection. Zinc is one of the nutrients that provide some extra immune support, making it important for your own health, as well as your baby’s.

      Maintaining a healthy intake of zinc throughout your pregnancy has also been linked to a lower risk of premature birth.

      Soya

      Zinc in pregnancy

      Zinc, a mineral present in many foods, plays an essential role in the construction of your baby’s cells and DNA during pregnancy.

      How much zinc is enough while pregnant?

      Because of zinc's important role in your baby’s development, the RDA during pregnancy is 20mg per day, 5mg more than it would be if you weren’t pregnant. Your need also rises to 25mg while breastfeeding. Present in many foods, these amounts should be obtainable from a well-balanced diet.

      Incredibly, a single oyster contains more than your entire daily zinc requirement. However, raw oysters are one of the foods you should avoid during pregnancy because of the risk of food poisoning.

      Instead, try eating the following foods to ensure a good intake:

      • Well-cooked oysters and shellfish
      • Red meat such as beef as well as poultry and turkey
      • Oatmeal
      • Nuts, beans and soya
      • Dairy products and eggs

      Wholegrain bread, fortified cereals and corn also provide zinc, but the phytates they contain can inhibit the absorption of zinc from other foods. To maximise your intake from other sources, avoid regularly eating these foods at the same time.

      Next steps

      Try these zinc-rich light meals and snacks to boost your intake:

      • Porridge with a handful of walnuts
      • A hard-boiled egg
      • Turkey salad with sliced almonds
      • Cottage cheese on oatcakes
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      Your baby's future health begins here

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      each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your
      baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one
      round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

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