Essential Dietary Minerals

Calcium

Requirement: 1,300 mg. for women 18 years and younger, 1,000 mg for women 19+ years.
Needed for: helps build bones for baby and helps maintain mother’s bones, teeth, may prevent pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, inhibits lead mobilization from the bones.
Sources: Lowfat milk products, soymilk, sardines, canned salmon (with bones), tofu, dark leafy green vegetables, dried beans and peas.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Chromium

Requirement: 50 to 200 mg.
Needed for: Regulation of blood sugar. Helps build proteins in baby’s developing tissues. Might aid in baby’s growth and reduce pregnancy-induced diabetes (gestational diabetes.
Sources: Whole grains, wheat germ, orange juice.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Copper

Requirement: 1.5 to 3.0 mg.
Needed for: normal pregnancy outcome, energy metabolism, connective tissue, and red blood cell formation.  Aids in development and maintenance of baby’s heart, arteries, and blood vessels; skeletal system and nervous system.
Sources: Chicken, fish, extra-lean meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, soybeans, dark leafy green vegetables.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Fluoride

Requirement: 3.0 mg.
Needed for: For strengthening bones and teeth, reducing risk for cavities in mother and baby. It increases the bioavailability of calcium and helps to buffer acids present in the mouth.
Sources: Not found in nature, but is found in the body through combining with other constituents in the body. There are 3-12 mg. of fluorine per liter of untreated water.
Toxicity: Dental fluorosis, also called mottling of tooth enamel, is a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development.[i]

Iodine

Requirement: 175 mcg.
Needed for: Essential for thyroid gland function
Sources: iodized salt, seafood, and sea vegetables.
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Iron

Requirement: 30 mg.
Needed for: prevention of Anemia, helps baby develop and gain weight, prevents premature delivery.
Sources: Extra-lean meats, fish, poultry, cooked dried beans, dark leafy green vegetables, raisons , prunes, whole grains.

Magnesium

Requirement: 350 mg. for women who are 19+ years, 400 mg. for women 18 years and younger.
Needed for:  Energy metabolism, blood-sugar regulation, helps normal muscle contraction and nerve transmission, maintains uterine relaxation during pregnancy and aids contractions during labor.
Sources: Low-fat milk, peanuts, bananas, wheat germ, whole grains, cooked dried beans and peas, dark leafy green vegetables, oysters.

Manganese

Requirement: 2.0 to 5.0 mg.
Needed for:  It is a component of several enzymes.
Sources: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, tea
Deficiency:
Toxicity:

Molybdenum

Requirement: 75 to 250 mcg.
Needed for:  It is a component of several enzymes.
Sources: Whole grains, beans, milk.
Deficiency: jaundice, nausea, and fatigue, due to liver disfunction; headaches, tachypnea, tachycardia, vomiting, nausea and coma, due to sulfide toxicity (created by lack of Molydenum)[ii]; certain genetic disorders.
Toxicity: Liver damage, Kidney damage, weight loss

Selenium

Requirement: 65 mcg.
Needed for: Essential for growth, protects tissues in baby and mother from free-radical damage.
Sources: Whole grains, seafood, lean meat, low-fat milk products.

Potassium

Requirement: Pregnant women: 4,700 milligrams (mg) per day
Nursing moms: 5,100 mg per day.[iii] 
Needed for:  helps in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance, sending nerve pulses, helping muscles to contract, releasing energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Sources: fruits and vegetables, red meat and chicken, fish, milk and yogurt, nuts, and soy.
Deficiency: weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, constipation, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Toxicity: rhabdomyolysis, insulin deficiency, metabolic acidosis or extensive tissue or red blood cell damage, and kidney failure.[iv]

Zinc

Requirement: 15 mg.
Needed for:  It is essential for conception, reduces the risk for spontaneous abortions, helps prevent birth defects, aids normal growth, helps development of bones, vision, and taste.
Sources: Extra-lean meats, turkey, cooked dried beans and peas, wheat germ, whole grains.
Deficiency: dry skin, hair loss, acne, spots on nails, poor wound healing, poor immunity.
Toxicity: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headaches[v]

[i] Dental fluorosis: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/dental_fluorosis.htm#a2

[ii] http://voices.yahoo.com/molybdenum-deficiency-symptoms-causes-4735632.html

[iii] http://www.babycenter.com/0_potassium-in-your-pregnancy-diet_655.bc

[iv] http://www.livestrong.com/article/24690-symptoms-potassium-overdose/

[v] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

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