A healthy diet is the cornerstone of a healthy pregnancy.  Making sure that you’re eating the right foods, packed with all the essential vitamins is so important, but what vitamins, what do they do and where can you find them?  Here we’ve put together a list of pregnancy essentials and the foods they come from…

Vitamin A

Liver, egg yolks, full-fat dairy goods, oily fish

Promotes healthy eyes; protects against respiratory infection; promotes growth; encourages healthy bones, teeth and gums; an antioxidant

Betacarotene

Leafy green vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins

Converts to vitamin A; is an antioxidant.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Whole grains, oatmeal, vegetables, dried yeast, liver, pork, peanuts

Provides energy; aids carbohydrate digestion; helps nervous system, muscles, heart and mental function; reduces stress.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Leafy green vegetables, fish, yoghurt, liver, cottage cheese, milk

Promotes growth, healthy hair, skin and nails; helps to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and proteins; energy production; stress handling.

Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid)

Lean meat, wheatgerm, figs, dates, avocados, fish, eggs, wholewheat produce, brewers yeast

Essential for sex hormones, thyroid hormone, insulin, cortisone and glucose tolerance. Necessary for the nervous system and brain; helps metabolism and energy; keeps blood fats balanced.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Wholegrains, wheatgerm, bran, crude molasses, nuts, green vegetables, chicken, egg yolks, meat and liver

Vital for the adrenal glands; aids the conversion of fats and carbohydrates into energy; helps manufacture antibodies; promotes wound healing.

Vitamin B6

Wheatgerm, bran, poultry, meat, liver, cantaloupes, cabbage, milk, blackstrap molasses, egg yolks, tuna, sardines, mackerel, leeks, kale, sprats, trout, salmon and cod

Produces antibodies and red blood cells needed to help absorb Vitamin B12 and to aid protein metabolism.

Vitamin B12

Liver, beef, pork, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk and cheese

Promotes growth; improves concentration and encourages a healthy nervous system.

Folic acid

Deep green leafy vegetables, carrots, egg yolks, apricots, pumpkin, beans, avocado, whole wheat, rye, cantaloupes

Necessary to help the body use proteins and carbohydrates; forms antibodies; wards of anaemia; and protects against neural tube defects early in pregnancy.

Biotin

Brewers yeast, brown rice, nuts, fruit, egg yolks, beef liver

Aids metabolism of fats and proteins; maintains healthy skin, scalp and hair.

Choline

Green leafy vegetables, liver and lecithin, wheatgerm, egg yolk

Aids memory; controls cholesterol build- up; helps detoxification by eliminating toxins and drugs from the liver.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Citrus fruits, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, cantaloupes, sweet peppers, cauliflowers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, kiwi fruits, bean sprouts, melons, spinach. broccoli, cabbages, turnips, liver

Healthy immune system; anti- viral; anti- bacterial; boosts formation of skin, bone, cartilage and connective tissue including gums and blood vessels; needed to help the body cope with stress.

Vitamin D (calciferol)

Sardines, herrings, tuna, egg yolks, fish oils, dairy produce

Needed for bone and teeth formation; works with vitamins A and C to prevent colds.

Vitamin E

Wheatgerm, vegetable oils, broccoli, brussel sprouts, almonds, olive oil, eggs, spinach, soya beans, tomatoes, fresh nuts, carrots, sunflower seeds, wholegrain cereals

Antioxidant; protects cell membranes; helps prevent scarring; anticoagulant; and protects against chlorinated water.

Vitamin K

Yoghurt, alfalfa, leafy green vegetables, safflower oil, kelp, fish liver oils, egg yolks, milk

Essential for blood clotting agent;useful in bone metabolism.