Zinc During Pregnancy For Indians: Benefits, RDA, Sources, Risks of Zinc Deficiency

  • Fitterfly - Team Nutrition

  • Posted On May 25, 2019

Zinc is one of the minerals that we get through a healthy, balanced diet. It is a micronutrient, which is needed for cell division, protein synthesis and growth.

Role of Zinc in Pregnancy

Zinc is important during pregnancy to ensure proper growth of the foetus, which leads to a healthy birth weight. Severe zinc deficiency during pregnancy puts the baby at risk for low birth weight (LBW) and the foetus could be small for gestational age (SGA).

As you are aware, adequate gestational weight gain is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

During pregnancy, Indian women need around 12 mg zinc

Sources of Zinc

Vegetarian sources of zinc include pumpkin seeds and legumes like chickpeas, lentils and beans.

Source Zinc
Pumpkin seeds (2tsp; 10g) 1.03mg
Milk (250ml) 0.85mg

Non-vegetarian sources include meats and shellfish. However, during pregnancy you may be asked to avoid shellfish.

Source Zinc
Chicken liver (100g) 2.65mg
Boiled Egg (45g) 0.2mg

Zinc Rich Vegetarian Recipe

2 Parathas with 1 Small Bowl Soyabean curry

Add 2 tsp pumpkin seeds to the paratha dough. This meal will give you 1.15mg zinc.

Paneer Pulao with Pumpkin seed raita

Add 50g paneer in pulao and 2 tsp pumpkin seed and 100g curd in a vegetable raita. This meal will give you 1.12mg zinc.

Zinc Rich Non-Vegetarian Recipe

1 Medium Piece of Kaleji (mutton liver) (100g) with a bowl of rice (150g)

This meal will give you 3.97mg of zinc.

1 small bowl ravas curry/fish curry (100g) with a bowl of rice (150g)

This meal will give you 0.6mg Zinc

Zinc Supplements During Pregnancy

During pregnancy doctors typically prescribe  iron, calcium and folic acid supplements.

However, some doctors may give you a multivitamin supplement which contains zinc. Please follow your doctor’s advice for all supplements during pregnancy.

Zinc deficiency is usually not tested for in routine blood tests during pregnancy but if you follow a healthy pregnancy nutrition program like Fitterfly Pregnancy Nutrition Program and take the prescribed supplements you can meet your daily zinc requirement.

Food for Proper Absorption of Zinc

Phytates in certain foods like cereals and grains prevent proper absorption of zinc. That is why it is important to follow certain nutritional guidelines while preparing these foods. For example, you can pre-soak millets like ragi and seeds like quinoa to ensure that these foods don’t interfere with the absorption of zinc.


References

Zinc supplementation during pregnancy

https://www.who.int/elena/titles/zinc_pregnancy/en/

Maternal zinc deficiency during pregnancy elevates the risks of fetal growth restriction: a population-based birth cohort study

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4459238/

Dietary factors influencing zinc absorption.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/10801947/

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Disclaimer: All information here, including text, images, tables, videos and any other content is for your knowledge only and we do not guarantee any specific result by following these recommendations as it may vary from person to person. The information is not a substitute for qualified medical advice from a doctor or other medical health expert.