Eating healthily during your pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for you and your baby. Here are some nutrients that are especially important during pregnancy:
Folate is a B vitamin that helps prevent neural tube defects, serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. Folate deficiency may also increase the risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight and poor fetal growth. Your doctor will prescribe you with a Folate supplement, but you can also increase your intake of Folate-rich foods by eating foods such as fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, meat, dried beans and peas.
You and your baby need Calcium for development of strong bones and teeth. It also helps to keep your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems to run properly. Good sources of Calcium include milk and dairy products. Many breakfast cereals and fruit juices are enriched with Calcium.
Protein is essential for growth and development of the fetus. Make sure that you get enough protein by eating meat, chicken, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, as well as plant protein from sources such as dried beans, peas, lentils and soya.
Iron helps to transport oxygen to the body’s tissues and cells. Iron is important for the normal functioning of the immune system. Good food sources of Iron include liver, seafood, kidney, lean meat, poultry and fish, as well as egg yolk, dried fruits, and whole grain and enriched breads and cereals. In order to increase the absorption of Iron, it is recommended that you increase your intake of Vitamin C, by eating foods such as oranges, guava’s, strawberries and bell peppers.