Nutrition During Pregnancy
April 25, 2017
How much: 11 mg per day
Why: Zinc is linked to a lowered risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and prolonged labor. It prevents intrauterine growth retardation as well.
Try: Baked beans are a great choice; you’ll get 2.9 mg for each half-cup serving.
How much: 600 micrograms per day
Why: Even before you get pregnant, you should start increasing this one. Doing so cuts your risk of birth defects.
Try: No midnight cravings for spinach or asparagus? Try an orange for 29 micrograms a pop.
How much: 1,000 mg per day
Why: Getting enough calcium can reduce the severity and lower the overall risk of preeclampsia, low birth weight, and preterm delivery.
Try: One cup of skim milk offers 299 mg.
How much: At least 70 grams per day
Why: Your body needs a lot more protein now to help the fetus grow and ensure that baby’s hormones and muscles develop properly.
Try: A 3 oz. boneless, skinless grilled chicken breast yields 28 g, getting you well on your way to reaching your daily requirement!
How much: At least 200 mg per day
Why: Higher levels of DHA in newborns correspond to higher birth weight. It’s also associated with a higher IQ, more advanced motor skills, and fewer emotional and neurological problems later.
Try: Among your seafood options, Atlantic salmon has the highest levels of DHA—and is low in mercury, making it safe to eat during pregnancy.
How much: 27 mg per day
Why: Not enough can impair baby’s growth and increase the risk of hypertension, eclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight.
Try: At 20 mg, a half cup of quick oats fortified with iron provides more than a serving of beef!
How much: 600 international units (IU) per day
Why: It helps increase blood circulation in the placenta and aids in calcium absorption.
Try: 8 oz. of fortified orange juice provides 100 IU, so be sure to drink up!
 Prenatal Vitamin
[ ]Whole Grains and Legumes (6 or more servings)
Healthy choices: brown rice, wild rice, whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat pasta, pita, tortilla, wheat germ, beans, lentils, peanuts, peas
 Calcium (4 servings)
Healthy choices: milk, hard cheese, yogurt, collard greens, edamame, sesame seeds, calcium-fortified juice, canned salmon with bones, tofu
 Yellow, Green and Leafy Veggies and Fruits (3-4 servings)
Healthy choices: winter squash, spinach, kale, lettuce, broccoli, red bell pepper, carrot, sweet potato, apricot, mango, cantaloupe, papaya
 Vitamin C (3 servings)
Healthy choices: (whole or juiced) orange, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, mango, peach, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew, spinach, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, avocado
 Protein (3 servings)
Healthy choices: poultry, beef, lamb, low-mercury fish and seafood, DHA-enriched eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, beans, tofu, edamame, soy pasta
 Iron (3 servings)
Healthy choices: beef, duck, sardines, spinach, dried fruit, beans, soy products, pumpkin seeds, barley, oat bran
 Other Veggies and Fruits (1-2 servings)
Healthy choices: green bean, zucchini, mushroom, corn, potato, apple, pear, banana, cherry, blueberry, avocado
 Fats (roughly 4 servings)
Healthy choices: peanut butter, avocado, sour cream, cream cheese, cream, salad dressing, oil, butter, mayonnaise
 Fluids (at least 10 cups a day)
Healthy choices: water, sparkling water, skim milk, juice
Updated April 2017
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