5 nutrients you need during pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body needs the same balanced food intake as it did before pregnancy, but these important nutrients need special attention!

These 5 nutrients are especially important to eat during pregnancy.

1.Protein is needed for your baby’s growth and development. Good sources: lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.

2.Folate helps prevent birth defects and decrease the risk of premature birth. Good sources: beans, peas, vegetables (especially spinach and asparagus), and fortified grains. Your prenatal vitamin should include at least 400 mcg of folic acid.

3.Calcium is critical for both you and your baby- for strong bones and teeth, circulation, and muscle and nervous systems. Good sources: Dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese) as well as fortified orange juice, almond milk, and soy milk.

4.Vitamin D also helps build bones and teeth, and promotes absorption of calcium. Good sources: fortified milk, milk substitutes and orange juice, fortified yogurt, and egg yolks.

5.Iron is needed for your red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. You need twice as much now as you did before pregnancy, and not getting enough can lead to fatigue and low birth weights. Good sources: meat, fortified cereal, spinach, and beans.

TIP: Increase absorption of iron by including vitamin C foods like citrus, peppers and leafy greens.

If you think you cannot get the nutrients you need from food, talk to your doctor or dietitian about a good vitamin/mineral supplement.

For delicious recipes, nutrition tips, and to find cooking and nutrition classes, go to the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center website. More great info also available at the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board.

Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center

Phone: (970) 491-8615
Fax: (970) 491-8867