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Five must have nutrients during pregnancy

Your body undergoes numerous hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy. While your body prepares itself to support the growing baby, it’s important you nourish yourself with important nutrients. What you consume during your pregnancy directly impacts the health and development of you and your baby.

By following easy and simple recommendations, you would be able to include the most important nutrients in your diet and take the first step towards a healthy pregnancy.

Including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein are some basic principles of eating healthy. Here are a few you should include in your diet during pregnancy:

Folic acid

Folate, also known as folic acid, plays a major role in preventing severe neural tube defects, and abnormalities of the spinal cord and brain. Your obstetrician will usually recommend you to have folic acid supplementation at least three months before you plan to conceive.

Folic acid rich foods: You can get ample amounts of folic acid from green leafy vegetables, oranges, beans, etc. Therefore, make sure you include them in your diet to meet your daily requirement.


Calcium is needed for the growth of bones and teeth. It also promotes regular functioning of your circulatory, nervous and muscular systems. An extra and adequate calcium consumption is important during pregnancy and its deficiency might lead to osteoporosis (brittle bones).

Calcium rich foods: Dairy products – milk, curd, cheese, etc. Other sources include certain calcium fortified juices and cereals, salmon, etc.


During pregnancy, you need an extra amount of iron to make blood to supply oxygen to the developing baby. Therefore, it is important to have enough iron stores while you’re pregnant.

Iron rich foods: Meat, poultry, iron-fortified foods, etc. Along with this, you should also include vitamin C rich foods to increase the absorption of iron.


Protein is another nutrient you should get ample amounts of during your pregnancy. It ensures proper growth of fetal tissues. It also helps in the tissue growth of your breasts and uterus, and promotes increased blood supply to you and your baby.

Protein rich foods: Chicken, cheese, beans, fish, milk and eggs are a few sources you can include in your diet.

Iodine Small amounts of iodine can prove to be of immense benefits to your baby. It helps with the baby’s brain and nervous system development, and can later prevent him from iodine deficiency and brain damage.

Iodine rich foods: Iodized table salt, seafood, cheddar cheese, etc.

Other considerations

Only a healthy diet is not sufficient to provide you all the necessary nutrients in your body. Even if you eat a filling diet, you might miss out on key nutrients. It’s important that you take prenatal vitamins right from three months prior of conception to your last trimester.

Depending on your weight health condition, your obstetrician or nutritionist may recommend a few supplements too. It’s important that you consult them for a personalized diet plan in accordance to your body weight, age and medical history.

Disclaimer: Indian Health Bureau does not claim any responsibility for the information contained in this article. The information may not hold good for everyone. The post is for general awareness only and should not be construed as a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Please consult your doctor to know what is good for you.



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