Top Nutrients During Pregnancy Ver en Español

child and pregnant mother

Although all nutrients are important, some are especially significant during pregnancy.

Sources:
"Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrients." Mayo Clinic. February 15, 2017.
"Zinc." National Institutes of Health. February 17, 2016.

Folic Acid

Getting adequate folic acid as part of a healthful diet may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect.

Where to Find It

  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach (131/800=16%)
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce (128/800=16%)
  • 4 spears cooked asparagus (89/800=11%)
  • 1 cup chopped cooked broccoli (104/800=13%)
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans (92/800=12%)

Sources:
"Folic acid." Womenshealth.gov. February 23, 2017.
"Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (15. Appendix G: Daily Values for Infants, Children Less Than 4 Years of Age, and Pregnant and Lactating Women)." U.S. Food & Drug Administration. January 2013.
"Folate." National Institutes of Health. April 20, 2016.

Vitamin D

Along with calcium, vitamin D is a necessary nutrient for your baby’s growing bones.

Where to Find It

  • 3 ounces cooked sockeye salmon*
  • 3 ounces canned light tuna in water, drained*
  • 1 cup vitamin D-fortified low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 1 large egg

*To limit mercury exposure, it's recommended that pregnant women choose fish that are low in mercury, such as salmon and light tuna, and eat no more than 12 ounces per week.

Sources:
"Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrients." Mayo Clinic. February 15, 2017; "Vitamin D." National Institutes of Health. February 11, 2016.
"Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (15. Appendix G: Daily Values for Infants, Children Less Than 4 Years of Age, and Pregnant and Lactating Women)." U.S. Food & Drug Administration. January 2013.
"Vitamin D." National Institutes of Health. February 11, 2016.
"Staying healthy and safe." Womenshealth.gov. February 1, 2017.

Calcium

Helps build your baby’s bones and teeth. It’s also important for muscle function and a healthy nervous system.

Where to Find It

  • 1 cup fat-free milk (299/1300=23%)
  • 8 ounces plain low-fat yogurt (415/1300=32%)
  • 1 1/2 ounces cheddar cheese (307/1300=24%)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked kale (141/1300=11%)

Sources:
"Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrients." Mayo Clinic. February 15, 2017.
"Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (15. Appendix G: Daily Values for Infants, Children Less Than 4 Years of Age, and Pregnant and Lactating Women)." U.S. Food & Drug Administration. January 2013.
"Calcium." National Institutes of Health. November 17, 2016.

Iron

Supports the production of red blood cells.

Where to Find It

  • 4 ounces braised beef (bottom round)
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup canned white beans

Sources:
"Protein — Promote growth." Mayo Clinic. February 15, 2017.
"Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients)." U.S. Food & Drug Administration. January 2013.

Protein

Necessary to grow almost every cell in your baby’s body.

Where to Find It

  • 3 ounces grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast (26/71=37%)
  • 1 cup fat-free milk (8.3/71=12%)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (14/71=20%)
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs (12.6/71=18%)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (8.2 grams/71=12%)

Sources:
"Pregnancy diet: Focus on these essential nutrients." Mayo Clinic. February 15, 2017.
"Nutrition labeling of food." U.S. Government Publishing Office. 2017.
"All About the Dairy Group." ChooseMyPlate.gov. July 29, 2016.


Want more ideas for adding important nutrients to your diet? Check out these snacks for nursing moms.

This content is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or a guarantee of prevention, improvement, or treatment of specific conditions. Always consult with your healthcare provider about your specific medical questions or concerns.