A balanced diet provides you and your baby with most of the nutrients required during pregnancy, but a few nutrients deserve special mention. Some of these are outlined below, along with suggested sources of these nutrients.
Protein: Lean meats, chicken, small freshwater fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, dried beans and peas, nuts. Three to four servings a day are recommended.
Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, broccoli, other dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, some fortified brands of juices or soy beverages (read the labels). The recommended amount of calcium each day is 1200 mg, which you can get in about 4 glasses of milk.
Iron: Lean meats, eggs, dried fruits, whole grain breads, fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables. You can also enhance the iron content of foods by preparing them in iron pots. The recommended intake of iron during pregnancy is 27 mg. per day. Sometimes supplementation is required to reach this level.
Folic Acid: Orange juice, spinach or other dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans, fortified cereals. The recommended daily intake is 400 micrograms, and a supplement is often needed to reach this amount.
Essential Fatty Acids: Fish, especially trout or salmon, tofu, canola oil, soybean oil, walnuts, flaxseed.
Choline: Eggs, wheat germ, spinach, whole wheat bread, peanuts, fava beans, cauliflower, oranges.
Water: 8-10 glasses of noncaffeinated beverages per day.