Brandon Rechten
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Nutrients

What Nutrients Do You Need?

Protein: An important building-block for cells, pregnant women should aim to get about 71g of protein/day. Animal foods tend to be high in protein. If possible, buy organic animal products and grass-fed meats. This will help to ensure that your food isn't full of hormones and antibiotics that are bad for you and baby! Foods high in protein include: 

  • legumes
  • nuts
  • dairy products
  • meat
  • eggs
  • beans

 

Folic Acid: Folic acid is important in the prevention of neural tube defects, which can lead to conditions like spina bifida. Folic acid can be found in:

  • broccoli
  • beans
  • nuts
  • oranges
  • dark leafy greens
  • beets

 

Calcium: You've heard that calcium builds strong bones and teeth, but it can also help with muscle and nerve function. Get your calcium from sources like:

  • figs
  • white beans
  • dairy products
  • collard greens
  • broccoli

 

Vitamin D: This vitamin works with calcium to build strong bones, and may also help to protect against some cancers. Good sources for this vitamin are:

  • dairy products
  • fatty fish (like salmon)
  • lots of sunshine! (just make sure to use sunscreen!)

 

Iron: Making sure your iron levels are good is very important. Iron helps to prevent anemia, and can also protect against low birthweight and premature births. Luckily, iron can be easily found in:

  • red meats (should be eaten in moderation and grass-fed if possible)
  • beans
  • spinach
  • wheat germ

 

Vitamin C: Most of us are aware that vitamin C can help build and protect your immune system, but it also helps the body absorb iron, and is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C is easily found in:

  • bell peppers
  • papaya
  • citrus fruits
  • strawberries
  • broccoli

 

Prenatal Vitamins: Your body is in need of all of the nutrients it can get while another life is growing! Taking a high-quality prenatal vitamin is a good addition to a healthy diet to ensure that your body is getting everything it needs in this important time. Try to get one that contains:

  • 600-800mcg folic acid; 11-15mg zinc; 600IU vitamin D; and 1,000mg calcium