Written by Sindhuja Prabhu
Pregnancy is a time to take extra care of your diet and nutrition. You are eating for two, well not in literal quantity but nutrition-wise, you need to consume enough for you and your growing baby. Once your doctor confirms your pregnancy, they are bound to prescribe prenatal vitamins to ensure you get all your important nutrients during pregnancy.
You also need to eat foods rich in various nutrients, to reduce pregnancy-related complications and support your baby’s growth. If you are suffering from any complications, you need to increase your nutrition intake. Wondering which food is rich in which nutrient and what you can add to your pregnancy diet? Here is a detailed list just for you!
A pregnant woman requires a substantial amount of various nutrients to reduce the risks of pregnancy complications and to birth a healthy baby. Here are the most important nutrients for pregnancy and foods that are rich in them.
Calcium is one of the important nutrients during pregnancy that helps maintain and improve the bone health of both the mother and the baby.
Why Do You Need Calcium During Pregnancy
Calcium is very important for the development of the baby’s bones and teeth. Insufficient intake of calcium can lead to complications like preeclampsia, and preterm births.
How Much Calcium Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 1200mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Calcium?
Dairy products, green leafy vegetables, calcium-fortified juices, cereals, and tofu.
Choline is essential for making various essential components of the cell membranes, thus aiding tissue expansion.
Why Do You Need Choline During Pregnancy
Choline is very important for fetal brain development. Adequate intake of choline not only protects and improves fetal memory but also reduces risks related to neural tube defects.
How Much Choline Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 425mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Choline?
Eggs, peanuts, broccoli, quinoa, cooked beef, and fish.
Copper is an important micronutrient and trace mineral for the growth, development, and maintenance of your bones, heart, brain, and organ tissues.
Why Do You Need Copper During Pregnancy?
Copper aids in the formation of the fetus’s red blood cells, blood vessels, heart, brain, skeletal, nervous as well as immune systems.
How Much Copper Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 1,000 mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Copper?
Beans, leafy green vegetables, potatoes, salmon, sunflower seeds, and dark chocolate.
The brain, retina, and nervous system contain high amounts of DHA. The retina accumulates DHA until birth while the brain accumulate
Why Do You Need Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) During Pregnancy
DHA reduces the risk of preeclampsia and preterm labor. It supports the development of the fetal brain, eyes, and nervous system.
How Much Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 200 mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)?
Salmon, eggs, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
Fiber helps in smooth digestion and effective absorption of nutrients from various food sources while eliminating toxins from your system.
Why Do You Need Fiber During Pregnancy?
Fiber helps to regulate your blood glucose levels, improve digestion and lower the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 25 – 30mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Fiber?
Lentils, beans, avocado, and whole grains.
Folic acid plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen and other essential nutrients to the fetus.
Why Do You Need Folic Acid During Pregnancy?
Sufficient intake of folic acid helps prevent defects in the formation of the baby’s brain neural tubes, and spinal cord.
How Much Folic Acid Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 400 mcg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Folic Acid?
Nuts, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, and dairy products.
Iodine is another trace element that plays a vital role in creating thyroid hormones and the development of the brain.
Why Do You Need Iodine During Pregnancy?
Iodine deficiency can lead to irreversible brain damage in the developing baby, which you can easily avoid by just consuming more of it when pregnant.
How Much Iodine Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 250 mcg per day. However, it should not exceed 500 mcg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Iodine?
Yogurt, cheese, milk, eggs, and foods cooked with iodized salt.
Iron is essential for the body to make hemoglobin, the protein in your blood that carries oxygen to various parts of the body.
Why Do You Need Iron During Pregnancy?
Insufficient iron can lead to anemia, which can adversely affect both mother and baby.
How Much Iron Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 27 mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Iron?
Lean red meat, chicken, fish, and iron-fortified grains
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that helps in regulating blood glucose, blood pressure, nerve, and muscle function. It helps in making protein, bones, and DNA.
Why Do You Need Magnesium During Pregnancy?
Sufficient intake of magnesium during pregnancy can help prevent preeclampsia, increase the birth weight and reduce growth restrictions of the baby.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 350 to 400 mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Magnesium?
Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, bananas, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Manganese is one of the important nutrients during pregnancy that helps to prevent cell damage, produce energy, and for blood clotting. It is easily available in regular food sources.
Why Do You Need Manganese During Pregnancy?
Manganese helps metabolize amino acids, carbohydrates, and cholesterol to help the baby grow. It also helps protect new cells from damage and creates the baby’s bones and cartilage.
How Much Manganese Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 2mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Manganese?
Brown rice, oatmeal, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.
Your body requires more energy than usual during pregnancy and Vitamin B1 helps convert carbohydrates into extra energy.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B1 During Pregnancy?
Vitamin B1 converts carbohydrates to produce energy for both mother and baby. It also supports the development of the fetal brain, heart function, muscles, and nervous system.
How Much Vitamin B1 Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 1.4 mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin B1?
Fortified cereals, whole grains, and lean pork.
Vitamin B2 helps your body use oxygen and break down fats, proteins, and carbs, making it an essential vitamin for growth and development.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B2 During Pregnancy?
The second and third trimesters in pregnancy can be physically very demanding and draining. Vitamin B2 provides energy to help you meet these demands and also promotes the baby’s growth.
How Much Vitamin B2 Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 1.4 mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin B2?
Dairy products, nuts, green leafy vegetables, fish, meat, cereals, and breads enriched with Vitamin B2.
Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin and a part of the B-complex group of vitamins.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B3 During Pregnancy?
Vitamin B3 helps in breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to release energy. It also produces certain hormones and eliminates chemicals from the liver.
How Much Vitamin B3 Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 18 mg per day but must monitor the intake.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin B3?
Mushrooms, peanuts, poultry, grass-fed beef, and green peas.
Vitamin B5 is responsible for breaking down fats and carbohydrates to produce energy for the body. It also helps in making the red blood cells and hormones related to sex and stress.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B5 During Pregnancy?
Leg cramps are very common during pregnancy and Vitamin B5 helps create the necessary hormones to ease these cramps.
How Much Vitamin B5 Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 6 mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin B5?
Chicken breast, meat organs, seeds, nuts, avocados, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin B6 is crucial for keeping the brain, immune system, and nervous system healthy. Insufficient vitamin B6 can lead to glossitis, dermatitis, confusion, and even depression.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B6 During Pregnancy?
Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in the development of key neurotransmitters for your baby’s brain and nervous system. It also helps control nausea and vomiting.
How Much Vitamin B6 Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 2 mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin B6?
Bananas, avocado, eggs, fish, milk and spinach.
Known as a beauty nutrient, biotin is important for hair and nail growth. It also helps metabolize carbohydrates and amino acids.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B7 During Pregnancy?
Biotin helps in the DNA replication of your developing fetus. It also boosts the growth of healthy hair and nails in your baby.
How Much Vitamin B7 Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 30 mcg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin B7?
Oats, milk, mushroom, Swiss chard, nuts, and seeds.
Vitamin B12 helps in making DNA and ensures your blood and nerve cells are healthy and happy.
Why Do You Need Vitamin B12 During Pregnancy?
Insufficient vitamin B12 during pregnancy can increase the risk of spontaneous abortion, neural tube defect, and intrauterine growth restriction for the baby.
How Much Vitamin B12 Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 1.4 mcg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin B12?
Eggs, dairy products, salmon, beef, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that helps in making collagen, improving your immunity, and protecting you from various infections.
Why Do You Need Vitamin C During Pregnancy?
Vitamin C during pregnancy helps reduce various risks such as preeclampsia, maternal anemia, and intrauterine growth restriction in the baby.
How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 85 mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of?
Citric fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, green chili.
The skin produces Vitamin D after exposure to the UV rays of the sun. It is not easily found in many food sources.
Why Do You Need Vitamin D During Pregnancy?
Vitamin D helps absorb calcium. During pregnancy, you need more calcium to promote the baby’s growth and protect your bones and teeth.
How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 600 IU per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin D?
As you cannot stand under the sun all day to absorb Vitamin D, your best sources are eggs, fortified cereals, and almonds.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that increases your immunity and protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals around.
Why Do You Need Vitamin E During Pregnancy?
Vitamin E helps in the formation and use of red blood cells and muscles that are important for the developing fetus.
How Much Vitamin E Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 15 mg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin E?
Green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fortified food items.
Vitamin K helps in building protein for various functions in the body. This nutrient along with D vitamin ensure the bones receive enough calcium for healthy development.
Why Do You Need Vitamin K During Pregnancy?
This nutrient is very important for blood clotting. You are bound to lose a lot of blood during the delivery and insufficient vitamin K levels can lead to complications.
How Much Vitamin K Do You Need?
Pregnant women require about 90 mcg per day. If you want to take vitamin K supplements, consult your doctor first to know if any of your medications will interfere with it.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin K?
Fresh green leafy vegetables, avocado, banana, eggs, and Swiss chard.
During pregnancy, you need more water than the average person. No, it is not a nutrient but it is very important for the smooth functioning of your body.
Why Do You Need Water During Pregnancy?
Water helps maintain the amniotic fluid levels, produce extra blood, carry more nutrients, build new tissues, improve digestion to flush out toxins, and enhance the absorption of nutrients.
How Much Water Do You Need?
You should drink about 2 – 3 liters of water a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Water?
The best source is plain water. You can also have fresh juices and other liquids without added sugars.
Zinc is an antioxidant that helps the body improve immune function, heal wounds, and also make proteins and DNA.
Why Do You Need Zinc During Pregnancy?
The fetus undergoes drastic growth and development after the first trimester. Zinc helps in the development of the baby’s immune system, building proteins, and healing tissue damage.
How Much Zinc Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 11 mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Zinc?
Dairy products, seeds, legumes, meat, and eggs.
Your body needs just a small dosage of this micronutrient to eliminate toxic substances.
Why Do You Need Molybdenum During Pregnancy?
Limited intake of Molybdenum can help process the DNA and protein required for the baby’s development.
How Much Molybdenum Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 50 mcg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Molybdenum?
Lentils, beans, oats, and barley.
These are healthy fats that help reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and LDL – bad cholesterol while increasing HDL – good cholesterol.
Why Do You Need Omega-3 Fatty Acids During Pregnancy?
Omega-3 fatty acids help in developing the baby’s heart, improve the immune system, brain, and eyes, and reduce the risk of preterm birth. It also helps in regulating mood swings caused by hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy.
How Much Omega-3 Fatty Acids Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 650 mcg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Fish (salmon, trout, cod), eggs, nuts, seeds, Brussels sprouts, and avocado.
Our bodies do not produce this essential nutrient. So, the only way you can get this important nutrient is through various food sources.
Why Do You Need Omega-6 fatty acids During Pregnancy?
Omega 6 fatty acids contribute to the growth of the baby’s skin, hair, and bones. It is important for the functioning of the baby’s brain and reproductive system.
How Much Omega-6 fatty acids Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 13 gms a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Omega-6 fatty acids?
Nuts, seeds, tofu, eggs, fish, and vegetable oils.
Phosphorus is one of the important nutrients during pregnancy for muscle and nerve function, blood clotting, and kidney function.
Why Do You Need Phosphorus During Pregnancy?
About 85% of your body’s phosphorus content is present in your bones and teeth, thus making it an important mineral for the baby’s development.
How Much Do You Need Phosphorus?
Pregnant women need about 700mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Phosphorus?
Dairy products like milk and yogurt, eggs, lentils, nuts, and salmon.
Potassium helps maintain the electrolytes and fluid balance in the body’s cells. Severe morning sickness can lead to low potassium levels.
Why Do You Need Potassium During Pregnancy?
Potassium sends nerve impulses that make your muscles contract in response. Insufficient potassium can cause cramps during pregnancy.
How Much Potassium Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 2,900 mg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Potassium?
Fresh fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans, and nuts.
Protein is very important for the smooth functioning of the body. It helps build tissues, promotes metabolic reactions, and maintains the body’s pH balance.
Why Do You Need Protein During Pregnancy?
Protein plays a vital role in aiding the growth of the baby and the placenta. Insufficient protein can lead to neonatal complications.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Pregnant women require a minimum of 75 gm a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Protein?
Eggs, chicken, tofu, cheeses, nuts, yogurt, and beans.
Selenium is an antioxidant and an essential trace mineral that aids in reproduction, metabolism of thyroid hormone, and DNA synthesis.
Why Do You Need Selenium During Pregnancy?
Selenium is your body’s defense mechanism against infections and diseases. Immunity is low during pregnancy, making selenium very important.
How Much Selenium Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 60 mcg a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Selenium?
Canned tuna and sardines, whole grains, nuts, meat, and poultry.
A common mineral you can find in table salt. Sodium is one of the important nutrients during pregnancy that helps regulate your body’s pH balance, temperature, and fluid levels.
Why Do You Need Sodium During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy causes the fluid levels in the body to increase, thus pushing them out of balance. Sodium helps maintain this delicate balance to ensure the smooth functioning of the body.
How Much Sodium Do You Need?
Pregnant women need about 1,500 gms a day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Sodium?
Foods cooked with table salt like salted nuts, and cheese.
While it is important to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin A during pregnancy, too much of it can lead to birth defects in the baby.
Why Do You Need Vitamin A During Pregnancy?
Vitamin A aids in developing various parts of the baby like the eyes, heart, kidneys, lungs, bones, and even the respiratory, circulatory, and nervous systems.
How Much Vitamin A Do You Need?
Pregnancy increases the need for Vitamin A to 800 mcg per day.
What Are The Top Sources Of Vitamin A?
Bright-colored fruits and vegetables, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, and dairy products.
This completes the list of important nutrients during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a crucial period for both mother and baby. The body requires more of every nutrient to ensure the healthy development of the baby and to protect the mother’s health. This completes the list of important nutrients during pregnancy. Consuming sufficient amounts of these nutrients through various food sources can help meet your daily requirements naturally.
Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.
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