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The 7 Most Important Nutrients to Eat During Pregnancy

Nutrients during Pregnancy.

Thursday, 9th September 2021

Pregnancy is a wonderful stage in a woman's life. Being able to cultivate a young person in the womb is almost a spiritual experience. At this stage, proper nutrition can have a significant impact on the baby's health throughout life.


Folic acid or folate

This is a B vitamin, which is very important for the healthy growth and development of the fetus (baby that develops in the womb). This essential nutrient helps prevent neural tube defects (defects in the brain and spine). They can even prevent heart defects and cleft lip and palate. For all women who wish to become pregnant, it is important to start taking this vitamin about 3 months before pregnancy. It is recommended to take 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. In some cases, higher doses may be required and can be taken on the advice of your obstetrician. Folic acid is also found in green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.


Also Read: Daily intake of walnuts can lower bad cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.



Our body uses this essential mineral to produce hemoglobin, a protein that helps transport oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. During pregnancy, the demand for this mineral increases. The baby gets iron from the mother and makes hemoglobin in her red blood cells. Due to the increase in blood volume, the blood in pregnant women will be diluted, so hemoglobin may decrease during pregnancy. In addition, most Indian women are iron deficient. If the hemoglobin concentration is less than 11.5 g/dl, the woman is said to have anemia. This can lead to an increased risk of various health problems during pregnancy, such as infection, fatigue, premature birth, high blood pressure, smaller babies, and more blood loss during delivery. Therefore, iron supplementation is very important. Approximately 27 mg of iron is needed every day during pregnancy. Foods rich in iron include meat (especially red meat and liver), grains, bread, green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and dried fruits. Vitamin C helps absorb iron. Therefore, consuming citrus fruits before taking iron tablets can help better absorption. Certain foods reduce iron absorption, such as coffee, tea, fiber, calcium, and egg yolk. Therefore, these should not be taken with iron tablets or iron-rich foods.


Also Read: National Nutrition Week 2021. The importance of vitamins and proteins.



This essential mineral is very important for helping the function of muscles and nerves and maintaining the metabolism of pregnant women. It is also important for the development of fetal bones and the bone health of pregnant women. At least 1,000 mg of calcium is needed every day. We can get calcium in all dairy products, such as milk, curd/yogurt, cheese, etc. In addition, dark green leafy vegetables and ragi such as millet are also good sources.


Also Read: Five nutritious foods for toothless seniors.


Vitamin D

Without this vitamin, all the calcium you eat will not be absorbed by the intestine. Vitamin D is also important for the normal function of nerves, muscles, and immune and reproductive systems. You need about 600 IU a day during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in India, so it is important to monitor vitamin D levels and supplement them appropriately. It is produced by our skin being exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. However, since most of us don't spend too much time in the sun, we need to supplement it in the form of capsules, syrups, sachets, or injections. During pregnancy, combined calcium and vitamin D tablets are given to meet the demand. Foods such as oily fish contain vitamin D. In addition, fortified milk and cereals are also provided.


Also Read: Nutrition for early childhood growth and development


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

It is an omega3 fatty acid that can improve the development of the brain and eyes of the fetus. Seafood is an excellent source of DHA. However, the mercury content of the fish must be very low. DHA supplements can also be used during pregnancy. Some foods like orange juice and milk can contain DHA.


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This mineral is very important for the thyroid function that produces thyroxine, which is the "vitality hormone". The development of the baby's nervous system also depends on this mineral. Approximately 220 micrograms are needed per day. Table salt is usually fortified with iodine. Foods such as fish, dairy products, fortified bread, or grains are sources of iodine.


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Protein is an essential macronutrient for growth and repair. This should be supplied continuously throughout pregnancy. It is recommended to consume about 71 grams per day. Lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products are good sources of protein. For vegetarians, beans, peas, beans, nuts, seeds, and soybeans are good sources of protein. There are also many protein supplements in the form of seasoning powder for pregnant women, which can be mixed with milk and biscuits.

Not only is it important to have a balanced diet, but during these nine months, it is also important to eat regular, small, and frequent meals to help better digestion and avoid excessive weight gain.


The News Talkie Bureau


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