5 Must-Have Nutrients
The top eat-right strategy while you're pregnant: Consume a variety of foods to make sure your baby gets the widest array of nutrients possible. Here's a refresher course on the basics you need-and lots of yummy ways to get them.
Your body requires 10 extra grams of protein a day to support the growing fetus-but extra protein is not included in your prenatal vitamin, so you'll need to get it from food.
Where to find Protein: Beef, soy, dairy products, chicken, fish, pork, eggs, dried beans and lentils, and peanut butter.
It may help to prevent neural-tube defects that occur early in pregnancy. It's recommended that women get 400 micrograms (mcg) a day before conceiving-but it's still a vital mineral through your first trimester, when daily needs jump to 600 mcg.
Where to find Folate: Orange juice, spinach, fortified breakfast cereal (check labels), lentils, fortified pasta and bread, rice, oatmeal, broccoli,and strawberries.
Your baby gets the calcium necessary for healthy bones and teeth from your bones, so be sure to fit it in (your prenatal vitamin doesn't contain the amount you need every day). Keeping your bones strong now also means less risk for osteoporosis later.
Where to find Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, calcium-fortified orange juice, fortified soy milk, broccoli, almonds, and okra.
It helps ward off the constipation and hemorrhoids that often plague women during pregnancy. Fiber-rich foods will also keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Where to find Fiber: Whole-grain cereals, breads, pastas (look for types that pack at least 3 grams per serving), nuts, seeds, fruits (such as apples and pears with skin, berries, oranges), vegetables (such as potatoes with skin, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes).
Fat is necessary for the proper development of your baby's brain and central nervous system. Fat is also a source of energy, and it helps transport vitamins through your body.
Where to find Fat: Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, avocados, salmon, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil.