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Diet Chart for Pregnancy

Updated on October 26, 2012

Diet Chart for Pregnancy

This easy to follow diet chart illustrates some of the "whats" and "whys" of a healthy pregnancy diet. Expectant moms should make sure they are getting at least three of the diet chart "whats" every single day. The "where to get it" column is a good quick reference to what foods contain high amounts of the "whats," but there are other foods out there that can also contribute to a healthy diet, and so it is always recommended to read labels and make sure mom knows what she is feeding her developing bundle of joy.

What You Need
Why You Need It
Where to Get It
Folate (B vitamins)
reduce risk of congenial malformations (spine and brain, also called neural tube defects) including spina bifida, anencephaly (underdevelopment of the brain) and encephalocele (protrusion of the brain through the skull)
asparagus, broccoli, spinach, kale, orange juice, dried beans, lentils, almonds and other nuts, liver, egg yolks, beets, brussel sprouts, cabbage, bananas, peaches
Iron
helps produce hemoglobin to oxygenate blood, helps maintain a healthy immune system, reduces risk of premature birth, low birth weight and infant mortality
red meat, turkey, chicken, fish, green leafy veggies such as spinach or kale, fortified cereal or oatmeal, raw firm tofu, lentils, kidney beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, cooked soybeans, raisins
Calcium
Calcium help the baby grow strong teeth and bones, healthy heart, nerves and muscle, and to develop regular heart blood clotting abilities
whole fat, Vitamin D fortified milk, cheese, yogurt, cheddar cheese, boiled turnip greens, cottage cheese, almonds, ricotta cheese, sardines, calcium-fortified orange juice, mozzarella cheese, spinach, collard greens
Beta Carotene
promote growth, motor development, boost immunity, antioxidant
carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, butternut squash, lettuce, collards
Omega 3 fatty acid
nervous system and retina development, healthy birth weight, gestational timing; helps prevent preterm labor, preeclampsia
fatty fish (not more than twice per week), flaxseed oil, supplements (fish oil, algae based docosahexaenoic acid)
Fiber
alleviates constipation; prenatal and early gestational intake helps prevent gestational diabetes
navy beans, bran cereal, black beans, sweet potatoes (with skin), whole wheat English muffins, other fresh fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, brown rice, barley, whole-wheat spaghetti, collard greens
Protein
promotes fetal growth, including organ development, and helps mom increase cell production
Dairy: cottage cheese, low-fat Greek yogurt, cheeses, milk and eggs Legumes: tofu, lentils, variety of beans, panut butter, peanuts, soy milk Meats: lean meat, chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.
No matter where good nutrients come from, it's important to remember that you want your baby (therefore your body!) to have all of the best foods. That means that the majority of the food consumed should come as nature intended-whole fruits and vege

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