The main source of nourishment in a baby depends on her mother diet. The pregnancy diet should include a variety of healthy foods to provide the necessary nutrients a baby needs for proper growth and development.
Woman nutrients need to increase slightly during pregnancy than a woman who is not expecting. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), more amount of calcium, folic acid, iron, and protein are needed during pregnancy.
The importance of these four nutrients are:
Calcium is used to build a baby's bones and teeth. The daily calcium requirement in a pregnant woman is around 1100mg a day. Milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified juices and foods, sardines or salmon with bones, some leafy greens are all calcium-rich food.
A pregnant woman needs some extra amount of protein for the development of important organs in the baby such as the brain and heart. Food such as meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts, tofu are all good sources of protein.
Pregnant women need an extra 10-20mg of iron a day, which is twice the amount needed by women who are not expecting. This extra amounts of the mineral are needed to make more blood to supply the baby with oxygen. To increase the absorption of iron in the body include food source such as meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereal.
Folate or Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps to prevent defects like neural tube defects, abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid supplementation has been shown to decrease the risk of premature birth. Around 400 to 800 micrograms a day of folate or folic acid is needed before conception and throughout pregnancy. Leafy green vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals, bread and pasta, beans, citrus fruit are all good sources of folic acid.
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