During pregnancy, it is essential that you follow a balanced diet, which comprises of all the nutrients and vitamins. This is important for your health and also for the development of the baby. Nutrients that play a vital role in the development of the baby are folic acid, calcium, and iron. You should be paying extra attention to these as it impacts the growth of your baby.
Read on to know about the top 3 sources of iron, calcium, and folic acid and its importance during pregnancy.
Calcium: Calcium is an essential nutrient for strengthening the bones and teeth. It also helps in the proper functioning of your nervous system, circulatory system, and the muscular system. Proper intake of calcium will keep your teeth and bones strong and also help in developing strong bones and teeth of your growing baby.
The top 3 sources of calcium include:
- Dairy products: Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt are packed with nutrients and vitamins and are a great source of calcium.
- Nuts: Nuts like almonds, cashew nuts, and peanuts will provide you with calcium along with other nutrients like zinc, healthy fats, and fibers.
- Seeds: Seeds also contain essential nutrients like calcium, zinc, and other vitamins along with healthy fats and fibers. You can include seeds like pumpkin seeds, sesame, or squash seeds in your diet.
Iron: Iron is required by our body to produce hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your body tissues and organs. During pregnancy, the body produces more blood to supply oxygen to the baby. So, to produce more hemoglobin, more iron is required. An iron deficiency during pregnancy will make you feel more tired and also increase the chances of premature birth of the baby or low birth weight.
The top 3 sources of iron include:
- Green vegetables: Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are a great source of iron. It is also packed with fibers and nutrients like vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
- Lean red meat: Red meat contains a lot of iron and will help you to fulfill your daily requirement of other nutrients like zinc. However, choose unprocessed red meat as processed red meat can lead to heart diseases.
- Fish: Fish is a great source of iron, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, which will contribute towards the development of your baby.
Folic acid: During pregnancy, folic acid or folate plays an important role as it prevents the baby from developing birth defects of the brain or spine. Food alone is not sufficient to meet your daily requirement of this nutrient, so supplements are prescribed.
The top 3 sources of folic acid include:
- Strawberries: Strawberries contain folate and are also packed with antioxidants which aid in getting rid of the free radicals in the body that can damage the cells.
- Oranges: Oranges are high on vitamin C and folic acid, both of which are required during pregnancy. The vitamin C increases immunity and folic acid helps in the growth and development of the baby.
- Beans: Beans are rich in nutrients folic acid, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which should be a part of your balanced diet during pregnancy.