Pregnancy Nutrients that are Essential for You and Baby

Pregnancy Nutrients

When you are pregnant, you will hear the term pregnancy super foods or Pregnancy Nutrients throughout various online articles or posts.

The term ‘super foods’ has become an over-hyped and often misused term to promote certain food items. But there are some required prenatal nutrients and foods you and baby must get.

The advertising and marketing world has capitalised on this recent trend of consuming ‘super foods.’ When it comes to being pregnant there are indeed some nutrients you need for pregnancy as outlined below.

Just don’t be sold on the expensive options being promoted by some companies. If you can get these nutrients from eating healthy, then that is the best option.

Folate during Pregnancy

Folate has been well-publicised as a supplement pregnant women should take.

You can obtain your folate requirements from a supplement or from the following food sources:

  1. Fruit such as strawberries and oranges

2. Green vegetables

3. Wholegrain cereals

I have an in-depth article about folic acid in pregnancy you can read here >

Pregnancy Nutrients

Vitamin C during Pregnancy

You require vitamin C when pregnant due to larger blood volume in the mother and the growth of the unborn baby. Did you also know that vitamin C is important for the formation of collagen which is vital in blood vessels?

How much Vitamin C do I need?

Pregnant women need around 60mg vitamin C a day.

Sources of Vitamin C include:

  1. Capsicum

2. Broccoli

3. Tomatoes

4. Citrus fruits

5. Strawberries

6. Blueberries

Fruit and pregnancy nutrients for Pregnant Women

Vitamin D

When pregnant, vitamin D will help to keep your bones healthy. This vitamin will also benefit your baby as it will provide your baby with enough vitamin D for the first few months of its life.

Not enough vitamin D can cause children’s bones to soften and can lead to rickets.

Iodine in Pregnancy

Your growing baby is at greatest risk from a diet deficient in iodine.

Iodine is essential to the production of thyroid hormone, which regulates;

  1. body temperature

2. metabolic rate

3. reproduction

4. growth

5. blood cell production

6. nerve and muscle function


Calcium is one of the most important vitamins as it plays a major role making your baby’s bones and teeth.

How much calcium do I need when pregnant?

Recommended dietary intake of calcium (per day) for pregnant women over 1000 mg.

Sources of calcium include:

  1. Whole milk

2. Yogurt

Best Iron Food Sources when Pregnant

  1. Beef

2. Lamb

3. Chicken

4. Fish (avoid fish high in mercury)


Zinc when Pregnant

Zinc helps to maintain structural integrity of proteins and help regulate gene expression. It’s for this reason that getting enough zinc is particularly important for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy.

Sources of zinc include:

  1. lean meat

2. wholegrain cereals

3. milk

4. legumes

5. nuts


Fish is a great source of Omega-3. The concern here is to avoid certain types of fish due to high levels of mercury (e.g. shark, swordfish)

Along with eating well, make sure you also include the right pregnancy workouts into your overall health regime.

Free Pregnancy Workouts online and at home

Kerryn Boyle
Kerryn Boyle
Kerryn is a Prenatal Exercise Instructor. Kerryn’s areas of expertise includes providing women with safe at-home pregnancy workouts and postpartum workouts. From pregnancy yoga classes to week by week, it's all right here.

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