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Pregnancy Diet: Nutrients You Need

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Best food sources: Fortified cereals, bananas, potatoes, chicken, salmon, spinach, hazelnuts, and vegetable juice.

 

Vitamin B12

Your body needs vitamin B12 to keep your blood cells and nerve cells working properly. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent megaloblastic anemia, which can make you feel weak and tired.

Pregnancy RDA: 2.6 micrograms. There is no recommended upper limit for vitamin B12.

Best food sources: Good sources of vitamin B12 include clams, mussels, crab, salmon, skim milk, beef, chicken, and turkey. It is also added to some breakfast cereals.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps increase the amount of iron your body absorbs from plant foods, aids in wound healing, and boosts your immunity. It also acts as an antioxidant by helping to protect your cells from damage. 

Pregnancy RDA: 85 milligrams. Don't take more than 2,000 milligrams a day.

Best food sources: Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. Some good choices include citrus fruits and citrus juice, sweet red peppers, green peppers, kiwifruit, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and broccoli.

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium from food and builds strong bones. It also helps your muscles, nerves, and immune system work properly.

Pregnancy RDA: 600 International Units (IU) or 15 micrograms. Don't take more than 4,000 IU a day.

Best food sources: Your body makes vitamin D from exposure to the sun. But not everyone gets enough vitamin D this way, so it is important to also get vitamin D from food. Some good sources include salmon; tuna; beef liver; cheese; eggs; mushrooms; and fortified foods, such as cereals, milk, and some fruit juices and soy beverages.

 

Zinc

Your body needs the mineral zinc to help your baby develop properly. Zinc also helps wounds heal and boosts the immune system.

Pregnancy RDA: 11 milligrams. Don't take more than 40 milligrams a day.

Best food sources: Oysters are the best source of zinc, but you shouldn't eat raw oysters while you're pregnant. Crab, beef, pork, turkey, chickpeas, beans, nuts, and milk are other good sources.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD, FACOG on June 15, 2014

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