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Your Healthy Pregnancy Diet: Top Nutrients

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Folic Acid

Baby Benefits: Helps protect against spinal cord birth defects during the first 30 days of pregnancy, helps prevent early miscarriage and premature delivery.

Your Benefits: Prevents anemia.

Pregnancy RDA: 600 micrograms (mcg)

Best Food Sources

  • Lentils, 1 cup cooked -- 358 mcg
  • Spinach, 1 cup cooked -- 263 mcg
  • White enriched rice, 1 cup cooked -- 195 mcg
  • Enriched spaghetti, 1 cup cooked -- 172 mcg
  • Broccoli, 1 cup cooked -- 168 mcg
  • Orange juice, 1 cup -- 110 mcg
  • Enriched bread, 2 slices -- 34 mcg

Iodine

Baby Benefits: Needed for brain and nervous system development; important for preventing stunted growth, severe mental disability, and deafness; important in preventing miscarriage and stillbirth.

Your Benefits: Important for a healthy thyroid.

Pregnancy RDA: 250 mcg, do not exceed 1,100 mcg

Best Food Sources

  • Cod, 3 oz -- 99 mcg
  • Yogurt, plain, ¾ cup -- 58 mcg
  • Cottage cheese, 1 cup -- 65 mcg
  • Baked potato with peel 60 mcg
  • Cow's milk, 1 cup -- 56 mcg
  • Fish Sticks, 2 -- 35 mcg
  • Baked turkey breast, 3 oz -- 34 mcg
  • Navy beans, ½ cup cooked -- 32 mcg

 

Iron

Baby Benefits: Helps prevent premature delivery.

Your Benefits: Wards off anemia in pregnant women.

Pregnancy RDA: 27 mg; don't exceed 45 mg

Best Food Sources

  • Whole Grain Total Cereal, 3/4 cup -- 22 mg
  • Cheerios, 1 cup -- 10 mg
  • Enriched rice, 1 cup cooked -- 8 mg
  • Canned white beans, 1 cup -- 8 mg
  • Beef, 3 oz cooked -- 3 mg
  • Lamb, 3 oz cooked -- 2 mg
  • White meat chicken, 3 oz. cooked -- 1 mg

Potassium

Your Benefits: Helps keep blood pressure in check and maintain proper fluid balance; necessary for normal heart beat and energy.

Pregnancy RDA: 4,700 mg

Best Food Sources: 

  • White beans, 1 cup canned -- 1,189 mg
  • Winter squash, 1 cup -- 896 mg
  • Spinach, 1 cup cooked -- 839 mg
  • Lentils, 1 cup cooked -- 731 mg
  • Sweet potato, 1 medium cooked -- 694 mg
  • Yogurt, fat-free, 1 cup -- 579 mg
  • Orange juice, 1 cup -- 496 mg
  • Broccoli, 1 cup cooked -- 457 mg
  • Cantaloupe, 1 cup -- 431 mg
  • Raisins, 1 cup -- 250 mg

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