Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients is important all the time but especially so when you're pregnant. In order to keep both mama and baby healthy throughout the nine-month pregnancy, there are a number of essential vitamins and nutrients that moms should be consuming. If you're looking to get everything you need naturally, read through for the vitamins and nutrients you need while pregnant.
|Vitamin||What it does||How much you need daily||Where you can find it naturally|
|Vitamin A||Helps your baby's teeth and bones grow.||770 micrograms (mcg)||Milk, eggs, carrots, spinach, yellow fruits and vegetables, broccoli, potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe.|
|Vitamin C||Protects tissues from damage, helps the body absorb iron, and builds a healthy immune system.||80-85 mg||Citrus fruits, bell peppers, green beans, strawberries, papaya, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes.|
|Vitamin D||Helps build your baby's bones and teeth.||15 mcg||Sunshine, fatty fish (like salmon), orange juice, milk.|
|Vitamin E||Helps the body form and use red blood cells and muscles.||15 milligrams (mg)||Vegetable oil, nuts, spinach.|
|Folic Acid/Folate||Helps support the placenta and prevents neural tube defects and serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.||600-800 mcg||Oranges, orange juice, strawberries, green leafy vegetables, spinach, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, pasta, beans, nuts.|
||Builds strong bones and teeth for both you and baby, and helps your circulatory, muscular, and nervous systems function normally.||1,000-1,300 mg||Yogurt, milk, cheddar cheese, bread, cereal, dark green leafy vegetables.|
|Iron||Helps produce hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues) and prevents anemia, low birth weight, and premature delivery.||27 mg||Lean red meat, poultry, fish, beans, spinach, dried fruits, oatmeal.|
|Protein||Helps produce amino acids and repair cells, and is vital to your baby's overall growth (especially in the second and third trimesters).||71 grams (g)||Lean meat, poultry, tofu, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils, nuts, peanut butter.|
For information on serving sizes of the different foods that can help you meet your nutritional needs, the Mayo Clinic has great examples of how to get these essential nutrients through your diet during your pregnancy. As always, if you have any questions about your pregnancy, consult with your doctor.