When you are “eating for two”, there are five important nutrients that every mommy to be should have a daily intake of to be fit and healthy- not only for her but for her unborn child as well. So if you are totally rocking the baby bump, be sure that you get enough Folate, Calcium, Iron, Fiber, and Zinc.
At the very beginning of your pregnancy, before conception is even better, one of the most important nutrients that your growing body needs is Folate- 400 micrograms a day. Ever wonder why your doctor prescribes you to take those folic acid pills (which is actually the synthetic version of Folate)? This is actually more for your baby than it is for you as it greatly reduces the possibility of neural tube defects. So aside from taking your daily pill, be sure to have a lot of beans, whole grain foods, chicken, fish, pork, citrus fruits, and green leafy veggies.
Milk does the body good- for both you and your baby. As you probably already know, calcium is a must to have strong teeth and bones. That is why it is very important from the second trimester on since that is when your baby really does start to develop those parts. So make sure that you have enough to support the two of you during this crucial time- 1,200 milligrams a day. So be sure to eat lots of green vegetables, soy products, and of course, dairy products- low fat for a fit mom.
Iron is up next. Remember that when you are pregnant, your blood volume increases up to 50% sometime in the third trimester. That is why you will need about 30 milligrams everyday by then. Red meat and liver are great sources, but not when you are pregnant because the high amounts of Vitamin A found in these foods can be harmful for the baby. So opt for broccoli and spinach instead. Since getting the recommended amount can be hard from food alone, doctors usually prescribe a supplement of sort to help you get your daily dose.
Fiber, about 25 milligrams a day, is the ideal dose. Not only is this great for your health as it helps eliminate any unwanted toxins and reduces constipation, it is also a great way to keep fit since it helps keep you fuller longer. So you probably won’t eat as much as often. You can get a lot of fiber from vegetables, fruits, and whole grain foods.
To be extra sure that your child is healthy, you will need to up your Zinc intake by at least 50%. Studies have shown that one of the leading causes of birth defects is a deficiency in Zinc. You can get this from meat, seafood (no raw seafood for you though), legumes, and whole grains.