Essential nutrients required during pregnancy: Healthy diet plan for pregnant women

Expecting mothers generally tend to neglect proper diet planning during their pregnancy which leads to numerous negative effects not only on the mother’s health but also on the growing baby. Improper diet planning can often result in either poor eating habits or excessive weight gain. This further could increase the risk of health issues to the baby and even cause complications during birth. Such risks can be reduced evidently by simply switching over to a healthy and a more nutritious diet. This will ensure proper health of the mother as well as the developing baby.

Here’s a list of the most important and critical nutrients which essential during pregnancy:


  1. One of the most vital nutrients required during pregnancy is protein since it facilitates building up of new tissue for bones and organs and hence is important for the growing baby.
  2. In order to protect our muscle stores as much as possible eating adequate amount of protein is super important.
  3. Some of the major sources of protein include eggs, fish, meat and beans.


  1. The most important when it comes to nutrition during pregnancy is iron. It is an essential nutrient which basically performs the task of delivering oxygen to all the parts of the body and also caters to the oxygen demands of the developing baby.
  2. Red meat, poultry and certain fish are an excellent source of iron.


  1. During pregnancy it is necessary to increase the intake of calcium to meet the needs of the growing fetus. Calcium facilitates the formation of strong bones and teeth.
  2. The most prominent dietary sources of calcium include dairy products include dairy, yogurt.


  1. Another nutrient that is vital during pregnancy is vitamin A which plays an important role in the formation of cells and tissues in the body. An important source of this vitamin are sweet potatoes that are rich in a compound called as beta-carotene which basically gets converted into vitamin A inside our body.
  2. First trimester is often considered as one of the crucial phase when it comes to the development of the fetus. During this phase increased intake of food containing B vitamins proves very much beneficial.
  3. During pregnancy, the body also demands other vitamins such as Vitamin C, vitamin K which can met by food such as broccoli and dark leafy greens.
  4. For healthy skin and proper functioning of the immune system vitamin C intake is generally favorable. Berries are an important source of this nutrient which also contains water, fiber and antioxidants.


  1. During the first trimester is essential to have increased intake of folate nutrient. Insufficiency of folate can result in various health issues such as neural tube defects, low birth weight and also an increased risk towards infection and other diseases in the later stages.
  2. Legumes such as chick peas and black beans contain high amount of folate as well as other nutrients. 

Fish liver oil:

  1. The fish liver oil is basically obtained from the oily liver of the fish which contains omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA which are highly important for the development of eyes and brain of the fetus.
  2. It is also rich in vitamin D, which is not consumed by most people so proper intake of fish liver oil can benefit those who do not prefer having seafood regularly.
  3. Also, low intake of vitamin D can also result in an increased risk of various health related problems such as pre-eclampsia which is accompanied by high blood pressure and swelling of hands and feet. 

Whole grains:

  1. During pregnancy most of the women tend to have an increased requirement of calories since they have to cater to the needs of not only their body but also to that of the baby. This generally observed in the second and the third trimester.
  2. Therefore, consuming whole grains during this period could really be beneficial in increasing calorie intake. Further more they also contain other essential nutrients such as magnesium, fiber and vitamins which are also required during pregnancy.


  1. Magnesium plays a key role in muscle relaxation which can be very important for an expecting mother since a very common symptom of pregnancy is to have leg cramps.
  2. So, having plenty of magnesium coming in through your diet can really help to potentially reduce leg cramps and make your muscles stronger.
  3. Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods such as nuts, green leafy vegetables, beans, pulses,  potatoes, dairy and even avocados.


  1. During pregnancy, it is observed that the blood volume increases by an amount of 1.5 liters and therefore it becomes very much mandatory to stay hydrated throughout that particular phase to prevent constipation and urinary infections. Dehydration could result in anxiety, headaches and tiredness therefore proper intake of water is of utmost importance.
  2. According to the guidelines it is mandatory to drink at least 2 liters of water per day though it varies by individual.

Calorie intake:

  1. During the first trimester the calorie requirements remain the same so there is no point in eating extra food since it will only result in weight gain.
  2. But during the second and the third trimester, the calorie requirements eventually increases as the fetus starts developing further and further.

Some Final Words

It is important to be aware of that whatever you eat during your pregnancy as it has an affect not only on you but also on your baby so it is important that you make sure to plan out a proper diet which will cater to all the requirements of both and at the same time do not compromise with either. When it comes to health, proper planning along with self awareness can definitely create wonders.


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