Essential nutrients (and foods) during pregnancy

Essential nutrients (and foods) during pregnancy

Essential nutrients (and foods) during pregnancy

During pregnancy, much of what you consume is passed on to the child you are carrying. It is therefore important to take good eating habits and a healthy lifestyle. Overview of nutrients needed from the beginning, or even before pregnancy.

Vitamin B9

Also called "folic acid" or "folate", vitamin B9 is essential in the proper development of the nervous system of the embryo. During pregnancy, the level of vitamin B9 decreases in pregnant women. This drop is hard on the increase in folate requirements in the fetus. The modern diet of our industrialized countries is unfortunately too poor in vitamin B9. It is therefore advisable to take a supplement of 0.4mg per day. This supplement is ideally expected 1 month before getting pregnant and during the first 3 months of pregnancy. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

In which foods to find it?

In addition to dietary vitamin B9 supplements, this nutrient is also found in orange fruits and dark green vegetables (fresh or canned), chickpeas and cheese. It is also found in lower content in meat and fish.


Omega-3s are good lipids that play an important role in the development of eye and brain cells. The ideal is to consume as much Omega-3 as Omega-6. However, the modern diet is often rich in Omega-6, so it is important to restore a good balance with products containing Omega-3.

In what foods to find them?

In oily fish such as herring, mackerel, fresh sardines, tuna, trout ...
In seafood, especially oyster.
Nuts, walnuts, meats, hazelnuts, pistachios ...
The oils


Iodine is essential for the proper development of the baby's brain. Needs increase during pregnancy. Iodine deficiency can cause thyroid damage in the mother and child, however, these deficiencies can be easily corrected by a diet rich in iodine.

In which foods to find it?

It is found naturally in fish and some seafood. After cooking well, in crustaceans, mussels, cod, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines ... Iodine is also present in milk and milk products, in eggs and of course in iodized salt.


It is an essential element throughout pregnancy and especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Iron allows red blood cells to carry oxygen from the mother's lungs throughout the body and also into the fetus through the placenta. A varied diet rich in iron before pregnancy provides a sufficient basic reserve. A supplement during pregnancy may be necessary if the stocks are not sufficient, but it is not systematic. Your doctor can also help you identify your potential iron needs.

In which foods to find it?

In offal, black pudding, heart, but avoiding the liver
In red meats, beef, veal, lamb...
In poultry, chicken, turkeys, ducks
In fish and seafood, tuna, sardines, herring, clams, cooked oysters, mussels ...
Red and white beans, chickpeas, split peas, lentils
condiments and spices, thyme, caraway, curry but also ginger

Calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is an absolutely essential element for the construction of the baby skeleton. From the 28th week, it enters a period of strong growth. A contribution of calcium is therefore essential for the good solidity of his bones and his future teeth. Sufficient consumption also helps to enrich breast milk with this substance.

Where to find calcium?

A varied and balanced diet during pregnancy is usually sufficient to meet calcium needs. It is mainly found in dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese ...) but also in:
Green leafy vegetables, spinach, watercress ...
Mineral waters rich in calcium
Oleaginous fruits ...

Symptoms indicating anemia in the body

Vitamin D

Vitamin D will help promote the absorption of calcium present in the food consumed by increasing the capacity of the maternal intestine for this absorption.

Foods rich in vitamin D are:

Vitamin D fortified oil
Fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna ...

The water

It contributes to the formation of amniotic fluid and to the development of the placenta. During the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, it allows the nutrients to reach the cells more easily. Regular consumption can reduce small inconvenience in early pregnancy: nausea, constipation or urinary tract infections.
It is advisable to drink 1.5L of water a day to fill the necessary contributions. Also think about fresh homemade fruit juice, tea, soups ...

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