Folic acid, also known as the folate, is a vitamin that is crucial in helping to prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain during birth. During pregnancy, women are advised to increase the amount of folic acid to 600 micrograms a day and add leafy vegetables, beans and citrus fruits to their diet.
Calcium is a mineral used to build the baby’s teeth and bones. Pregnant woman aged 19 and above need 1000 milligrams of calcium a day according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Pregnant women should focus on fruits and vegetables especially during the second and third trimester. These are mostly low in calories and filled with vitamins and fiber. In addition to a healthy diet, woman should also take a daily prenatal vitamin for getting the right iron intake.
Legumes are an excellent source of plant-based fiber, protein, iron and folate. One cup of lentils or chickpeas may provide 65-90 % of the recommended dietary allowance.
This list should be a good start towards a healthy and well-nourished pregnancy.