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pregnant woman cutting broccoli in kitchen“Eating for two” when you’re pregnant isn’t what it used to be. Now it means planning sensible, balanced meals with all the nutrients that will keep both of you healthy. A diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats should include these essential nutrients:

Folate and folic acid
This B vitamin helps prevent serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid has also been shown to decrease the risk of preterm delivery. You’ll get folic acid naturally from leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, dried beans and peas, and many cereals are fortified with B vitamins.

Calcium
It builds strong bones and teeth for your baby and helps your circulatory, muscular and nervous systems. Dairy products like milk and cheese are the best natural sources of calcium, and many fruit juices and breakfast cereals are fortified with calcium.

Magnesium
This mineral helps with normal nerve and muscle function, and assists the immune system. Foods high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, peas, dark chocolate, avocados, whole grains, bananas, and seeds.

Vitamin D
This helps to build your baby's bones and teeth, and can be found naturally in eggs and fatty fish, such as salmon. You'll also find Vitamin D in fortified milk and orange juice.

Iron
It helps keep your body oxygenated and your doctor can advise how much to supplement in order to prevent anemia. Some good natural sources of iron include spinach, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin seeds, lentils, red meat and liver.

What foods should you avoid? Don't eat raw or undercooked meat, sushi, deli meats, raw eggs or soft cheeses. This will protect you and your baby from harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria. You should also avoid caffeine and no alcohol.

“Eating for two” with a diet rich in healthy foods with good nutrients can help you have a successful pregnancy and give your baby a great start to life.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax