Why The amino acids found in protein are the building blocks of your baby's body.
Where Get the daily recommended amount of 60 grams from any three of the following servings: 1 egg, 2 to 3 ounces cooked meat, 8 ounces skim milk, 1 cup yogurt, 1 ounce hard cheese, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, or 1/2 cup cooked dried beans.
Why Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains and certain vegetables, provide long-lasting energy and fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Avoid simple carbohydrates -- found in white sugar, white flour, and the foods that contain them (cakes, white bread) -- because they are nutritionally empty and fattening.
Where You'll need a whopping nine servings a day, which might come from: 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 tortilla, 1/2 bagel, 1 ounce cold cereal, 1/2 cup cooked pasta or rice, 1 medium potato, 1/2 cup corn.
Why Fats are an important source of energy, and they help you metabolize vitamins A, D, E, and K. Still, fats supply a lot of calories, so limit them to no more than one-third of your daily count.
Where Have four of the following servings daily: 2 ounces cheese, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 3/4 cup tuna salad, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 3 or 4 ounces lean meat, 1 egg or egg yolk, 1/2 small avocado, 1 tablespoon butter. When cooking, stick to the more healthful unsaturated fats, including olive, canola, and peanut oils. Avoid less desirable saturated fats, found in meat and dairy products, as well as palm and coconut oils.
Why Calcium is critical in building your baby's bones and teeth. If you don't consume enough during pregnancy, the fetus will rob your calcium stores, putting you at risk for bone loss.
Where To get the necessary 1,200 milligrams, consume at least four of the following servings: 8 ounces skim milk, 1 cup raw dark green leafy vegetables (salad greens, broccoli, spinach, kale), 3 to 4 ounces canned salmon or sardines, 3/4 cup cottage cheese, 1 cup yogurt, or 1 ounce hard cheese.
Why Iron is required to make hemoglobin, the red-blood-cell component that carries oxygen through the bloodstream. During pregnancy, more hemoglobin is required to supply your baby with oxygen. And the fetus also uses iron to build its own blood supply.
Where Pregnant women need twice as much iron -- about 30 milligrams a day -- so your doctor may prescribe a prenatal vitamin that contains iron. You should also try to eat some of the following foods daily: dried fruits, lean red meat, dried beans and pasta, whole-grain breads, and dark green leafy vegetables.
More essential pregnancy nutrients ahead.