Nutrition During Pregnancy

Are you pregnant? Here are 3 nutrients to consider during pregnancy…

1. Iron

Did you know your blood volume can increase by up to 50% during pregnancy (1)? As iron is required for the production of red blood cells, an adequate intake of dietary iron is important to ensure both you and your baby have a sufficient supply. The most easily absorbed sources of iron include red meat, fish and poultry. However, you can also find iron in plant-based foods such as pulses, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, wholegrains, dried fruit such as figs, fortified bread and breakfast cereals. It’s possible to enhance iron absorption from plant-based foods by pairing them with vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. Enjoy oranges, kiwi fruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, kale and even red bell peppers!

2. Folic acid

The World Health Organisation advises supplementation with 400 µg folic acid per day before and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (2). Some individuals may require a higher dose which would be advised on a case-by-case basis. It’s also recommended to enjoy folate-rich foods, such as green vegetables including spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli (3).

3. Omega 3 fats

Our body can’t manufacture omega-3 fats, therefore they are essential within the diet. They are building blocks for the baby’s brain, with oily fish being a top source. During pregnancy, consumption of up to 2 portions of oily fish a week is considered safe. Consider salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies (4).




Share it on your social network:

Or you can just copy and share this url

Lily Soutter

Lily Soutter

Lily Soutter is a leading London nutritionist BSc MSc ANutr. Her extensive knowledge of the science of food and health enables her to regularly write for national press and feature on prime-time TV shows. Lily’s passion is to simplify the science around nutrition, to provide health hacks and smarter eating strategies that empower people to enjoy a healthy and successful lifestyle.