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Baby-Making Diet: Pregnancy Nutrition

5 essential nutrients you need for a healthy nine months and baby.
Whether you're trying for a baby or a mum-to-be, there's no better time than now to give your so-so diet a kick in the pants. After all, the nutrients you put into your body during pregnancy have a direct effect on your baby's growth and development. Make sure you get enough of these five essential baby-making nutrients.

1. Folate

It is crucial to take this vitamin B before conception to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, a type of birth defect that affects the brain and spinal cord. Folate remains important throughout your pregnancy for making DNA. In fact, your daily needs for folate double during pregnancy.
Where to find it: Spinach, strawberries, fortified cereal, lentils, oranges.

2. Protein

According to nutritionists, you need an extra ten grams of protein daily during your pregnancy to make proteins and cells for your growing baby.
Where to find it: Beef, pork, chicken, cheese, milk, fish, beans and lentils.

3. Calcium

If you don't get enough calcium, your body pulls it from your bones to supply your baby's need, increasing your risk for osteoporosis later on. So get three or more servings of calcium-rich foods and beverages each day.
Where to find it: Milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, ice-cream, broccoli.

4. Iron

You need twice as much iron during pregnancy because it plays a crucial role in helping your body carry oxygen to your baby.
Where to find it: Fortified cereal, pork, beef, chicken, fish, spinach, whole-wheat bread, raisins.

5. Fiber

Fiber helps keep you full and promotes a healthy digestive tract. Because constipation is common during pregnancy, consuming more fiber will help promote normal bowel movement.
Where to find it: Whole grains, fruits, begetables, beans and lentils.

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