Fit for Two: Best Pregnancy Foods

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by Rachel Brougham

Studies show that your diet can affect your baby's health. In fact, the link between what you eat and the health of your baby is stronger than once thought. While pregnant, you should consider not only how much you eat, but also what you eat. Pregnant women generally need about 300 extra calories a day. Those calories should come from healthy and vitamin-rich foods that will help contribute to your baby's growth and development.

One of the main nutrients that pregnant women need is folic acid, which has been proven to help prevent neural tube defects. Folic acid can be found in leafy greens, beans, nuts, and fortified breakfast cereals and breads.

Expectant mothers should also be sure to get at least three servings of calcium each day. Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. It also helps with nerve function. Rich sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, salmon and spinach.

Protein, which is found in meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu and beans, helps with cell growth and blood production. And don't overlook carbohydrates, which will help keep your energy levels up while pregnant.