Basic Nutrients for a Healthy Pregnancy

Are you familiar with the basic nutrients for a healthy pregnancy? Learn more about them and how to add these nutrients to your diet.
Basic Nutrients for a Healthy Pregnancy
Silvia Zaragoza

Written and verified by the nutritionist Silvia Zaragoza.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Pregnancy is a stage of life that causes a lot of changes in a woman’s body. These changes help with the future baby’s development. Therefore, it’s necessary to consume the right basic nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.

First, physiological and anatomical changes are responsible for the increase in nutritional needs. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to eat twice as much. Instead, your focus needs to be on getting all these basic nutrients. That way, you can avoid fetal malformations, low birth weight and premature delivery.

Basic nutrients for a healthy pregnancy

One of the keys to having a good pregnancy is eating as healthy as possible. The main essential nutrients are iodine and folic acid. Therefore, we recommend taking a supplement of 150 micrograms and 400 micrograms daily, respectively.


You should get this nutrient from a supplement as well as through your diet. You can get it from fish, seaweed, iodized salt, and dairy. It helps reduce the risk of mental disabilities and slow growth in your future child. In addition, it’s part of your thyroid hormones, which are responsible for regulating metabolism.

Folic acid (vitamin B9) and folates

Your body needs more of this nutrient because it helps with the growth of maternal tissue. Also, it helps prevent neural tube defects, which reduces the risk of spina bifida and poor brain development.

In addition, it makes it possible to synthesize new proteins, especially those in the hair and nails. You can get it from green leafy vegetables like chard, celery, spinach, etc.

Basic Nutrients for a Healthy Pregnancy


Anemia, which is a lack of iron, can cause premature birth, low birth weight and an increase in mortality. This mineral helps the placenta and baby form correctly, and it also helps with oxygen transportation through the blood. You can usually get it from meat, fish, and mollusks. In addition, it’s in legumes, nuts and whole grains, like rice, rolled oats.

If you want to increase your absorption of this mineral, you should eat it with foods that have vitamin C, like citrus fruits and peppers. When it comes to legumes and oats, you should soak them for at least 24 hours before cooking. They can even germinate.

In addition, you should separate your tea, coffee and dairy consumption. These foods hinder your iron absorption.

Other basic nutrients for a healthy pregnancy

During pregnancy, you may experience a lot of annoying digestive symptoms. Your diet can help control those symptoms, as you’ll see below.


Fiber helps reduce constipation, which often appears in the third trimester. Also, it helps you feel more full. So, how can you add more of it to your diet? Eat fruits and vegetables, as well as 100% whole grain rice, pasta and bread. In addition, you should consume legumes 3 times a week and a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of seeds daily.

Basic Nutrients for a Healthy Pregnancy


Also, you should be drinking lots of water and infusions. These will help eliminate toxins from your body and will aid in digestive transit.

Virgin olive oil

Use oil to cook and season dishes because it helps facilitate bowel movements. We recommend consuming at least 2-3 tablespoons daily.

Nausea, vomiting and reflux

To help with these conditions, you need to eat foods that are easily digestible and that don’t stimulate too much gastric juice secretion. First, you should avoid foods that give off strong odors and foods that are spicy. In addition, you should reduce your intake of acidic foods, such as tomatoes and oranges. You should even avoid chocolate, carbonated drinks, fried foods and foods high in fat.

Also, we recommend staying seated until after you finish eating, and to eat your food little by little.

In summary, the food you eat during pregnancy plays an important role in the proper development of your future baby. Because of that, you need to pay special attention to your intake of certain nutrients. This will help reduce the typical symptoms of pregnancy, as well as help ensure your baby is born healthy and without complications.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ángel Gil. Tratado de nutrición. Tomo III: Nutrición Humana en el estado de salud. 2010 (España, 2ª edición) Editorial Médica Panamericana.
  • Julio Basulto. Mamá come sano: alimentación saludable en el embarazo y la lactancia. 2015 (España, 1ª edición.) Editorial de bolsillo
  • L. Kathleen  Mahan, Sylvia Scott-Estump y Janice L. Raymond. Krause dietoterapia. 2013 (España, 13ª edición) Editorial El Sevier

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.