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Studies show that if moms-to-be got the recommended dose of folate before and during early pregnancy, 70 percent of all neuraltube defects could be prevented. Best sources: fortified cereals, leafy greens, beans, asparagus, peanuts, oranges, Brussels sprouts, wheat germ, and the tasty building blocks found in this recipe--peas. Related: 5 Ways to Rock Your Pregnancy Diet (4 more recipes)
“Calcium is a mineral that’s vital to developing strong bones and teeth, as well as proper nerve function and normal heartbeat,” says Kimberly A. Tessmer, R.D., L.D., author of Tell Me What to Eat If I Am Trying to Conceive (New Page Books). Plus, it’s linked to a reduced risk of hypertension and preeclampsia in moms.
Iron is crucial for building red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your baby’s growing organs. To supercharge your body’s ability to absorb oxygen, pair iron with vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus, strawberries, tomatoes and bell peppers. Here's a recipe that does just that. Related: 5 Ways to Rock Your Pregnancy Diet (4 more recipes)