Calcium-Rich Foods For Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and carrying another life inside you, your nutritional intake must be rich in both macronutrients and micronutrients. It is because you need to feed yourself and your child. On the one hand, you need to stay fit during pregnancy, while on the other hand, your baby demands certain nutrients for development.
Micronutrients include minerals and vitamins. You can fulfill your vitamin requirement by taking prenatal vitamins. However, your food must be rich in minerals to satisfy the mineral requirement.
Out of all the minerals, calcium is vital for both of you. Calcium makes your baby’s bones strong, muscles robust, and teeth healthy.
But remember, your baby might survive and develop well without you taking a calcium-rich meal because the developing baby draws calcium from you. Ultimately, you have to fight calcium deficiency after childbirth.
Hence, if you do not want aching and weak bones, muscles, and teeth, make sure you take foods high in calcium. Otherwise, you will end up suffering from all the problems related to hypocalcemia.
This article will give you a detailed account of foods that are rich in calcium to eat when pregnant. This list is carefully selected considering your condition during pregnancy.
However, first, let’s discuss the importance of calcium during pregnancy and how much calcium you need to take.
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Calcium Needs during Pregnancy
A high calcium requirement is essential for maintaining your health and your baby’s development. Your diet must be rich in calcium to avoid calcium deficiency.
Calcium for Your Baby
Your developing fetus requires calcium for the development of:
- Strong bones.
- Robust muscles.
- Hard teeth.
- Sound nervous system.
- Healthy heart.
Furthermore, it is also needed for the hormonal functionality of the baby.
Calcium for You
In case of low calcium intake during pregnancy, your baby does not suffer that much as it consumes calcium from your system. However, you will have to face the consequences like weak bones or osteoporosis.
Moreover, after your child’s birth, your body also requires calcium during breastfeeding.
Therefore, take as much calcium-rich food as you can during the pregnancy.
How much calcium do you need during pregnancy?
Calcium requirement is different for women of a varying age group during pregnancy.
- If you are a teenager, you must take at least 1300 mg of calcium daily.
- If your age is between 19-50, your calcium requirement is 1000 mg daily.
Therefore, your daily intake of calcium must follow your age.
Following foods are high in calcium that you need to consume more during pregnancy.
While talking about foods high in calcium and other minerals, milk is the first diet that comes into everyone’s mind.
Known as a complete diet, milk is particularly abundant in calcium. As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 250ml glass of milk consists of 300 mg of calcium.
According to this estimate, you must drink only four to six regular glasses of milk daily to satisfy your calcium needs. However, drinking that much milk causes indigestion and bloating during pregnancy. Furthermore, it can also lead to fetus weight gain.
The optimum daily amount of milk during pregnancy is 450 ml.
Despite milk, yogurt is another dairy product that is high in calcium. There are various types of yogurt, each with varying amounts of calcium. Many people do not know that plain yogurt is a far better source of calcium than Greek yogurt.
According to nutritionists, one cup of plain yogurt contains roughly 450 mg of calcium, while the same amount of Greek yogurt consists of only 110 mg of calcium.
Along with calcium, yogurt is also plentiful in other vital nutrients. Additionally, probiotics present in yogurt make it a suitable alternative to milk for you if you are lactose intolerant.
Almonds are the best choice for you if you are looking for plant-based sources of calcium. Usually, almonds are associated with brain health. However, a few people know that almonds are also high in calcium.
As per the estimate, roughly 265 mg of calcium is found per 100 g of raw almonds. Not only calcium, but almonds also contain other minerals like phosphorus and magnesium.
Therefore, it is best to consume almonds instead of sweets as a snack between meals.
Suppose you want to eat food that not only provides you with calcium but also cures indigestion, a common problem during pregnancy. Then dried figs are the best choice for you.
Dried figs are considered the best source of calcium among all the dried fruits. Per the estimate, every hundred grams of dried figs contains about 162 mg of calcium.
Additionally, figs are also high in fibers, antioxidants, and vitamins which are vital for you during pregnancy.
So, go for delicious dried figs as a good afternoon snack to fulfill your nutritional requirements of calcium along with other essential nutrients.
If made correctly, tofu is a soybean product with multiple flavors, the best calcium source for you. In fact, according to research, tofu is becoming more and more popular among fitness fanatics due to its nutritional properties.
As reported by some researchers, 100 g of tofu consists of almost 680 mg of calcium. That is a whole lot of calcium. Furthermore, tofu is also high in other nutrients and minerals like iron, magnesium, and protein.
Want to listen more about the nutritional benefits of tofu? Tofu can also help you maintain weight because it is a low-calorie food. Therefore, have as much tofu as you want if you are a fan.
Broccoli, as a source of calcium, is considered preferable to milk because of the low amount of oxalate, meaning more absorption rate of calcium.
Although slightly low in calcium (45 mg per cup of cooked broccoli), broccoli is a good calcium source because it provides more absorption (about 45-60%) of calcium.
Additionally, broccoli is also high in folate, which is vital for your baby’s development.
Hence, this green leafy vegetable serves as healthy food for you, especially if you are a vegetarian.
If you love oatmeal, let us tell you that oatmeal is the best non-dairy source of calcium. Porridge oat is a nutritious meal because it contains many nutrients like minerals, vitamins, fibers, and antioxidants.
However, it is incredibly high in calcium. It contains about 80 mg of calcium per 100 grams which makes it richer in calcium than broccoli.
Oatmeal also makes you feel full for a long time, keeping the hunger pangs away. Therefore, making oatmeal, a breakfast habit will help you stay fit during pregnancy.
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Dates are another rich source of calcium. Dates are sweet and readily available fruits that you can add to your list of calcium-rich foods.
As per estimates, approximately 15 mg of calcium is found on each date. Furthermore, dates contain other healthy nutrients like fibers, vitamins, and iron.
However, do not consume more than six dates daily because they also contain many calories, which is unsuitable for you.
You probably have already heard a lot about the benefits of oranges, which are known for containing high amounts of vitamin C. One thing about oranges that you might be unaware of is they are also rich in calcium.
Indeed, one orange contains about 70 mg of calcium which makes six percent of your daily requirement for calcium.
Moreover, oranges also contain antioxidants essential for boosting your immunity.
So, consume this citrus fruit to improve the taste of your mouth during morning sickness.
Lastly, kale is green leafy vegetable rich in various essential nutrients your body needs during pregnancy. Also known as leaf cabbage, kale contains a high amount of calcium.
One hundred grams of kale contains approximately 150 mg of calcium with a higher absorption rate. According to some nutritionists, kale is even better than milk.
Furthermore, kale is also high in vitamin B or folate, which plays a vital role in a baby’s brain development.
Here you go, list the ten essential foods rich in calcium for you. Adding these nutrients to your food will save you and your child from any health hazards associated with calcium deficiency.
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