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The Essential List of Calcium-Rich Foods for Pregnant Women
by Autumn Rivers
Pregnancy is a time that most women are extra freakazoid careful about diet and nutrients and doing all they can to keep that little life growing inside us healthy and thriving. And no, that does not mean not giving into the amazing and slightly insane world of pregnancy cravings, it just means making sure your diet also includes all the nutrients for pregnant women—such as folic acid, zinc, iodine, and calcium. That last nutrient is particularly important, because calcium is responsible for the development of fetal bones. So if you’re pregnant and wanting to get all the right nutrients in your diet on a daily basis, including calcium, here’s the essential list of calcium-rich foods for pregnant women. Find out more about calcium’s role in pregnancy when you read: Why Do Women Need More Calcium Than Men?
Calcium-Rich Foods for Pregnant Women: Why Does It Matter?So, calcium-rich foods for pregnant woman. Why does it matter so much? For starters, the recommended daily amount of calcium for pregnant women is about 1,000 mg per day for women who are between the ages of 19 and 50, and 1,300 mg per day for pregnant women who are 18 or younger. While many popular foods and drinks contain calcium, so you might be getting some calcium daily without actively trying to incorporate sufficient calcium into your diet while pregnant. For example, dairy is a great source of calcium, which is why doctors and nutritionists recommend consuming things like milk, yogurt, and cheese on a daily basis. And yes, even ice cream and frozen yogurt count as calcium-rich foods for pregnant women, which means you have a great excuse to what we like to call “ice cream it up!” In addition to aiding with the development of fetal bones during pregnancy, getting the right amount of calcium also helps with processes like blood clotting, muscle contractions, nerve functions, heartbeat regulation, and more. Note that if you don’t eat enough calcium-rich foods during pregnancy, your baby won’t necessarily have weak bones at birth. That’s because the growing fetus simply takes the calcium from your system while developing in the womb. So if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, you’ll ultimately be the one to pay the price, as your bones will be missing this nutrient after pregnancy and calcium doesn’t just replenish itself. Who needs a new baby and an old lady hunchback? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
How to get Calcium During Pregnancy if You’re Dairy FreeGetting the daily calcium you need, whether pregnant or not, is fairly easy if you drink milk, eat yogurt, or love and eat a lot of cheese. But if you’re not into dairy—whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or just prefer a diet that is dairy free, that’s a whole different ballgame. There are some ways to get calcium from food during pregnancy if you’re dairy free. Here are some of the top non-dairy calcium-rich foods that pregnant women can consume to help meet their daily calcium needs:
- Sweet potatoes
- Canned salmon (with the soft bones mashed up in it – that’s where the calcium comes from!)
- Canned tuna
- Leafy greens
- Orange juice
- Sesame seeds
- Calcium-fortified cereal
- Calcium-fortified oatmeal