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 Free
Getting 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
If you want to try and hit your daily calcium goals by way of food, integrate the items above into your diet. For instance, you can have a glass of orange juice with breakfast and eat a fig for a snack. Then you can add sesame seeds to your salad at lunch, and have a sweet potato as a dinner side. Don’t forget to have some ice cream or yogurt for dessert once in awhile. But as you’re doing this, pay attention to how much calcium you’re collectively getting from these foods and make sure you’re hitting your daily recommended dose. It can be harder than you think to do that with food alone.
And if morning sickness and other tummy troubles during pregnancy make it hard to eat these foods every day and/or if you just don’t like most of the things on the calcium-rich foods list, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the calcium your body needs during pregnancy. If you’re struggling to eat any of these calcium-rich foods for pregnant women, our FitFormula Calcium + Vitamin D might just be your secret weapon. You can get all the calcium you need in one day simply by dissolving the flavorless, tasteless (and definitely not gritty) FitFormula Calcium + Vitamin D powder in a glass of water, a protein smoothie, your morning coffee, or even sprinkling it into some applesauce, in your morning scrambled eggs, or in a bowl of oatmeal.
And by the way, we’ve got a new Blueberry Flavored Calcium + Vitamin D product in the works that’s scheduled to be available by early August. If you’d like to get your hands on our limited amount of free samples when they’re available, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and get your name on that list STAT. We hope to be able to ship them by August 1 and we’ll keep you posted on that front when you sign up.
You can use any of these calcium-rich ingredients in some of the amazing recipes here: How Women Can Get the Calcium They Need to Maintain Bone Health
Bottom line, it’s really simple. Strong babies and strong mommas need plenty of calcium during pregnancy, and after. If you can get the calcium you need from food, that’s great. But don’t assume that you’re hitting the mark without knowing exactly what you’re eating and how much calcium it’s delivering to you daily. The risk is too great and the foundation of strong bones and muscles is too important.
If you want to make sure, you can cover all your bases by simply adding FitFormula’s Calcium + Vitamin D powder to your food or drink every day!
Learn more about why you need calcium now more than ever: The Importance of Calcium and Vitamin D in Pregnancy