9 Essentials of a Perfect Pregnancy Diet

Puja Sharma Vasisht

Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht
Updated on Jan 04, 2020

9 Essentials of a Perfect Pregnancy Diet
Reviewed by Expert panel

An expecting mother has the entire health of the baby depending on her. The right nutritious diet during pregnancy, not only ensures birth of a healthy child, but also reduces complication during child birth and is a gift of health to the child for life. Good nutrition means, safe and healthy outcome of pregnancy, both for mother and her newborn.
Since good nutrition is crucial, certain foods listed below, which when taken, apart from the regular diet, help in meeting the extra demands of nutrients during pregnancy.

Must-have Pregnancy-time Nutrients Foods for Expecting Mothers

While in pregnancy, we all have a balanced and nutritious diet, there are some specific nutrients which can get ignored. Here, is a list of foods, rich in those nutrients—a must-have for all expecting mothers.

1.) Milk and Milk products, buttermilk

These foods provide good-quality calcium (and proteins) required in pregnancy. Adequate calcium intake during pregnancy is crucial. It is required for the development of the bones, teeth and the entire skeletal structure of the growing foetus. It is also very important for the mother’s own well-being. If an expecting mother is not taking enough calcium, her own bones are de-mineralised and will be unable to meet the growing foetus’s requirements as well as expose her to a host of bone-related diseases for the future. Drinks like buttermilk  also help in dealing with acidity issues, common during pregnancy. 

2.) Black Chana/whole Moong Sprouts 

They provide the best vegetarian source of proteins, another nutrient, very essential for the growth of the foetus. They also provide B complex vitamins, zinc, iron--all crucial nutrients required during pregnancy. They also provide fiber which helps avoid constipation, a common complaint in pregnancy. Include them in your daily diet as curries, salads or as sandwich/parantha stuffing.

3.) Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables, especially dark green ones like sarson, chulai, bathua, chana saag, and cauliflower leaves are rich in iron and Vitamin A (required for the baby’s vision and eye health). More than normal RDA (required daily allowance) of iron is required during pregnancy to meet the growth needs of foetus and maternal tissues. Green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, are also good source of folic acid. Folic acid is crucial for the brain development of the foetus. It also protects baby from neural tube disorders. So, do include green leafy vegetables, atleast three times a week to get loads of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Saute them, boil-blend and use to knead dough, add to dosa batter or dahi to make a raita, or simple make an appetizing sandwich or salad of them. Read More: How Helpful is Green Tea during Pregnancy

4.) Eggs, Meat & poultry

For an expecting mother of a non-vegetarian food habits, these are the best sources of proteins. Eggs have the best protein profile in accordance to our body’s requirements. They are good source of vitamins and minerals especially folic acid, choline and iron. These help to keep the amniotic membranes strong and help in preventing birth defects in the baby. Meat/poultry is rich in animal protein that helps in cell and muscle development in the baby. Having adequate quantity of protein, through diet, can also help an expectant mother fight pregnancy induced fatigue. Opt for lean meat as they are the best source of high-quality protein sans the fats.

5.) Wheat Germ 

Wheat Germ has loads of zinc, vitamin E, and also some amounts of folic acid and calcium. Zinc is required in pregnancy for foetal cellular division and protein synthesis. Deficiency of zinc may lead to poor birth outcomes and low birth weight. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B6, magnesium and copper. This makes wheat germ a dense source of nutrients required by the expecting mother. Add roasted wheat germ to your chapattis, curries or salads.

Watch this video on must-have pregnancy-time diet

6.) Iodised Salt

Iodine is required for physical and mental growth of the foetus. It is also essential to avoid cretinism (mental retardation) in the growing foetus. The easiest way to get iodine in diet is through using iodised salt. But again,  as with any foods use in moderation. Too much of salt can also kickstart blood pressure issues.

7.) Orange Rich in fibery   

This fruit is rich in vitamin C and folic acid.  It helps in development of the cells and tissues and helps in increasing the absorption of iron. It is also a good source of thiamin and potassium, and a very good source of dietary fiber. 

8.) Coconut Water

It is an excellent way to add more fluids to the body. Extra fluids help in proper of circulation through the foetal system, ensuring the proper health of the baby. It also is a good source of vitamins and minerals which are required in extra amounts in pregnancy. It is high in electrolytes, chlorides, potassium, and magnesium and has a moderate amount of sugar, sodium and protein. It's also a good source of dietary fibre, manganese, calcium, riboflavin and Vitamin C.

 Read More: Coconut water during Pregnancy

9.) Watermelon

This watery fruit is not only a good source of electrolyte like potassium, but is low in sodium, cholesterol, and helps in relieving the symptoms of pre-eclampsia (hypertension and oedema) a complication of pregnancy. It is also a good source of iron, the demand of which is increased during pregnancy. This is especially of importance to vegetarian pregnant women, who do not get enough iron through their vegetarian diets. Suggest Reading: Chart - Ideal Bay Weight during 4, 6 or 7 Pregnancy


This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Oct 16, 2019

SabOra Sabi Milk

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| Oct 16, 2019

Oranges, coconut water

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| Sep 28, 2019


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| Jul 26, 2019

Kindly tell me diet plan at 30 wks of pregnancy

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| Jun 29, 2019

which fruits make a fair baby colour

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| Oct 10, 2018

kiwi fruitis best for pregnancy time

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| Aug 16, 2017

nice blog.. thanks.

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| Aug 08, 2017

It is hard to understand the pre-eclampsia (hypertension and oedema) complication. Can you describe them in detail?

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| Jul 31, 2017

thanks for d information.

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| Jul 28, 2017

what if I'm not able to consume all the food items listed in this article? Will it affect my baby?

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| Jul 27, 2017

thanks for giving such useful information but plz tell me the alternative for milk.

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| Jul 21, 2017

it's amazing informations from ur side ..thanks for updating us everyday...

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| Jul 21, 2017

thanks great. information

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| Jun 26, 2017

Great information thanks

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| Jun 21, 2017

thanks for the information

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| May 27, 2017

Very informative and useful data. Thank u.

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| May 23, 2017

very good article

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| May 20, 2017

good info

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| Mar 14, 2017

thank u mam

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| Feb 27, 2017

The medicines prescribed by the doctor also includes zinc,calcium, folic acid and iron... are these really essential during pregnancy or can they be the good substitute of diet

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| Jan 25, 2017

is delivery safe in private hospital than government hospital

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| Oct 12, 2016

thank u... for tips

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| Sep 29, 2016

thank you madam.... :-)

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| Sep 21, 2015

@ankita, Hi wheat germ is the germ part of wheat. You may get it food stores/flour mills/packed variety also. In the 9 month of pregnancy, you should really concentrate on eating a balanced diet, as weight gain of the foetus is maximum now. So do try and include above mentioned foods, as they would take care of your additional nutrition needs of pregnancy.

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| Sep 20, 2015

Thanyou dear for much needed information. What is wheatgerm and from where can we get it... And what diet should be taken in 9th month ... This is wonderful piece of knowledge...

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| Sep 11, 2015

Here a pregnant woman should also have pomegranates, bananas and beet roots in their diet, which helps to increase blood level in body, which plays a major role at the time of delivery.

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