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Dietary Sources of Essential Nutrients During Pregnancy


a salad with lettuce, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes

Most pregnant women are prescribed multivitamin and mineral supplements.  

But it’s still important to get essential nutrients from food.

Folate, omega 3 fatty acids and iron are essential for a healthy pregnancy. Along with a daily supplement containing folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron, include food sources of folate, omega-3 fatty acids and iron in your diet. Here are some excellent dietary sources of these important nutrients


  • Cooked dried beans, peas and lentils 
  • Spinach, asparagus, romaine lettuce, beets, broccoli, corn, peas, tomato juice, vegetable juice cocktail, Brussels sprouts, gai lan, bok choy
  • Orange juice, canned pineapple juice, cantaloupe, honeydew, canned grapefruit juice, bananas, raspberries, grapefruit, strawberries 
  • Enriched grain products like pasta, cereals and bread; whole grain breads and cereals 
  • Peanut butter, sunflower seeds

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

  • Salmon (fresh and canned), trout, herring, canned light tuna, Pollock, sole 
  • Canola oil, walnut oil, walnuts, flaxseed oil, flaxseeds 
  • Omega 3 enriched eggs


  • Meat, fish, poultry 
  • Oysters, mussels 
  • Tofu (med or firm) 
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chick peas) 
  • nstant hot and cold cereals (enriched with iron) 
  • Nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seed kernels
  • Eggs 
  • Prune juice

Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Healthy Eating in Pregnancy

Last Updated: August 6, 2013