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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the daily requirement for calcium and iron when you are pregnant?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Kate Marsh

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Kate works with clients with type 1 and gestational diabetes, PCOS, and those following a plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet. As a diabetes educator, she … View Profile

    The requirement for calcium in pregnancy is 1000mg/day which is the same as the reccommended amount before pregnancy, but many women don't meet this requirement.  Good sources of calcium in the diet include milk, yoghurt, cheese, fortified soy milk, hard tofu, soy yogurt, canned fish with bones (eg salmon and sardines), unhulled tahini (sesame seed paste), almonds, dried figs, Asian greens, Kale

    The requirement for iron in pregnancy increases from 18mg to 27mg/day which can take some effort to meet from diet alone.  Good sources of iron in the diet include lean red meat, eggs, legumes, tofu, wholegrains (particularly quinoa and amaranth), dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits and nuts.  Plant sources of iron are better absorbed along with vitamin C so added vitamin-C rich fruits and vegetables (eg berries, citrus fruit, kiwi, tomatoes, spinach, capsicum, broccoli)  can help to maximise the iron from these meals.

  • Anonymous

    What would make up 1000mg of calcium??

  • Joanna Baker

    Nutritionist, Registered Nurse

    Everyday Nutrition founder Joanna Baker has been working in healthcare for 2o years. As an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and a Registered Nurse, she has seen … View Profile

    Recommendations to achieve an recommended daily intake of  1000mg of Calcuim per day is to aim for 3 serves from the following list.

    250 ml milk or calcium fortified alternative mik = about 295 mg
    200g low fat yogurt = about 300 mg
    30 g cheddar cheese = about 200 mg
    200g low fta cottage cheese 122 mg
    50 g calcium fortified tofu = about 340 mg
    100g tinned salmon with bones = about 275 mg

    To put it in perspectative 7 cups of broccoli = about 300 mg

    Don't get too bogged down in exact numbers as even within the same brand a glass of milk can vary slightly. Calcium is also a mineral that when needs are higher our body tends to absorb more, this is why the recommendation doesn't change for pregnancy.

    Hope you find this helpful
    Joanna Baker

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Great answers from both Kate and Jo. I just want to point out that dairy products are the best source of calcium and also the most bioavailable (absorbable). Even though there are plant sources of calcium such as broccoli, kale, almonds etc. you would have to consume very large amounts to get the recommended 1000mg of calcium per day. Also plants contain natural chemicals such as oxalates which can inhibit calcium absorption so you need to speak with an Accredited Practising Dietitan (APD) to figure out the best way to maximise your calcium absorption from these foods.

    You can find an APD by logging onto the Dietitians Association of Australia's website (www.daa.asn.au) to find an APD near you.

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