Diet During Third Trimester of Pregnancy

The last trimester of pregnancy is the time when the baby grows rapidly. It is absolutely essential to maintain a nutrient-rich and healthy diet during third trimester of pregnancy to support the growth and development of the unborn baby. Around 200 extra calories per day are required by the body at this stage. Having adequate amounts of minerals, fiber and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin K is crucial. You can ingest these nutrients from the following foods.

Foods To Eat During Third Trimester of Pregnancy

 1. Iron-Rich Foods

Iron rich foods

At this stage, the blood volume increases and there is an increased demand of iron by the body. Lack of iron can cause anemia which can cause fatigue, dizziness or even hemorrhage in delivery. The baby also needs iron for proper growth. Pregnant women who are lack of iron supplements are likely to deliver premature babies and low-weight babies. Meat, poultry, dairy products, seeds, beans and wheat bran are rich in iron and should be a part of your diet at this time. The body absorbs more iron in the presence of vitamin C, so it is a good idea to combine both sources.

2. Protein-Rich Foods

Protein rich foods

Proteins are the basic building blocks of the body. At this stage when the baby is growing at a rapid pace and your own body is expanding to accommodate the change, a steady supply of proteins is necessary to meet the demands. Having more proteins decreases the risk of diabetes associated with pregnancy and stabilizes the blood glucose levels. The recommended daily intake for proteins at this stage is around 70 grams per day. Meat, dairy products, fish, beans, tofu and legumes are packed with proteins.

3. DHA-Rich Foods

DHA Rich foods

According to latest research, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is essential for brain development. During this time, the brain of the baby develops and it is important to have adequate amounts of DHA in your diet during third trimester of pregnancy. Around 200 milligrams of DHA should be consumed per day. In these days most of the basic food items like milk, juices and eggs are fortified with it. Always read the labels and select the options with added DHA to meet your daily requirement. Fish, especially salmon is also a very good source of DHA and you can discuss with your doctor about taking DHA supplements.

4. Folic Acid Rich Foods

Folic acid rich foods

Folic acid is definitely one of the most important nutrients required throughout the pregnancy. Adequate intake of folic acid prevents a lot of complications. It is found in abundance in green leafy vegetables like spinach. Citrus fruit, bread, yeast and beans also contain lots of folic acid. It is important to note that most of folic acid gets destroyed during cooking so try to limit the cooking time for vegetables. Most of the supplements prescribed during pregnancy contain folic acid.

5. Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium rich foods

Around 800 milligrams of calcium per day is required during the third trimester of pregnancy. This is the time when the bones of the baby start getting strong and calcium is stored in them. If calcium is in short supply, the baby will get it from your own bones. Calcium is also required for good lactation. Milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, salmon and nuts are good sources of calcium.

6. Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium rich foods

Magnesium is one of the necessary minerals. It helps the body to absorb calcium and repairs the damaged tissues. It is essential for muscle relaxation and reduces the risks of preterm labor and eases the leg cramps. 350 to 400 milligrams of magnesium is recommended per day during pregnancy. The best sources of magnesium are nuts and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds, legumes especially black beans, barley, oat, avocado and artichokes.

7. Vitamin C, B6, and B12 Rich Foods

Vitamin C rich foods

The body needs vitamins for the metabolism of all the nutrients. These vitamins are essential for the growing baby especially for proper development of the musculature and healthy placenta. Most of the fruits and vegetables are loaded with these vitamins and you must include them in your diet during third trimester of pregnancy. Citrus fruit, bananas, carrots, chickpeas, whole grains and almonds are rich in these vitamins.

8. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetable

Full of flavor, fiber and vitamins, fruits and vegetables must be a part of your diet during last trimester of pregnancy. Remember to consume five portions of fruit and veggies a day. They will provide you with all the necessary vitamins and minerals and will prevent constipation which is fairly common at this stage. You can have them in any form, frozen, fresh or canned. Fruit juices and smoothies are excellent choices as well.

9. Nuts


As the pregnancy progresses, it becomes harder to eat large meals. If you are feeling a bit puckish in between the meals and want to have a little snack, try some nuts instead of biscuits or chocolate. A handful of nuts, like almonds, pistachio or walnuts is an excellent option. You can also chop and mix them with granola, cereal or any other meal. 

Helpful Diet Tips During Third Trimester of Pregnancy

You can follow these simple tips to make sure that you are eating right diet during third trimester of pregnancy:

  • Have small, frequent meals and snack on healthy options like nuts in between.
  • Never skip a meal, eat regularly.
  • Have a balanced and healthy diet and include all food groups in your daily diet.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to avoid constipation and dehydration.
  • Try to minimize the intake of caffeinated beverages.
  • Stay away from cigarettes and smokers to avoid the risk of passive smoking. 
  • Avoid greasy, spicy and fried food to prevent heartburn and indigestion.
  • Swap chocolate and candy to nuts and fruits.
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