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Women's Health
Calcium, iron and folic acid

Before you get pregnant or when you are pregnant, you should eat a well-balanced diet and foods with a lot of calcium, iron and folic acid. Calcium helps give your baby strong bones and teeth. Iron helps make rich blood. Folic acid helps you and your baby make new cells and helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida. Use this chart to choose foods with a lot of these nutrients.

Foods to eat


Milk and milk products, cheese, broccoli, kale, clams, oysters, almonds, dried peas and beans, tofu, salmon or sardines


Liver, lean beef, pork, or lamb, dried fruit, whole-grain bread, enriched cereals, dried peas and beans, broccoli, kale, collard greens, poultry, and fish

Folic acid

Liver, eggs, broccoli, greens (collard, mustard, turnip, kale), yeast, black-eyed peas, and dried beans, whole-grain breads, nuts, strawberries, corn, okra, green peas, butternut squash, spinach, orange juice

Other Links

North Carolina

Opens in new windowNorth Carolina Folic Acid Council - Information on the importance of folic acid in English and in Spanish

Opens in new windowWIC County Directory - WIC offices around the state


For more health information, search MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You The Office on Women's Health (OWH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), works to improve the health and sense of well-being of all U.S. women and girls. OWH serves as the focal point for women's health activities across HHS offices and agencies and leads HHS efforts to ensure that all women and girls achieve the best possible health.

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Last updated: January 2015

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