Legumes - include lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts. Legumes are excellent plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium, all of which the body needs more of during pregnancy. Folate, one of the B-vitamins (B9), is very important for the health of the mother and fetus, especially during the first trimester. Insufficient folate intake may also cause the child to be more prone to infections and disease later in life. This has been linked with an increased risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight. Legumes contain high amounts of folate. One cup of lentils, chickpeas or black beans may provide from 65–90% of the recommended daily allowance.
Furthermore, legumes are generally very high in fiber. Some varieties are also high in iron, magnesium and potassium.