Thinking about eating vegan during pregnancy ? Women who have been following the vegetarian or vegan diet for a long time may start worrying about whether or not their body receives enough nutrients once they get pregnant.
If you are one of them, then it is time to get rid of your worries. Note that you can enjoy a healthy pregnancy with a vegan diet.
Here’s how you can make the most out of your vegan diet and lifestyle and ensure that you and your unborn child receive all the nutrients you both need:
Increase your intake of starchy carbs
Some examples are pasta, potatoes, rice, and bread. Consider basing your meal plans around such foods. Just make sure to pick the wholegrain options, though, such as brown rice, wholegrain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, and potatoes that still have their skin on.
These foods are rich in fiber that is vital during pregnancy. Fiber can also help you in avoiding constipation, which usually happens to pregnant women.
Get enough protein
Protein comes with essential amino acids that serve as the building blocks or foundations of not only your own body cells but also those of your baby. If you are worried that you will not be able to get a good supply of protein, then you can rest assured that there are several sources of it even if you do not eat meat or other meat-based products.
Soya is an excellent source of protein if you are a vegan since it has plenty of different essential amino acids. It is also possible for you to get a wide range of protein by including dairy products, dairy-free alternatives, pulses and beans, like lentils and chickpeas, nut and nut butters, tofu, and eggs in your vegan diet. You should also eat grains, like quinoa, to increase your consumption of protein.
Eat foods rich in Omega-3
Another nutrient that is important for the development of the eyes and brain of your baby is long-chain Omega-3 fatty acid. Because of that, your vegan diet should contain good sources of it.
If your vegan diet plan does not allow you to eat the best sources of Omega-3, like salmon, trout, mackerel, and other oily fish, then you can rest assured that there are other substitutes.
These include some seeds, like chia and flax seeds, vegetable oils, like soya bean and flaxseed oil, walnuts, and soybeans.
Increase your intake of iron-rich foods
Iron also plays a huge role in your baby’s normal growth and development. It can also prevent anemia caused by iron deficiency, which often happens to pregnant women. One thing to note about the iron present in plant-based foods is that it is less absorbed by your body than animal-based ones.
With that in mind, make sure that you are getting your iron from the best sources of it. Among the foods rich in iron that are friendly for vegans are green leafy vegetables, seeded, wholemeal, and wheat germ bread, dried figs and apricots, and breakfast cereals fortified with iron.
You should also eat quinoa and pumpkin and sesame seeds as they are known for having a high iron content, too.
Increase your calcium consumption
You also need calcium to ensure that the bones of your baby will grow and develop well. Calcium also helps maintain the good health and strength of your bones.
As a vegan, some of the safest foods that you can eat are calcium-set tofu, dairy alternatives, like oat, soya, and rice that are fortified with calcium, and breakfast cereals fortified with calcium. Make sure to eat enough green leafy veggies and wholegrain breads, too, as they also contain calcium.
Your pregnancy should not cause you to abandon your vegan diet and lifestyle. Note that with proper meal planning, you can supply your body with the nutrients needed during the various stages of your pregnancy.
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