Vegetarian and Pregnant – What to Consider
Being a vegetarian is healthy if you are making sure that you are getting all the nutrients that you need to in-taking all of the nutrients that will support a healthy pregnancy. With a little bit of planning it is quite easy to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients that a meat eating women would be getting. Be sure to eat from all of the main food groups each and every day.
You can get all of your fruits and vegetables by eating them fresh, frozen, canned or tinned. Try to include both raw and cooked vegetables in your diet for vital enzymes and maximum nutrients. You may also choose to include fresh green juices in your diet for added nutrients.
Carbohydrates and starches will help to keep you full and will give you the energy that you need to feel great during your pregnancy. The basis of your meals should be vegetables and starches to support the weight that you are gaining as your baby develops. Choosing whole grains will provide you with the fibre and the nutrients that you need to have a healthy and well-functioning digestive tract. Constipation can be a problem due to hormonal changes during pregnancy but this can be eliminated by eating healthfully and on a regular basis throughout the day.
Include food that is rich in protein in your diet, these foods may include nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs and spirulina. Other sources of iron rich foods include fortified breakfast cereals and green vegetables. Caffeine will actually reduce the amount of iron that you absorb so it is best to avoid it. However, you will absorb more iron if you eat a vitamin c rich food source with your iron sources of food.
Vegetarians can get plenty of protein with some planning and by eating a variety of foods. The protein rich foods also happen to be a great source of protein. Dairy foods are good for your bones as well as for your developing baby. These foods may include yogurt, cheese and milk. It is also possible to get enough calcium from almond and or soy milk. Milk is not the best source of calcium as it is acid forming in the body. The main concern for vegetarians whether pregnant or not is to make sure that you are getting enough protein, calcium, iron and zinc.
It is a good idea to take a fish oil supplement if you do not eat fish on a regular basis. However, avoid taking cod liver oil as it is too high in vitamin A and has been associated with birth defects. You can get your essential fats from walnuts, algae’s and from flax seed.