Time to Read: 8 minutes
Whether you are an expectant mother or planning a pregnancy, you need to enjoy a healthy diet.
One of the healthiest diets out there is, of course, a vegan diet.
Yet, many people believe it isn’t possible to follow the diet and be healthy when pregnant.
For instance, many people will worry how you would consume enough protein.
Some people may worry you’ll faint or deprive the baby of essential nutrients.
Yet, the plant-based diet can actually ensure you and the baby have a healthy pregnancy.
Here’s how a vegan pregnancy will make the experience so much easier.
The Many Health Benefits of a Vegan Diet
Many people have adopted the vegan diet due to its many health benefits.
So, it makes sense you might want to continue or start a vegan diet throughout pregnancy.
The benefits include improved heart health, weight loss and a stronger immune system.
For this reason, it can help you create a healthier, stronger body during pregnancy.
Follow the Recommended Pregnancy Diet
The American Pregnancy Association recommends pregnant women to avoid:
- Raw meat
- Deli meat (Listeria contamination)
- Smoked seafood
- Raw eggs
- Soft cheeses (Again, Listeria)
- Fish high in mercury (Tuna or swordfish)
- Unpasteurized milk
Apart from both caffeine and alcohol, each item listed above is an animal byproduct.
There is nothing on the list to suggest you should avoid a vegan lifestyle. If anything, it could be safer to embark with a vegan lifestyle.
What’s more, the American Pregnancy Association encourages pregnant women to eat:
- Dairy products
The Best Diet to Adopt
It is important to choose your diet carefully because not all diets are right for pregnant women.
For example, the American Pregnancy Association encourages women to avoid the following diets:
- South Beach
- The Zone
Why? It is due to the fact the diets will provide low levels of folic acid or iron, as well as vital vitamins and minerals.
If you want to embark on a healthier diet during the next nine months, consider a vegan pregnancy.
With a varied vegan diet, you can enjoy all the essential nutrients you need to enjoy a healthy pregnancy.
Check out the 14 ingredients to keep in your cabinet for healthy vegan recipes.
The Essential Nutrients
Whether you follow a vegan pregnancy or not, there are essential nutrients to consume.
The four most important nutrients are: protein, iron, folic acid and calcium.
Here’s how you can embrace all four into a vegan pregnancy - without meat or dairy in sight.
Society may have you believe that you must consume meat for a healthy source of protein. This isn’t the case.
You can enjoy plenty of protein in:
- Whole wheat bread
Protein is essential for energy, but protein deficiency is quite rare.
It often only takes place following starvation or a kidney disorder.
Give yourself enough strength throughout your pregnancy and enjoy the listed protein sources.
Take a look at a vegan meal plan that is jam-packed full of protein.
There are many vegan foods that are high in nonheme iron, such as:
- Brown rice
Yet, nonheme foods do not absorb into the body as easily as heme iron, which is in meat.
Don’t worry, though. All you have to do is combine high nonheme foods with Vitamin C.
This will help to boost your body’s absorption of iron.
It’s important to know foods high in heme iron may increase your risk of cancer, stroke or heart disease.
A failure to consume iron can lead anemia, so ensure you eat many of the iron sources listed above.
Anemia can also be due to a lack of Vitamin B12. This does not come from your diet.
So, step out into the sunlight between 10am to 2pm to enjoy more Vitamin B12.
Folic acid is essential for pregnant women. So, you will be happy to know you can consume it as part of a vegan pregnancy.
You should try to enjoy various vegan foods into your diet:
- Dark leafy greens
- Fortified Cereals
Calcium will help aid a baby’s development inside the womb. It will also care for the mother’s skin, teeth and bones.
Anyone embracing a vegan pregnancy can enjoy the following foods:
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Fortified orange juice
- Sesame seeds
You don’t need to drink cows’ milk to ensure your body receives enough calcium,
For instance, sesame seeds contain ten times more calcium in comparison to cows’ milk.
The listed sources can provide your daily intake of 1000 milligrams of calcium.
Remember, vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium.
You can enjoy a healthy dose of Vitamin D by eating mushrooms or experiencing sunlight.
How Safe is a Vegan Pregnancy?
Carrying a child will make you more aware of your health than ever before.
Not only do you have to care about your own health, but you have to care about your baby’s health, too.
So, it makes sense you will want to find the right diet to enjoy for both of your health.
A vegan pregnancy can provide your body with the essential nutrients you need.
If you maintain a well-rounded diet during pregnancy, there is no reason to eat meat or dairy.
Yet, it is always important to discuss your diet an OB/GYN.
He or she can provide the nutritional advice you need to experience a healthy pregnancy.
You should also discuss any concerns you have about a vegan pregnancy.
You might not realize it, but a vegan pregnancy could prevent various diseases.
The American Dietic Association state it is “appropriate for individuals during all stages.”
This includes during:
The plant-based diet can prevent and treat various diseases.
Why? Because it provides the mind and body with the highest nutritional level.
Women who embrace a vegan diet may have children who are more resistant to various diseases.
They may also have a greater intellectual capacity. This is because they consume more antioxidants, phyto-nutrients and vitamins than non-vegans.
Reduce Morning Sickness
One of the worst parts of pregnancy is, of course, morning sickness.
If you are struggling with morning sickness, or hoping to prevent it, embrace the diet.
Some studies have connected morning sickness symptoms with a diet high in meat and dairy.
That’s because the body naturally protects a fetus from unhealthy substances.
As meat and dairy offer a higher risk of contamination, the body has to work hard to clear away the chemicals.
An organic vegan diet could help to reduce some or all morning sickness symptoms.
The plants will help to remove the harmful toxins from your body. That means you will provide the fetus with fewer unhealthy chemicals.
So, embrace a vegan diet to enjoy a relaxing pregnancy whilst protecting the baby’s health.
Unhealthy Vegan Foods to Avoid
There are foods pregnant women should avoid when embarking with a vegan pregnancy.
The vegan diet will only be healthy if you eat healthily.
You should try to avoid consuming too much potato chips, sugary sodas and processed foods.
Packaged and processed foods also contain many chemicals, which can disrupt a person’s hormones.
This advice is also applicable to those who will not follow a vegan diet.
Click here for some vegan recipes that you will love.
Switching to a Plant-Based Diet
The thought of giving up meat might be difficult.
While it might be a challenge to say goodbye to meat and dairy at first, it will become easier to embrace the new diet.
The sacrifice will also be worth it for improved health for both you and your baby.
If you follow our tips listed above, there is no reason why cannot enjoy a healthy vegan pregnancy.
We do recommend discussing any dietary changes with your OB/GYM during pregnancy.
There is no reason why you cannot enjoy a vegan pregnancy.
Some doctors may encourage you to eat meat and dairy. Yet, there are many protein, iron, folic acid and calcium sources in the vegan diet.
As you will consume natural, organic ingredients, you do not have to worry about any harmful GMOs.
This will also ensure your child receives healthy breast milk once they arrive in the world.
Not only will a vegan diet improve your health, but it will also improve your child’s health, too.
If in doubt, embark with regular blood tests to ensure you are receiving the right nutrients. If not, you can alter your diet to ensure you create a healthy body for you and your baby.
As well as eating the plant-based foods listed above, you should also enjoy the great outdoors. This will help to increase your intake of vitamin B12 and vitamin B.
It is your body, so you can decide whether to enjoy a plant-based diet. Not other people.
Being a vegan isn’t “weird.” It is the healthy choice - and it could be the best choice during your pregnancy.
You can guarantee you will feel healthier than ever before.
Do you have any tips for a vegan diet during pregnancy? Share your advice in the comment section below.