Vegetarian And Vegan Mums-to-be: Read this

Vegetarian and vegan diets have increased worldwide in the last decades, according to the knowledge that they might prevent coronary heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Although plant-based diets are at risk of nutritional deficiencies such as proteins, iron, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, omega-3, and vitamin B12, it looks like well planned vegetarian and vegan diets may be considered safe during pregnancy and lactation, but they require a strong awareness for a balanced intake of key nutrients.

Vegetarian and vegan mums-to-be need to make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12, which are mainly found in meat and fish, and vitamin D.

Good sources of iron for vegetarians and vegans are dark green vegetables, wholemeal bread, eggs, dried fruit, such as apricots.

#1: VITAMIN B12:

Vitamin B12 can also be found in milk and cheese and foods like squash, sweet potato, papaya, peaches, melons, and mangoes. But because sources for vegans are limited, a vitamin B12 supplement may also be needed. #2: PROTEIN:

Even if you don't eat protein-rich dairy products, you can still get that extra 10 grams of protein per day that is so important for building fetal bones and tissue by eating foods such as beans, peas, and lentils, peanut butter, and brown rice.

#3: CALCIUM:

Although calcium is stored in the body in large quantities, it is an element that is not produced by the body. Your body gets calcium from the diet and, if you don't consume dairy, you will need to get calcium from other sources. Adequate calcium in the diet is important for building bones in the developing baby. If the fetus cannot get enough calcium from the mother's diet, calcium will be leached from the mother's bones.

#4: VITAMIN D:

And how can you get enough vitamin D? Because vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, it might be difficult to get enough from foods that naturally contain vitamin D. So all adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D, particularly during the winter months. From late March/early April until the end of September, most people should be able to get a daily dose of vitamin D from sunlight.

#5: MINERALS:

Eat plenty of beans and legumes to increase your iron level, and eat root vegetables to boost trace minerals including iodine, magnesium, and copper. Green, leafy vegetables also are good sources of iron, such as kale, collard, and turnip greens.

#6: IRON:

Iron is an important element in our body which helps with carrying oxygen in the blood, cell metabolism, and providing energy. Iron deficiency in children may lead to anemia, inability to think well, as well as an increased chance of infections. So be sure to include more iron-rich foods in your diet: lentils, dried beans like kidney, lima, navy, black and pinto beans, spinach, iron-enriched bread, iron-enriched cereals, broccoli, collard greens, and turnip greens.

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