Can you be vegetarian and pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Can you be vegetarian and pregnant?” and will discuss what diet should vegetarian pregnant women opt for?

Can you be vegetarian and pregnant?

Yes, you can be vegetarian and pregnant. Even if you’re vegetarian when pregnant, you can still obtain all the protein, vitamins, and minerals you need. Additionally, there is no need for a sophisticated pregnancy diet; all you need to do is consume a wide range of healthful fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

Protein is the weak link between vegetarianism and pregnancy.

Nutritionally, vegetarian diets are superior to other types of diets since they contain:

·         Contains a lot of fibers.

·         Contains a plethora of essential nutrients.

·         Low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

While you’re pregnant, your protein requirements rise, making vegetarianism more difficult. The typical pregnant woman requires between 71 and 75 grams of protein each day. This figure might be significantly greater if you’re carrying more than one child. A dietitian’s customized examination is recommended if you wish to eat vegetarian while pregnant to determine your unique protein requirements.

To ensure you receive enough protein when pregnant, organize your meals around sources of protein such as legumes, grains, and nuts. You may also need to take protein supplements.

When it comes to vegetarianism, which is the best option for women who are expecting?

In general, vegetarianism abstains from including animal products in the diet, however, there are exceptions. Eggs and dairy products are included in certain vegetarian diets. A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including dairy and eggs. Vegetarians who are pescatarians consume fish as part of their diet in addition to other seafood. Is there a kind that’s better for pregnancy than another?

If someone is amenable to a less restricted diet during pregnancy, I attempt to steer them in that direction since it may be simpler to complete the nutritional need. I’d urge someone vegan but open to dairy during pregnancy to make the switch so they can have their protein and calcium requirements satisfied via dietary sources.

If you’re vegan or don’t want to change your dietary habits during pregnancy, you’re still in the clear. You and your baby will just need a supplement or a vegetarian food like tofu to satisfy their nutritional requirements.

A vegetarian diet’s nutritional needs when pregnant

Prenatal vitamins are essential for all expecting mothers, regardless of whether they consume meat or not. You may need extra supplements if the vitamin doesn’t include enough calcium or folate.

Pregnancy nutrition may be improved with a varied diet that includes a wide range of foods.

Calcium

Calcium is required for bone and tooth growth, as well as for the function of the muscles and the nervous system. How much should I take each day? 1000mg. What to eat? dairy products, fortified soy or rice milk; soybeans; dates; calcium-fortified foods; soybeans; figs; calcium-enriched foods

Folate

Cell development and neural tube abnormalities are both reduced when folate is consumed. Folate is required for both of these purposes.

How much should you take per day: 600 micrograms

What to eat? Fortified meals, such as orange juice and dark leafy green vegetables

Iron

Iron is required for two reasons: to aid in tissue development and to increase blood flow.

How much do you take each day? 48.6g

What to eat? It’s better to consume a variety of foods rich in vitamin C such as red or green bell peppers or citrus fruits to get the most out of your diet’s supply of vitamin C.

Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for the development of the nerves, brain, and vision.

How much DHA should I take per day: 200 milligrams. Vegetarians may best satisfy this need by consuming a microalgal source. You should consume fish and fortified foods like chia and flax seeds, as well as chia and flax seeds.

Protein

Protein is required for the following functions: tissue construction and cell repair. About 71 to 75 grams a day. Beans or lentils, soy products, nuts or nut butter, eggs, and dairy products are all acceptable diet choices.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for the following functions: maintaining nerve and blood cell health. 2.6 micrograms are the daily dosage. Nutritional yeast supplemented with iron or calcium is a good choice for a breakfast cereal.

Vitamin D

Fetal bone growth needs vitamin D, as does calcium intake throughout pregnancy. Approximately 600 IU should be taken daily. Among the best foods to consume are dairy products such as milk and eggs, as well as fortified cereals and soy milks.

Zinc

Providing support for tissue development and function, zinc is essential.

How much do you take each day? 11 milligrams.

What to eat: legumes, nuts, seeds, milk, certain hard cheeses, and fortified cereals are all good options to include in your diet.

Hormones

Hormone synthesis needs the mineral iodine. 210 mcg per day is the recommended dosage. Iodized salt is the best food to consume.

Don’ts for pregnant vegetarian women

You should also avoid the following foods:

·         If you drink alcohol, your chances of having a preterm baby or one with a low birth weight are up.

·         Limit your caffeine intake to no more than 300 mg per day.

·         Non-nutritive or artificial sweeteners have been authorized by the FDA 

·          for use during pregnancy. Nevertheless, stay away from saccharin since it might cross the placenta and end up on the fetus’s tissues after birth. Reduce your consumption of all other types of sweeteners, including natural ones.

·         To be on the safe side, avoid eating raw or undercooked nuts and cereals, unpasteurized milk and cheese, raw or undercooked eggs, and soy products when pregnant.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Can you be vegetarian and pregnant?” and discussed what diet should vegetarian pregnant women opt for?

References

https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/nutrition/vegetarian-pregnancy-101-how-to-get-the-right-nutrients/#:~:text=The%20answer%20is%20a%20resounding,%2C%20vegetables%2C%20legumes%20and%20nuts.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.