Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet

Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet Adnan Yildirim

As a vegetarian you can still have a healthy and safe pregnancy provided your food intake contains rich nutrients such as iron, calcium, wholegrain and proteins. There is always a misconception that “vegetarians” don't eat meat because they support and love animals, don't get enough protein in their diet, the meals aren't balanced and food can be boring. This is not the case. A vegetarian diet is choosing to be part of a healthy lifestyle. As a vegetarian there are endless choices of a wide variety of foods that you can have. For example, for protein, eating a variety of fruits, grains, vegetables and legumes will be sufficient enough for your protein intake.

There is a common belief that during pregnancy a woman should eat for two people. Well, luckily it's not necessary for you to eat as much food as two people would normally eat but it is essential to your unborn baby to eat the right foods. You need to eat nutritious foods. Everything that you eat while pregnant should have good food value, that is, you should eat for two but not twice as much!

Baby & Nutrients

The baby growing inside of you is like a parasite. This means that your baby takes the nutrients that it requires, regardless of whether you've had enough of them or not. For example, iron is taken to store in the unborn baby's liver and uses up iron to form blood.

Your unborn baby will also take calcium from your body to form its bones and teeth. If you don't get enough calcium in your diet, the calcium will be taken away from your bones. You can't afford to let this happen because being pregnant, you need your good health and strength to look after your baby after it's born. So it's important to eat well...

Foods You Need

The foods you need to take are those rich in iron, calcium and proteins. These nutrients are an essential part of your unborn baby's development and will also keep you healthy and strong throughout your pregnancy.

Vegetarian foods that contain Iron include:

  • Apricots
  • Beetroot
  • Kidney beans
  • Raisins
  • Peanut butter
  • Watermelon
  • Pasta
  • Almonds
  • Black eyed beans
  • Prunes
  • Tofu
  • Chickpeas
  • Potatoes with the skin
  • Spinach
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli

Vegetarian food that contains Calcium include:

  • Milk
  • Fortified soy milk
  • Fortified juice
  • Tofu
  • Soy beans
  • Soy nuts
  • Okra
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Almonds and almond butter

Vegetarian foods that contain Protein include:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nuts
  • Tofu
  • Alfalfa
  • Soy nuts
  • Soy products

Vegetarian food that contain Whole Grains include

  • Whole wheat or brown rice pasta
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Whole oats
  • Whole wheat or whole grain cereals
  • Whole wheat flour or rye flour
  • Popcorn
  • Whole wheat or whole grain crackers
  • Cracked wheat
  • Barley

It is not difficult to eat foods that contain iron, calcium, protein and wholegrain if you eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains on a daily basis.

Daily Intake for a Vegetarian Diet

Below is a list that gives you the recommend food group requirements on a daily basis. This is to be used as a general guide only and if you have any concerns regarding your vegetarian food intake, please consult your doctor.

Nuts & Legumes - Number of Serves required 1 ½.

1 serve =

  • 1/3 cup dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas or canned beans
  • 1/3 up peanuts and almonds
  • Vegetables5-6
  • 1 medium potato
  • ½ medium sweet potato
  • 1 up lettuce/salad veggies
  • ½ cup cooked vegetables

Fruit - Number of Serves required 4.

1 serve =

  • 1 medium sized fruit
  • 2 pieces of small fruits
  • 8 strawberries
  • 20 grapes or cherries
  • ½ cup juice or 1 cup canned fruit
  • 1 ½ tbsp sultanas

Breads & Cereals - Number of Serves required 4-6.

1 serve =

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 medium bread roll
  • 1 cup cooked rice, pasta or noodles
  • 1 cup of cereal or porridge
  • ½ cup muesli

Dairy Products - Number of Serves required 4.

1 serve =

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup cows milk
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1 slice of cheese

I hope this article provides you with enough information you need in understanding the foods you need to consume while pregnant and in determining whether or not your daily food intake is sufficient... Congratulations! You are going to be a mother!!!

 

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Last modified on Saturday, December 27, 2014

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