These days, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available for those who wish to stick to a plant-based diet during pregnancy. Plant-based diets are considered safe for pregnant women as long as you get enough nutrition and can even contribute to a healthy pregnancy.
The trick is knowing which foods to fuel you and your growing body with. With that in mind, here are some foods that you can eat during your plant-based pregnancy.
Tofu and Setian Products
During the second (week 13 -28) and third trimesters (week 29-40)
Pregnant women, women need to aim for around 70 grams of protein daily. Tofu and Setian products are very high in protein and can contribute heavily to a healthy pregnancy diet. Blend soft tofu into smoothies or cut chunks of tofu up to incorporate into stir-fries or other dishes. You can use Setian as an additive in burritos or vegetable hashes.
Your pregnancy is a great time to load up on those lentil soups and big lentil salads. These complex legumes are ideal for pregnant women because they pack a lot of protein and fibre. Not only will they keep you nice and full, but they also taste delicious and are endlessly versatile.
Nuts are high in protein and good fats, and they are also a hearty source of iron and zinc. Iron is vital for a healthy pregnancy, and you will need to come up with creative ways to incorporate it into your diet if you are not planning on eating meat. Nuts are delicious, and you can enjoy them as a snack, or add them to just about any food you can imagine.
Leafy Green Vegetables
These nutritional powerhouses will do your body good during your pregnancy. They are packed with all sorts of nutrients that your body needs to have a healthy baby, plus a ton of antioxidants. Mix up a spinach and berry smoothie for the perfect mix of antioxidants and a great way to start your day.
Stay away from simple grains or overly processed foods, but eat as much of the whole grains as you want to. Often, they are fortified with different minerals and nutrients that you might otherwise be lacking. Additionally, they are very high in fibre, which will help your body function properly throughout your pregnancy.
Fermented foods have a great superpower; they contain loads of probiotics and a big dose of Vitamin K2, which is tough to get in virtually any other plant-based food. Fill up on pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi to your hearts' desire. In turn, this will help regulate your gut health and keep your body nice and strong.
Fruits are nature's candy, so take your fill of the sweet stuff during your pregnancy. Now is the time to eat as many antioxidant-rich fruits as you want. So stock up on all sorts of different types of berries. You can also indulge in tropical fruits with plenty of nutrients, such as ripe papaya.
Pregnancy is a glorious time, and being pregnant does not mean that you need to change your diet. It's possible to have a perfect pregnancy fueled by vegetables.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency during pregnancy can cause harmful side effects to both mother and baby. B12 deficiency is most common amongst vegans. For those on a vegan diet, products such as Nutritional Yeast can provide a viable source of B12.