If you are a vegan mama-to-be, you might wonder if the lack of animal products in your diet can prove dangerous to your unborn baby. After all, you've heard that you need calcium and iron, for instance. The short answer is that a vegan diet definitely doesn't have to be risky! You can get nutrients in natural ways. Here are some tips to ensure that you eat correctly for your health and baby's development.
It’s About Nutrients!
There could be pregnant mothers out there who consume animal products like meat and milk but are actually not gaining enough nutrient value for their unborn babies. So really, whether one is vegan or not, the idea is to consume as many nutritious foods as possible on a daily basis.
- You should have foods that are packed with iron, zinc and protein. As a vegan, this would mean topping up on foods like cooked dried peas and beans, seeds, fortified cereals, raisins, spinach and nuts.
- You should include calcium-heavy foods, such as Vitamin-D fortified soy milk, to your diet. When shopping, keep an eye out for foods that contain 300mg of calcium in each serving. Such foods include tofu (which has 258mg and Chinese cabbage that has 239mg).
- You also want to ensure that your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, both natural antioxidants, that also supplement you with a variety of nutrients.
- Every day, try to have one or more serving of food that contains Vitamin B12, such as fermented soy (miso or tempeh) or soy milk.
- Prevent vegan faux meat products from playing a big role in your diet. These are usually packed with nasty offenders even though they don’t contain animal products, such as sodium, gluten (which isn’t a good idea if you’re sensitive to it) and saturated fats.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.