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The 8 Best Vegan Foods for a Healthy Pregnancy

The 8 Best Vegan Foods for a Healthy Pregnancy

A healthy pregnancy begins with nutritious foods that will nourish both your body and your baby. Vegan foods are some of the most nutrient-dense options available to you. These nutrients are necessary for a healthy, growing baby and a mother who will be breastfeeding after delivery. The following are some of the best vegan foods for a healthy pregnancy, conception, and delivery.

Quinoa

Quinoa is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. One cup of this ancient grain packs at least eight grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and nearly 20 percent of your daily folate needs. Pregnancy demands plenty of folate, and quinoa can provide that. It is also high in magnesium. This is important since many women find themselves lacking in this all-too-important mineral. Quinoa can be mixed in veggie burgers, prepared as part of a stir-fry or eaten as it is.

Potatoes

Potatoes get a bad rap, but they contain a balanced profile of nutrients that everyone needs. First of all, they provide ample energy in the form of carbohydrates. If you are eating steamed, boiled or baked potatoes, they have virtually no fat. They are easy to digest. This makes them unlikely to upset a woman with nausea caused by pregnancy. Potatoes contain protein and loads of potassium. Choosing sweet potatoes and red potatoes offers many other benefits that russet potatoes might not.

Avocado

Deliciously ripe avocados contain necessary healthy fats. Each serving is packed with omega-3's and loaded with nutrients a growing baby needs. The fat in avocado encourages absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. A serving has 40 percent of your daily needs of fiber as well. It's another food that is high in folate and Vitamin C.

Pumpkin Seeds

This savory snack is versatile and immunity strengthening. Pumpkin seeds contain a whopping amount of zinc that is shown to help you heal faster and avoid viruses and bacterial infections. This is an important part of having a health pregnancy. Moms-to-be know how important it is to avoid getting sick while pregnant and while breastfeeding. Pumpkin seeds each day can help.

Dark Chocolate

It's perfectly acceptable to allow yourself an occasional bar of vegan dark chocolate during pregnancy. Dark chocolate activates reward pathways and makes you feel good. It is also loaded with iron, ringing in at around 20 percent of your daily value. Be sure to choose the darkest you can tolerate. If it has almonds or other nuts, that is even better. A sweet treat will give you that energy boost you need, as well as important vitamins for your baby.

Edamame

Edamame is fun to say, and it is just as fun to eat. These little pods are actually soybeans before they become tofu. They cook in the shell, and you pop them out to eat them. They can be consumed hot or cold, salted or un-salted. They come in dried varieties with different flavors too. Edamame is loaded with protein, folic acid, B Vitamins and calcium. They are low in fat, low in calories but high in nutrients. They make an excellent addition to almost any dish imaginable.

Mangoes

If you are pregnant during mango season, you are lucky. Mangoes are a sticky-sweet treat packed with Vitamin A and C. In fact, mangoes have more vitamins than a typical salad. Look for mango that is slightly soft. These pieces are the ripest, taste the sweetest and have the most nutrients.

Veggies

Maternal fetal specialist who cares for women going through high risk pregnancy, Dr. Gilbert Webb says dark green veggies contain Vitamin A and are an excellent source of fiber. Eating dark greens and other veggies high in vitamins is important for a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnancy means eating well for two. You will need plenty of vitamins for yourself and your baby. The above foods will help you have a healthy pregnancy all the way until delivery.

*Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

Healthy Snacks Delivered Monthly

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    A fantastic post on an important topic! Thanks for this easy peazy list, Emma!
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