Pregnant and Vegetarian: Tips to Be in Great Shape!

Vegetarianism and pregnancy are not incompatible. Two pieces of advice to follow from the outset:

– follow the medical advice (so as not to miss out on any deficiencies),

– and eat a balanced diet to ensure you get the right amount of proteins, vitamins B12, iron, etc.

Medical monitoring

The medical monitoring does not differ depending on whether you are a vegetarian or not:

– It must be perfectly observed.
– Tell your doctor that you are a vegetarian so he will be more vigilant and will prescribe food supplements if he finds deficiencies, and supplements of iron, calcium, vitamins B12 and D if necessary.

Please note: deficiencies can be harmful to your child’s development, but also for you.

Vegetarian diet and pregnancy

Both you and your fetus need certain nutrients to make the pregnancy go smoothly. Here are some of them.

Protein

Even more than usual, the absence of animal proteins (and therefore amino acids) must be compensated for by the proteins provided by:

– eggs: you can eat up to 6 eggs a week;
– Cereals: rice, wheat, corn, millet, etc.;
– oil seeds: walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc..;
– Legumes: red beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.

A recommended combination: legume fibers (white beans, split peas, soya, etc.) with whole grains (bulgur, quinoa, barley, oats, etc.).

Warning: as far as soya products (juice, tofu, etc.) are concerned, it is advisable to limit yourself to one per day when you are pregnant. Indeed, there are doubts that high doses of soya can cause malformations of the fetus.

Calcium

You should consume at least 3 to 4 dairy products per day:

– Eat milk-based preparations (puree, milkshake, etc.), yogurts, cottage cheese, and cheese (be careful, no raw milk cheese!).
– Oilseeds can also provide calcium, but be careful of their fat content!
– Some waters and leafy green vegetables (watercress, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, chard, cardoons) also contain calcium.

Iron

Finally, you must also be careful with your iron intake. You will find it in legumes (dried beans and beans, dried peas and lentils, etc.) and eggs, but it is better to combine them with foods rich in vitamin C, which facilitates the absorption of iron of plant origin.

Therefore, eat fruit and vegetables as much as you like and at every meal (beware, however, of fruit that is too sweet)!

Good to know: avoid coffee and tea, which slows down the absorption of iron.

Besides, don’t forget the intake of:

– Omega-3s and essential fatty acids: found in flaxseed, enriched eggs, avocado, tofu, etc.
– Folic acid: found in avocados, sunflower seeds, asparagus, etc.

– Drink plenty of water: 1.5 liters minimum;

– practice a soft physical activity;

– avoid snacking and over-consumption of fat and sugar;

– wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly.

Good to know: urinary tract infections are common in women and aggravated by pregnancy but, according to a prospective study, a vegetarian diet could reduce the risk of urinary tract infections by 16%, especially in women (source: Taiwanese study published in “Scientific Reports”).

Diet is not to be taken lightly during pregnancy and proper vitamin intake is vital to keep you in great shape! You can find all your medications at Regions Pharmacy in Miami. Their healthcare professionals will advise you on your prescriptions and medications. And, because nutrition is also crucial for women who have decided to breastfeed, you can seek advice from them on how to best use their mediation for optimal effectiveness.

Hope the above helps you out! Remember to share your comments below.

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