Foods To Eat When Pregnant: Healthy Vegetarian Options.

Published: 24th November 2009
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Most expectant mothers are naturally cautious of their actions during pregnancy. In addition to the activities that they carry out, they are also more concerned about the foods and beverages that they eat and drink. Because many doctors and new mother magazines discuss the importance of protein (which is necessary for overall fetal development), vegetarians often worry about their eating habits and how they affect the growing fetus. However with a little research, vegetarians will find that their essential list of foods to eat when pregnant will adequately meet their baby's nutrient requirements.

What many people do not realize is that protein does not have to come from meat. The daily requirement of 71 mg of protein needed by pregnant women can be gained from milk, soy milk, yogurt, tofu and brown rice. These foods to eat when pregnant all provide safe alternatives to meat products. Many vegetarians also enjoy soy burger, peanut butter and eggs as protein options. Imitation meat items are now becoming more and more similar to meat in their nutrients and values.

Many pregnant vegetarians struggle to get enough iron and zinc in their diet. However iron can be found in food sources other than meat. Try dried fruits, spinach, wheat germ, oatmeal and grains fortified with iron to get your daily requirements and reduce the possibility of anaemia for you and your baby. Zinc, which helps boost immunity and fetal brain development can be found in ginger, soaked nuts, egg yolk, hard cheese and beans.

You will also need approximately four servings of vitamin D and calcium. Calcium is essential for healthy teeth and bone development, while vitamin D is necessary to assist in nutrient absorption from foods into the body. Both nutrients can be found in dairy products such as milk, pasteurised cheeses and eggs, while calcium can also be found in dark green leafy vegetables and calcium-fortified foods like soy milk, juices, breads and cereals. Add in up to nine servings of fruits and vegetables to your list of foods to eat when pregnant and the perfect vegetarian pregnancy diet can be achieved.

Carbohydrates are essential for energy and strength and can be found in rice, fruit, beans, milk, yogurt and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn.

High quality fats such as saturated fats assist in fetal development. These fats can be sourced from coconut milk and coconut oil.

While most mothers worry about their eating habits while pregnant, it is often found that vegetarians tend to be more cautious about their diet than those who are not. This can be attributed to the fact that even prior to pregnancy, vegetarians are aware of their diet and what they eat. Hence, many pregnant vegetarians find it quite easy to establish a list of essential foods to eat when pregnant that provide all the necessary nutrients for their developing baby.


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Also be sure to check out this fantastic article on foods to eat when pregnant.

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