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Continue a Vegetarian Diet While Pregnant

Updated on November 15, 2010
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Whitney is a mom trying to evoke a healthy, happy life for herself and her family.

Maintain a Vegetarian Diet

If you're worried about maintaining a vegetarian diet while pregnant, you don't have to. You can remain a vegetarian throughout your pregnancy and stay health, as well as deliver a healthy child.

But, in order to remain a vegetarian throughout your pregnancy, you will want to take all precautions to ensure that you're getting all the proteins, vitamins, minerals, and overall nutrients that you and your growing baby needs.

You want to make sure that you take care of your body while pregnant, as your body is taking a huge tole that is quite stressful, so throughout your pregnancy, you want to be quite careful. Also, make sure that your doctor is aware of your dietary concerns, so that he can direct you with further instructions as to how to maintain your diet to ensure proper health and nutrition.

Tips for a Healthy Vegetarian Pregnancy

  • Proteins are very important, so while pregnant, you want to ensure that you can get the 60-71 grams that you need every day. Now, you may not be sure how to do this on a vegetarian diet, but it's simple: drink 3 cups of milk or soy milk, 1 cup of firm tofu, a veggie burger, or eat a cup of yogurt or soy yogurt.
  • Iron is very important, and in order to maintain your iron levels, you'll want to eat iron-rich foods, such as spinach, dried fruits, and legumes. You want to watch your iron levels carefully, as the iron the body absorbs from plants is not as easily absorbed as that from meats. Have your doctor check your iron levels regularly.
  • Calcium is very important for your baby's growing bones, so be sure to drink plenty of milk or eat calcium-fortified foods, such as soy products, tofu, almonds, molasses, collard and turnip greens, kale, bok choy, tahini, broccoli, sesame seeds, pulses, dried fruits, whole-grain cereals, fortified fruit juices, and other calcium-rich foods and drinks.
  • Vitamin D is very beneficial to help absorb the calcium in the body, so be sure to consume plenty of vitamin D-enriched soya drinks, orange juice, or margarine. Do not take a vitamin D supplement, unless it has been approved by your doctor.
  • B12 is very important, but it's hard to consume without meats, so it's important that you eat breads and cereals that are fortified with vitamin 12, as well as take a good vitamin.
  • Take a good multi-vitamin, as approved by your doctor. You want one that contains B12, zinc, and iron, as these are three vitamins/minerals that are hard to come by unless you eat some form of meat, whether that's fish, dairy, or eggs.

Basic Daily Pregnant Vegetarian Diet

You want to ensure that you eat a variety of foods. Consider the following tips for your daily diet, while pregnant.

  1. Consume 4 servings of cooked dried beans and peas, as they're full of zinc, iron, and proteins.
  2. Consume 4 servings of calcium-rich foods, such as those with at least 300mg of calcium per serving, which will equal about 30% of the Daily Value listed on the label.
  3. Consume 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables, as they're full of antioxidants. (Consider about 5-7 servings of vegetables and 3-5 servings of fruits.)
  4. Consume 6-11 servings of whole grain products, whether that's brown rice, oatmeal, or whole white bread.
  5. Consume 1 or more servings of a food or drink that provides vitamin B12 (fortified milk, egg yolk, or fermented soy)

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed physician. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor or a nutritionalist for any concerns or questions that you may have.


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    • Skydweller profile image


      11 years ago from Kathmandu

      can vegetarian diets give equal amount of calories as a full fledget non-veg diet?

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      11 years ago from London, UK

      A very informative and comprehensive hub. Thank you.


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