The power of women is one of the key issues when getting pregnant and make the future baby is born healthy. Eating a Vegetarian Diet and a balanced diet, not consuming tobacco or alcohol, and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle are some of the guidelines that any pregnant woman must strictly follow for nine months. And precisely these requirements are usually part of the alphabet of people who define themselves as vegetarians, hence following a diet free of meat and fish is not at odds with pregnancy.
On the contrary, since there are several studies that confirm that the vegetarian diet is fully compatible with pregnancy. Several Italian researchers in 2015 made a systematic review entitled Vegetarian and vegan diets in pregnancy: danger or panacea, published in the scientific journal BJOG, in which it is concluded that this type of diet is suitable during pregnancy, as long as it pays enough attention to the consumption of certain vitamins and minerals. The results of this recent study maintain a position similar to that of the United States Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, whose position is to ensure that a well-planned vegetarian diet can be suitable and provide important benefits at all stages of life, including pregnancy and lactation. Experts agree that with a varied and well-balanced diet, the pregnant woman will receive all the necessary nutritional contributions during pregnancy.
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During these nine months, future moms have physiological advantages that allow them to better absorb certain nutrients. The body becomes more efficient and as long as a balanced and varied diet is followed, even without including meat and fish, there will be no nutritional deficiencies that endanger the health of the woman or the baby.
In any case, the nutritional needs will depend a lot on the type of vegetarian diet that the woman follows since, although the vegetarian diet is, strictly, one that is based on the consumption of plant products and that excludes food from animals, it is true that within this concept there are different categories depending on how strict the guidelines to follow are.
In fact, more than a dozen types of vegetarian diets can be distinguished, although the most common are three, depending on whether eggs and milk are taken:
they do not eat meat or fish, but they do eat eggs and dairy products.
they eliminate meat, fish, and eggs from their diet, although they do consume dairy products and their derivatives.
Their diet does not include any foods derived from animals, such as eggs or dairy
The reasons to be a vegetarian are variable and range from health consciousness to ethical grounds, environmental concerns, or religious beliefs. In some situations, medical reasons exist like women of childbearing age affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be conditioned to the choice of low protein vegetarian diet.
Goals for healthy eating during Pregnancy
- For the first three months, you don’t require extra calories
- To get all the nutrients that you need, eat a variety of foods
- Choose food that is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates
- In a day, consume at least four servings of calcium-rich foods
- Vitamin D will aid your body to use calcium
- In a day, eat a minimum of three servings of food rich in iron
- Choose a minimum of one source of folic acid daily
- Avoid consumption of alcohol
- Limit intake of caffeine
- Do not try to lose weight
Whether you are a vegetarian or strict vegan, a balanced diet during pregnancy can provide you all the nutrients that are necessary for you and your baby. Your baby can still receive the required nutrition needed to grow and develop while you follow a vegetarian diet.