Pregnancy is a period of a woman’s life where she has to place her health above everything. Nutrient deficiencies, if any, in the diet that pregnant women follow will lead to several complications. Many vegan women choose to continue their vegan diet during pregnancy. Animal products do not form part of a vegan diet. It focuses more on whole foods like legumes and vegetables. The eating pattern is known to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Is Vegan Diet Safe During Pregnancy?
Vegan diets that are not planned adequately are generally lower in omega-3 fats, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and Zinc. These nutrients are very important, especially in sensitive life stages like pregnancy. Lower intake of these essential nutrients causes pregnancy complications. The risks of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, or birth defects get augmented in the case of vitamin B12 deficiency. When you plan your vegan diet, make sure it has enough sources of vitamin B12.
What Are The Benefits Of A Well-Planned Vegan Diet During Pregnancy?
Adequately planned vegan diets offer various health benefits to pregnant women and their babies. Plant-based diets have lower sugar and fat, all the while having high fiber content that safeguards the women against gestational diabetes, high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. The attributes also prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related complication characterized by a rise in blood pressure levels. The high fiber content of vegan diets reduces the chances of developing preeclampsia. Vegan diets are also known for reducing DNA damage and the risk of developmental issues in your baby.
What Foods Should A Vegan Diet Have?
Here are some foods that must go on your vegan diet menu especially during pregnancy:
- Legumes: Peas, Beans, and lentils are excellent sources of fiber and protein.
- Tofu, tempeh, and seitan: Soy products are rich sources of protein and can be used as meat substitutes in many recipes.
- Nuts and seeds: Most nuts and seeds are good sources of zinc and iron.
- Nutritional yeast: It is rich in protein and vitamin B12.
- Whole grains, cereals, and pseudocereals: They are rich in fiber and B vitamins. They also contain iron and zinc.
- Fruits and vegetables: They contain various essential nutrients and plant compounds.
Balanced vegan diets are suited for all stages of life; pregnancy included. Vegan diets may avoid complications like C-section delivery, post-partum depression, and maternal or infant death.