When a woman becomes pregnant it is important for her to maintain a healthy diet as there is much demand on the body for nutrients and foods consumed to help nourish the baby in the womb. Pregnant women on average need to increase their daily calories only slightly while carrying the baby and it is recommended that these calories should come nutrient dense foods. Eating foods that have what is termed ’empty calories’ are the ones to stay away from. These empty calorie foods include things such as soft drinks which can cause weight gain and be difficult to shed after the baby is born.
Pregnancy regardless of whether you are vegetarian or not places a great burden in the body. To prepare for this it is important to eat and continue eating a diet that has healthy foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables as well and calcium and protein rich foods. Vegetarian women who are pregnant need the same amount of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that a non vegetarian pregnant women requires the only difference is the foods that are eaten to obtain this. There are some great tips that can help when what food to eat which is healthy food for pregnant women.
When pregnant it is important to increase the amount of calcium rich foods in your diet. For vegetarians that choose to eat dairy products this can be done easily by eating things such as yoghurt or milk. For vegetarians on a stricter diet calcium can also be found in foods such as dark green leafy vegetables and also soy milks and cereals.
Another important vitamin that pregnant women need is vitamin B12 which needs to be sourced from vegetarian products that are fortified with B12. This vitamin is one of few that is not contained in plant based foods but is required by women who are pregnant.
It is important also to check your iron in take before and during pregnancy as vegetarians often don’t get enough iron from the foods they eat. The body needs more iron during pregnancy so it important to include dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds as well as iron enriched products such as breads and cereals. If you are not receiving the required amount through diet alone you may have to take supplements during pregnancy to increase your iron levels.