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The Garden Of Eatin': Vegetarian Women And Pregnancy

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Among the greatest challenges for vegetarian women is getting enough protein. According to experts, pregnant woman require 20% more protein each day. They suggest getting additional protein through sources like beans, hummus, tofu, tempeh, and a variety of soy products

Getting enough iron and making healthy choices are other s pregnant women are commonly confronted with. Specialists suggest maintaining an ample balance is essential. Indulging in dark, leafy vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, kale, escarole etc can help with helping expectant moms attain the necessary iron supplementation, as will nuts, seeds and a selection of cereals. For added assistance with absorption of these nutrients, it’s recommended that you include citrus fruits and eliminate caffeine (as much as possible, it actually inhibits absorption) Consider also making your own salad dressing with plenty of seasonings and lemon juice and olive oil as a base.

Leafy greens are also excellent sources of calcium, as are various (pasteurized) dairy and soy products. Vitamin D can be obtained through a variety of cereals and/or by a daily 20-minute exposure to sunlight.

According to authorities, ovo-lacto vegetarians (vegetarians who still consume eggs and dairy) will likely have no problem getting an ample supply of B-12 in their diets. Vegans (vegetarians who also eliminate all dairy and egg products) are advised to exhibit extra caution in their attempts to meet these nutritional requirements. Suggestions include a diet rich in meat substitutes, soy products, and cereals enriched with these nutrients.

Body Language:
While no one considers it uncommon to have certain likes and dislikes during pregnancy, many vegetarian women “do” find their craving for meat perplexingly peculiar. Professionals point out that this may simply be your body’s way of telling you a specific nutrient is missing and experts express that it’s generally a craving for additional iron.

Medical and pre-natal officials remind women that ignoring your cravings can be detrimental, especially if your body is yearning for a particular nutrient. Instead, they encourage pregnant vegetarians to use acceptable alternatives, such as meat substitutes, tofu, or tempeh. They also offer the option of “giving in” to your cravings for the duration of gestation, and resuming normal eating patterns once your baby arrives. Most importantly, they implore pregnant women to make not only wise, informed decisions, but also ones that fit into their beliefs and lifestyle and also recommend consulting a healthcare professional and thoroughly discussing all your concerns.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > The Garden Of Eatin': Vegetarian Women And Pregnancy

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