If you are a vegan who has recently become pregnant, then you may be concerned about the nutritional needs of your child. This is a valid concern, because your diet is probably lacking in calories and calcium. Fortunately, you do not need to start eating meat and dairy products to keep your growing child healthy. You will need to make some diet changes though, and the tips below can help you with this.
Focus on Calories and Weight Gain
If you follow a nutritious vegan diet, then you likely eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. These foods are naturally low in calories and fat, and this means that you may be considered underweight or average weight when you start your pregnancy. If your weight is considered average, then you need to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during your pregnancy, and your weight must increase 28 to 40 pounds if you are underweight. This weight is used to help form amniotic fluid, breast tissue, and uterine tissue. It is also used directly to help your baby grow.
Eat Calorie Dense Foods
If you need to gain a great deal of weight during your pregnancy, then you need to start eating between 300 and 500 extra calories a day. This will help you increase your weight gradually. One of the best ways to add extra calories to your diet is to eat five small meals a day rather than three. During these meals, make sure to provide yourself with at least one calorie dense vegan food like the ones listed below.
Consume More Calcium Rich Foods
You need a great deal of calcium when you are pregnant to help your baby build his or her bones and teeth. If you do not eat milk, cheese, and other dairy products, then your diet may not be naturally high in calcium. You need to consume about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day when you are pregnant. If you do not provide your body with calcium, then the nutrient may be released from your bones to help feed your growing baby. This can be detrimental to your health, and you can avoid this by eating non-dairy foods that are high in calcium.
Good Sources of Calcium
Tofu, almonds, spinach, fortified orange juice, and broccoli are all good sources of calcium. These foods do not contain nearly as much calcium as milk does though, so make sure to eat eight to ten servings of the calcium rich foods every day.
If you find it difficult to consume all of the calcium you need through your diet, consider taking a supplement every day. Discuss this option with your pregnancy counselor or physician and then purchase a product that contains calcium citrate instead of calcium carbonate. Calcium citrate can be absorbed by the body much easier than other types of supplements.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Make sure to eat foods that are high in vitamin D as well to help your body absorb the calcium you consume. Orange juice and grains can be found that are fortified with vitamin D. You can also help your body produce the vital nutrient by sitting in the sun and about 10 minutes a day in direct sunlight is all you need.
The sun will not offer assistance during the winter months though, so consider taking a vitamin D supplement or make sure that the calcium supplement you purchase already has the nutrient included in it.
If you are a pregnant vegan, then you need to make sure that you provide your growing child with enough calories and vital nutrients for good health. The tips above can help you with this.
I used to be skeptical about chiropractic healing. However, that was before I tried it for myself. I was in an accident that did serious damage to my back. I followed all of the doctor’s recommendations, did my physical therapy, and still didn’t feel any better. That was when I finally decided to try going to my friend’s chiropractor. It was such a relief when I finally started to feel better thanks to the great chiropractic care I received. That’s when I decided to start researching chiropractic care and how it could be used to treat different conditions. This blog contains the results of that research. If you’re looking for a way to feel better, you too may benefit from chiropractic healing. These articles will help you learn how.