There are lots of debate about raw vegan pregnancy. Through all the noise it’s hard to settle on a certain diet plan. People tend to believe what’s worked over the years and occasionally like to try something different.
Most people know how beneficial a raw diet could be to pregnant women—by raw diet, we mean unprocessed and organic food.
Basically, your meals would consist of fruits and vegetables.
That does not sound like a delicious plan; however, for the health of the mother and the growing baby, lifestyle changes and eating habits are inevitable.
That being said, a raw vegan pregnancy is gaining popularity not only for experts but also health conscious mothers around the world.
Now that you’ve thought about taking up a raw diet, it’s time we explore the matter in depth and find out if raw veganism is your answer to pregnancy health. Moreover, is being a vegan during pregnancy is a good idea in the first place or not?
Things to Know Before Starting Raw Vegan Pregnancy
Read on to find out what to expect from this kind of diet and what could possibly go wrong.
1. Fruits and Vegetables are Absolutely Essential
By including healthy foods in your diet, you are doing yourself and your growing fetus a favor. There is no alternative to fresh fruits and vegetables because they supply your body with the necessary nutrients that it needs.
2. A Raw Diet Prevents You from Unwarranted Eating
This one is obvious, but we had to discuss it anyway. It’s usually okay to have processed foods during a regular pregnancy; however, nutritionists don’t recommend expecting women to consume overly-processed food. By adopting a raw diet, you save yourself from the harm that standard eating could pose.
3. Try to Stay Fit and Healthy
Many mothers go through depression and insecurity regarding their bodies post-pregnancy. They have a hard time getting back to their original shape. To avoid that hassle, it’s important to consume the right nutrients during pregnancy that give you sufficient energy as opposed to unwanted fat.
One of the added benefits of a raw diet is a better night’s sleep. Since we’re talking about rest during pregnancy, many women toss and turn in their beds. However, achieving a comfortable sleeping position is important. If you have trouble sleeping, pregnancy pillows help you sleep and ensure comfort all day and night.
1. Remember the Necessary Nutrients for Your Intake
Following a strict vegan diet might sound amazing— but there’s more. A pregnant woman needs essential proteins in her system that a raw diet is unable to provide.
Try implementing food that supplies your body with Omega-3 fatty acids. A restrictive regimen means consuming a large amount of one particular nutrient that is not required in your body.
To avoid problems from getting too much of one nutrient, eat different raw foods that provide various supplements.
2. Be Careful While Opting to go on an All Raw-vegan Diet
Raw fruits and vegetables that are fresh and well washed are totally fine. However, certain raw food could do more harm to your body than good—you should avoid unprocessed and raw products as much as possible.
A deadly bacteria termed Listeria is found in such products and could possibly lead to miscarriage. Make sure you watch what you consume during your pregnancy.
3. Start a Raw or Vegan Diet Gradually or With a Process
You have been a non-vegetarian all your life, and suddenly the news of pregnancy prompts you to switch to vegetarianism?
The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor or the nutritionist so they can direct you in the right way to begin your new diet.
It takes time for our bodies to adapt to changes. Therefore, taking a big leap from one diet to another could have an adverse effect on you.
Be sure not to push yourself without adequate knowledge. Going raw doesn’t have to be a punishment to your health.
Vitamin B-12 For Pregnant Vegans
Vitamin B-12 is an important nutrient for any vegan, but it’s especially important for pregnant ones. It’s vital in helping the baby’s brain develop, as well as the nervous system. Here are some suggestions for getting an adequate amount of B-12:
- Take a supplement each day of at least 25 to 100 mcg of vitamin B-12.
- Eat two servings per day of foods containing 2 to 3.5 mcg of B-12. Consume each serving four hours apart to ensure adequate consumption.
- Take a vitamin with 1,000 mcg of B-12 two times a week.
Nutrition During Pregnancy
Believe it or not, weight gain is important during pregnancy. Gaining a few pounds during pregnancy to account for your newborn’s weight, the child’s size is a portion of the pounds you need to gain. Additional, weight gain consists of placenta, increased body fluid, accumulated fat, and growth of the breast and uterine tissue. Ultimately, a woman with a normal BMI should gain approximately 25 to 35 pounds.
There are certain nutrients that women need during a vegan pregnancy:
- Vitamin D
- Iron and Zinc
- Folic Acid
- Omega- 3 fatty acids
- Vitamin B-12
It’s important to know which nutrients you need and create a plan for consuming an adequate amount per day. Luckily, it’s easy to get a good amount of nutrition on a vegan diet. However, your protein intake should increase during a vegan pregnancy. It helps the mother maintain her body while the baby forms its muscle, organs, and bones. It’s recommended that a pregnant woman has 25 grams of protein per day before pregnancy and gradually increase it during each trimester. Most women need about 75-85 grams of protein per day during pregnancy.
How To Consume More Protein During Vegan Pregnancy
Legumes are the best source of protein for vegans and it’s recommended to eat at least 5 servings per day. Peanuts, soy products, and dried beans are great sources of protein as well as nuts, seeds, and grains. Here are some examples of a serving of legumes:
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1 cup of soymilk
- ½ cup cooked tofu, dried beans, or tempeh
- ¼ cup of soy nuts
It’s fairly easy to get in five servings of legumes each day. For example, you could eat whole-grain cereal with soy milk in the morning, celery and peanut butter for a snack, and tofu stir fry for dinner.
Final Thoughts On Raw Vegan Pregnancy
A raw diet might seem promising and the only way to get through pregnancy. However, there are limitations and shortcomings to sticking to a strict diet.
It’s not an easy decision to take if you’ve never been health conscious. You’ll need lots of iron supplements for your blood, calcium for your bones and no trans-fat in your diet. With that said, don’t overdo anything. Listen to your body and your cravings.
As long as your body and your developing baby is getting what they need most, you’ll get through raw vegan pregnancy like a champ.