Proper nutrition is key for a healthy pregnancy diet. Knowing what foods to eat to get the right vitamins and minerals is important to maintaining a healthy baby. In researching for my own pregnancy and for this site, I discovered some of the science behind the nutrition equation. I share these findings along with practical tips I found to make sure I was getting the right amount of vitamins in my meals.
It goes without saying how important a component water is to your healthy preganacy diet. Actually, pregnant or not water is a key element to what you put in your body. It is the foundation. More on water here.
Speaking of foundation, as part of my research I also really looked at the vegan food pyramid. It actually is not all that different from the “regular” food pyramid. However, it provides guidance more on the relative quantities (ie more whole grains than beans) of the various food groups you should be taking in: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans (or protein alternatives) , fortified soy milk (or calcium rich alternatives) and other essentials (omega-3, vitamin B12, and vitamin D).
Yet, the actual science behind vitamins is only about 100 years old. You hear the revelations people have discovered over the ages such as how oranges (vitamin C ) helped prevent scurvy on long ocean voyages (where the food choices were quite limited). But since the early 1900s scientists have identified only 13 vitamins. I’ve taken a closer look at many of these vitamins (see list to right) to see which foods they are in, how much, and the recommended dietary allowance.
To that end I have listed out foods for each vitamins and researched how much that particular food yields for that vitamins. There certainly are super foods (such as blueberries, nuts, beans, broccoli, sweet potatoes, quinoa, kiwis) that let you get a lot of bang for your buck and should be a staple in any vegan’s kitchen.
I’ve also outlined a two day vegan pregnancy menu, what I’ll call the weekender! I made some video clips putting these meals together so you can watch (you may even see my little boy running around :)! When you are pregnant you want quick and easy. And as a pregnant vegan you want not only quick and easy but want to still maintain your vegan diet. I would consider this menu selections staples in my everyday diet – I want quick and easy most of the time pregnant or not!
I do get asked a lot about vitamin supplements. My standard response is supplements are meant to complement food not replace it. Doctors routinely prescribe vitamin supplements for pregnant women. I go into more detail here. (Including a bit on natural versus synthetic supplements.)
I love eating! I like to try a variety of foods. Going through all this research has greatly expanded my knowledge of healthy eating. Hopefully this site will help you to have a healthy pregancy diet too!