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Going Vegetarian during your Pregnancy

Aug 15, 2008
Now that you are pregnant, you are wondering if your decision to become vegetarian can still be carried out successfully during your pregnancy. And while it is possible for you to obtain all the nutrients your body will need during pregnancy through a well-planned, nutrient-dense vegetarian diet, careful planning and observation will be crucial to your overall success transitioning to vegetarianism during your pregnancy. In other words: take it slow and be smart!

A good vegetarian diet generally consists of a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, lentils, and nuts and some eggs and dairy or their equivalent if you so choose. Fast food, highly processed junk foods, and canned fruits and vegetables are eaten rarely if at they are eaten. It's imperative that you make wise food choices at such a crucial time, since a pregnant woman generally only needs approximately 300 more calories per day and only about 10-16 extra grams of protein; however, the body's requirement for certain nutrients increases significantly.

Every bite you take is very important when you're pregnant. While the RDAs (recommended daily allowances) for almost all nutrients increase, especially important are folic acid, iron, zinc, and vitamin B-12. Attention to adequate amounts of vitamin B-12 is crucial for vegetarians who choose not to eat eggs and dairy.

Make sure to work closely with your healthcare professional during this transition. The changeover process from a meat-eating to a vegetarian diet can be rough on your body as it actually goes through a detoxification process during the transition. So, you want to be sure that your baby is getting all the nutrients that it needs at this time, and is growing and developing at a healthy rate. Start the process very slowly; perhaps maybe only one or two days per week eating a vegetarian diet.

Gradually work in the soy and plant-based proteins into your diet, and little by little use them to replace the proteins that you'd usually obtain from eating meat products. Be sure to adequately supplement your new diet with a quality prenatal supplement, and make sure you get adequate amounts of exercise and exposure to sunlight to promote your body to naturally produce vitamin D.

With careful planning, observation, and your healthcare professional's guidance, the transition to vegetarianism during your pregnancy can be a cleansing and healthy start for both you and your baby to a lifetime of optimal health.
About the Author
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor and co founder of Free Affiliate Programs

For more information and resource links on vegetarian visit: Steaming Vegetables
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