Diet is an important factor need to follow during pregnancy. Pregnancy means eating for two. You need to eat a lot and your diet should differ from normal diet pattern. In the first trimester yo don’t need any additional calories you can follow the normally required calorie. But in the second trimester, you need 340 additional calories per day. During the third trimester, you need additional 452 calories per day.
For vegetarians, the fulfillment of the required calories and nutrition in their diet is very difficult. Now, we are going to see the pregnancy diet for vegetarians.
Pregnancy Diet For Vegetarians
The average Recommended Daily Intake of protein for women aged between is 19-50 is approximately 46 grams. During the second and trimester of their pregnancy, they need to consume 71 grams of protein per day. Getting enough protein for vegetarians in their diet is difficult.(Effects of protein energy supplementation during pregnancy )
During pregnancy, you need to consume the right amount of iron. Iron(Importance of Iron During Pregnancy) helps in the development of fetus and placenta and helps to maintain increased maternal blood volume. For normal women, the average Recommended Daily intake of iron is 18mg per day. The Recommended Daily Intake of iron during pregnancy is 27mg per day.
You need to consume more iron-rich foods to get enough iron during pregnancy. Some of the iron-rich vegetarian foods are dates, almonds, whole and enriched grains, pomegranates, amla, dry fruits, figs, apricots, drumstick leaves etc.
Vitamin D(Vitamin D supplementation for women during pregnancy) is very important for bones. it helps in the absorption of calcium from calcium-rich foods. One thing is the Recommended Daily intake of Vitamin D before and after pregnancy is same. You need 5 μg per day. You can get this Vitamin D through the exposure to sunlight.
Apart from sunlight, vegetarians are advised to drink at least two glasses of milk per day to get the adequate amount of Vitamin D.
Calcium(Role of calcium supplementation during pregnancy) is very important for bones, teeth and nervous system The Recommended Daily Intake of calcium before and after pregnancy for women aged between 19-50 years is 1000mg. You need to eat more calcium-rich foods to fulfill the required amount of calcium.
Some of the important calcium-rich foods are milk, drumstick leaves, ragi, figs, tofu, gingelly, nuts, custard apple, sunflower seeds, beans, cereals, etc.
Zinc is very essential for body’s cell growth, the defensive mechanism, break down of carbohydrates etc. You need to consume the right amount of zinc to get a healthy child. The average Recommended daily Intake of zinc for women aged 19-50 years is 8mg per day. During pregnancy, the RDI of zinc increases from 8mg per day to 11 mg.(Effect of Zinc Supplementation on Pregnancy)
It is advised to include zinc-rich foods in your vegetarian pregnancy diet. Some of the foods that are rich in zinc are almonds, whole grains, dark chocolates, legumes, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, cashew nuts, spinach, chia seeds etc.
6. Omega-3 Fatty acids
Omega-3 is very important for brain development, the function of the heart, eye health, improves the cognitive function and behavioral function. The Recommended intake of Alpha-Linoleic acid for women age group of 19-50 is 1.1 gram per day. During pregnancy, the RDI of Alpha-linoleic acid varies from 1.1 gram to 1,3 gram per day.
It is advised to consume omega-3 fatty acid rich foods. Some of the omega-3 fatty acid rich vegetarian foods are walnuts, chia seeds, canola oil, flax seeds etc.
7. Folic Acid
Folic acid helps to prevent neural tube defects, brain function, responsible for mental health etc. The Recommended Daily intake of folates for normal women aged between 19-50 is 400 μg/day. During the pregnancy period, the Recommended Daily intake of folates is 600 μg/day.
Some of the important sources of folates are lentils, spinach, Broccoli, chickpeas, bean, enriched pasta, cornmeal, dark green vegetables, etc.
8. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient helps to maintain healthy nerve and blood cell. It helps to prevent an anemia called megaloblastic anemia. During pregnancy, the Recommended Daily intake of Vitamin B12 increases from 2.4 μg/day to 2.6 μg/ day.
Some good sources to get Vitamin B12 are yogurt, low-fat milk, cheese, yeast, fortified cereals, almond milk fortified with Vitamin B12 etc.
9. Fruits and Vegetables
To get all the essential Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need to include a lot of vegetables and fruits in your diet. Include seven color fruits and vegetables daily. The biotin and beta-carotene found in them are very essential to your hair and skin health.
Some of the important vegetables are carrot, beetroot, cabbage, brinjal, okra, drumstick, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes etc. similarly in fruits, you should consume the apple, orange, amla, custard apple, pomegranates, grapes, dry fruits, mangoes etc.
Note: You should avoid papaya while you are pregnant. It will cause the dangerous effect.
It is advised to avoid unhealthy fats during pregnancy. Include healthy fats and nutritious foods. Avoid junk and processed foods during pregnancy. Include Olive, sesame, peanut, flaxseed, grapeseed and canola oils to get a good amount of healthy fats.
11. Excercise and yoga
The adequate amount of exercise during the pregnancy time is very important. This will increase the chance of natural delivery and prevents back pain, constipation, bloating, swelling and relieves fatigue.It is advised to do at least 15-30 minutes of pregnancy exercises daily with pregnancy diet to get a healthy child.