5 Foods For A Plant-Based Pregnancy
While the prenatal recommendations on what NOT to eat during pregnancy is overwhelming, moms-to-be are less frequently told which foods are actually helpful during pregnancy. So today, I’m sharing with you my top 5 foods for a healthy plant-based pregnancy!
One of the first things people ask me when they find out they’re pregnant is, “Can I eat _____?”
So often moms to be are bombarded with info on the things they need to avoid during pregnancy – I should know – I have an entire post on Healthy Foods and Activities to Avoid During Pregnancy – but today I thought why not flip the script and celebrate the superstar foods that promote an optimal pregnancy!
Spoiler alert – red meat, fish, and eggs aren’t on the list :)
You can absolutely support a healthy pregnancy solely with plants!
So let’s chat about five specific foods that I love to see in any prenatal diet.
Chia seeds are packed with protein, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Calcium needs can be harder to meet on a plant-based diet – especially when the sound of green vegetables makes you queasy. Just 1/4 cup of chia seeds provides 25% of daily calcium needs! I like to enjoy chia seeds in my oatmeal, smoothies, or in chia pudding.
Try my Strawberry Chia Pudding! >>
SPROUTED WHOLE WHEAT BAGELS
Ah yes, bagels. We all know them, we all love them…especially during the first trimester. Luckily, eating bagels doesn’t have to mean consuming refined carbs lacking in nutrients. Sprouted grain bagels are a great way to pack in some important nutrients like protein, fiber, iron, and zinc. Top it with cashew cream cheese for some healthy fat!
Plus, studies show that women who eat more whole grains and fiber during pregnancy have a lower risk of complications like gestational diabetes.
Learn more about eating to avoid gestational diabetes in this video! >>
I love tofu not only because of its nutrient density but also because without seasoning, it’s pretty bland and tasteless. While many people claim they don’t like tofu for this reason (they clearly haven’t tried tofu all done up), the blandness of plain tofu is actually perfect for combating nausea during pregnancy. Tofu is also packed with calcium, with just 4 ounces providing half of your daily calcium needs.
Additionally, tofu can be used in so many different recipes. I even use silken tofu for smoothies, acai bowls, and homemade plant-based yogurt.
Check out my Tofu Chocolate Mousse! >>
Speaking of nausea, while eating veggies may sound like the last thing you want to eat during pregnancy, carrots can be a great addition to a plant-based pregnancy, once you’re able to stomach them. Carrots are an excellent source of carotenoids, which are plant-based precursors to vitamin A, an important nutrient for growth and development.
One study found that consuming carrot juice in late pregnancy increased the likelihood of the baby accepting carrots when they start solids. As a mom of a picky toddler, if there’s any chance of getting baby to accept more veggies, I’m all for it!
Have you had my Creamy Carrot Cauliflower Soup? >>
Avocados are packed with healthy fats, microbiome-supporting fiber, and folate. And like tofu, avocado also has a mild flavor. One of my favorite combos during my first trimester was avocado toast on sprouted whole grain bread, topped with protein-packed pumpkin seeds.
And that’s my list! Of course, there are many other health-promoting foods to include during pregnancy, namely any plant-based foods: legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and veggies. It’s also important to remember that no prenatal diet will be perfect, which is why it’s important to supplement to fill in the gaps.
- DHA Supplementation During Pregnancy
- Weight Gain During Pregnancy
- 5 Healthy Pregnancy Diet Tips
- Sushi During Pregnancy
And for a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know to have a happy, healthy plant-based pregnancy, be sure to check out Plant-Based Juniors’ Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!
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Weigh-in: What are your favorite plant-based pregnancy foods?
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