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I am a vegetarian. What do I need to consider while I am pregnant?

Are you a staunch vegetarian, wondering whether it’s safe, or even possible, to remain a vegetarian while pregnant? Well the good news is that it is, as long as you pay very careful attention to what types of foods you are eating.

During pregnancy, there are several nutrients that every mum to be has to eat, to ensure that her baby arrives healthy. Here is a list of the essentials that you need to include in your diet:

Proteins, or more importantly, amino acids, make up the ‘building blocks’ of muscle and other tissues. Make sure your baby is getting enough by eating lots of protein rich foods like beans, other legumes, tofu, eggs or dairy products like cheese. Whole grains, and foods like peanut butter, are also protein rich.

Folic acid is another essential, and luckily, that’s abundant in leafy vegetables like spinach, as well as oranges and other plant foods.

Omega three fatty acids, like those found in walnuts and flax seed oil helps to build healthy brains.

Vitamins B12 and D are available in eggs and dairy products, and green vegetables, among other foodstuffs.

Iron, which is abundant in dried fruit, legumes and green vegetables, and zinc, found in whole grains, round out the list of must eat foods.

If you are in any doubt that you are getting enough of each of these nutrients, speak to your doctor, who can advise you. You may find that a supplement helps, particularly if you are vegan or macrobiotic.
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