7 Vegan Foods to Eat Everyday During Pregnancy
Choosing to be vegan during pregnancy is so healthy for Mom and baby! Most of the foods that we’re told to avoid during pregnancy, like sushi and unpasteurized cheeses are naturally not in a vegan diet. But what about foods that we should make sure to include to get the optimal nutrition in at every meal?
I was not one to take prenatal vitamins or any supplements during pregnancy. I prefer getting all of my vitamins and minerals from fresh, whole food sources. Eating meals with a high concentration of nutrient dense ingredients was important to me while growing a little human and continues to be important to me as a nursing mother.
Here’s a list of my top 7 foods that I made sure to get in every single day during pregnancy (after my “morning sickness” ended).
Kale and other dark leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard are the kinds of foods that I made sure to consume a lot of in order to get plenty of magnesium, folate, iron, potassium and more.
I love a variety of types of beans. My personal favorites are garbanzo beans which happen to be high in folate. Beans are a great way for a pregnant mother to get some extra protein in her diet without going overboard on highly processed protein powders, or consuming other protein sources that also contain a large amount of fat, like nut butters.
3. Flax seeds
Whole flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. During pregnancy the digestive tract can become very slow but these seeds can help regulate your system to keep things moving!
Probiotic foods help improve your chances of testing GBS negative. GBS or Group B Strep is a bacterial infection that pregnant women can have and pass to their babies during birth. It can be very serious, so to minimize the risk to babies, mothers who test positive for GBS get put on antibiotics during labor. To increase my chances of testing negative for GBS during my pregnancy, I focused on eating one probiotic food a day. I found several vegan options including tempeh, probiotic labeled non-dairy yogurts, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
A healthy amount of natural fat is great for gaining the appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy. It’s easy to gravitate towards highly processed fats found in cookies, ice cream and chips, but those won’t serve you or your baby well. Filling up on whole foods and a small amount of whole fats helps to grow a healthy baby and keep your less than healthy cravings at bay.
6. Whole grains
We all need carbohydrates to keep us fueled up and energized to conquer the day. Whole grains are where I get the bulk of my calories. Some of my favorites are quinoa, oats, farro, barley and brown rice.
Full of antioxidants and vitamins, berries are a delicious way to eat healthfully!
There are so many tasty foods out there to make sure to include in your diet at such a critical time to maintain your health. If you can pack your plate full of yummy and nutritious foods, you’ll have less room for the junk. Don’t forget to relax and splurge once in a while because pregnancy cravings can be real! It’s all a balance that we must try to find everyday. I hope this inspires you to fill your fridge with healthy, baby growing food!