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Otherwise, focus on eating your favorite protein-packed meat substitutes, which may help calm cravings. The educational health content on What To Expect is reviewed by our team of experts to be up-to-date and in line with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines, including the medically reviewed What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. This educational content is not medical or diagnostic advice. Use of this site is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Getting Pregnant. First Year. Baby Products. Eating Vegetarian and Vegan During Pregnancy. Reviewed on May 16, Here's how to get the protein and other key nutrients you need without sacrificing your diet during pregnancy. Can I still follow a vegetarian or vegan diet when I'm pregnant? What nutrients will I need to be extra careful to get when I'm pregnant and vegan or vegetarian?

The Pregnancy Diet. Breakfast During Pregnancy.

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What to Eat for Dessert During Pregnancy. View Sources. Mayo Clinic, Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy: Prevention tips , February Your Health. Pregnancy Groups. Jump to Your Week of Pregnancy. Please whitelist our site to get all the best deals and offers from our partners. Allergies During Pregnancy.

Best Maternity Leggings. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, because conversion of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by humans is inefficient, you may want to consider fortified products or supplements or both. Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells. Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Because iron isn't as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for nonvegetarians.

To help your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you're eating iron-containing foods.

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What to eat for a vegetarian pregnancy

Like iron, zinc is not as easily absorbed from plant sources as it is from animal products. Cheese is a good option if you eat dairy products.

Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ. Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and in formation of proteins.

Iodine is a component in thyroid hormones, which help regulate metabolism, growth and function of key organs. Vegans may not get enough iodine and may be at risk of deficiency and possibly even a goiter. In addition, foods such as soybeans, cruciferous vegetables and sweet potatoes may promote a goiter. One way to transition to a vegetarian diet is to gradually reduce the meat in your diet while increasing fruits and vegetables. Here are a couple of tips to help you get started:. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission.

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Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition and healthy eating. Products and services. Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Sign up now. Vegetarian diet: How to get the best nutrition A well-planned vegetarian diet is a healthy way to meet your nutritional needs. By Mayo Clinic Staff. References Satija A, et al. Healthful and unhealthful plant-based diets and the risk of coronary heart disease in U. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Vegetarian diets. American Heart Association.

Accessed July 24, Duyff RL. Food choices: The consumer marketplace. Hoboken, N. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Marsh K, et al. Meeting nutritional needs on a vegetarian diet.

What to eat for a vegetarian pregnancy | BBC Good Food

Australian Family Physician. Department of Health and Human Services and U. Department of Agriculture. Craig WJ. Nutrition concerns and health effects of vegetarian diets.

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Nutrition in Clinical Practice. Health effects of vegan diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Oldways Preservation Trust.