There are a lot of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that are essential for pregnant women to consume to maintain their own health and to produce a healthy baby. Iron, calcium, and protein are extremely important, and while these key items are typically sourced from meat and dairy products, there is a huge range of plant-based foods that offer those vital nutrients and more.
Iron—Iron is important for cardiovascular health, brain development, and the immune system. Therefore the iron intake for a pregnant woman needs to be higher because of the increase in the mother’s blood and the blood for the baby. Some plant-based sources of iron include:
- Collard greens and other dark leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds
- Dried Apricots
From my book, The Goddess of Raw Foods, I have a recipe for collard green burritos which is perfect for an iron-rich meal as in addition to those collard greens, the recipe contains tomatoes and spinach. It’s delicious, and inexpensive and easy to make.
Protein—Protein is the building block to our bodies, and therefore essential to healthy baby growth. Some foods that are an excellent source of protein include:
- Nuts and seeds
Another great recipe the hemp burger. The burger is high in protein thanks to the hemp and sunflower seeds, and is a fabulous and healthy alternative.
Calcium—Calcium is important for strong bones, and even more important during pregnancy for the mother because of the stress put on the body and for healthy growth of the baby’s bones and teeth. Calcium is also essential for healthy muscle development and function.
- Almond butter and milk
- Figs and black molasses
- Kale and leafy greens
In the book, My Apple Butter takes almond butter to a whole new level with flavors of cinnamon and maple. Its decadence makes it deceptively healthy, and as an added bonus is high in calcium.
And considering we are expecting our little one in December, we know that she will be off to a good start with healthy eating habits!
Are you a woman who is pregnant and wants to go vegan or is thinking about more vegan options? Share with us your story and qustions.