Vegetarianism is a diet preferred by many people today. Vegetarians are divided into groups among themselves. Some groups do not consume any animal foods, while others are more flexible. According to scientific research, problems such as neurological development disorders and anemia may occur in the baby when animal products are excluded from the diet during pregnancy.
What are the vegetarian types?
- Vegan diet: No food of animal origin is consumed.
- White vegetarian diet: Red meat is not eaten.
- Lacto-vegetarian diet: Plant foods, milk and products are consumed.
- Lowland vegetarian diet: Eating plant foods and eggs.
- Lacto-ova vegetarian diet: Includes plant foods, dairy products, eggs.
- Semi-vegetarian diet: Chicken is consumed limitedly, but fish, milk and eggs are eaten.
Adequate and balanced nutrition during pregnancy is necessary not only for the baby but also for the mother’s health. The daily nutritional needs of expectant mothers can be summarized as follows: 2 thousand 500 kcal energy, 70 gr. It is recommended to take protein, 1200 mg of calcium, 30 mg of iron, 15 mg of zinc, 2.2 mg of vitamin B12, 2.2 mg of vitamin B6 and 70 mg of vitamin C.
The biggest problem experienced during a vegetarian diet during pregnancy is vitamin B12 deficiency. In B12 deficiency, fast-growing tissues cannot synthesize DNA during pregnancy, and as a result, congenital anomalies and negativities in the nervous system may occur. Especially the vegan diet is very insufficient in terms of B12.
Lacto- and plain-vegetarian diets that include plant-based foods as well as milk (dairy products) and eggs may be partially suitable for pregnancy. Foods containing plant foods, dairy products, eggs, chicken and fish several times a week in white vegetarian and semi-vegetarian diets provide a balanced and healthy diet.
If you are determined to follow a vegetarian diet during pregnancy, it is recommended to pay attention to the following points:
- Replace meat with legumes and eggs in your diet.
- If you don’t eat any animal foods, use soy milk and tofu instead of milk. Also, take supplements B12 and calcium.
- Consume tea and coffee one hour after a meal.
- Every meal should be rich in vitamin C, fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Instead of white bread, mainly brown bread; Choose bulgur instead of rice.
- Add walnuts and dried fruits to your meals.