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Mothers have a full-time job at home and that is looking after the others. Vegetarian or vegan mothers face more challenges as key ingredients are found in meat and fish which are not there in vegetarian food. But if you want to remain vegan and a healthy mum, there’s good news. A vegetarian diet is perfectly healthy for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Proper nutrients are necessary for a healthy mother and child. Plenty of nutritious foods can form a diet for a vegetarian mum. Read on to know more.
Vegetarian Nutrients for A Mum
These are potent in antioxidant content. For breast feeding mothers, blueberries provide a lot of benefits like carbs for energy plus nutrients like vitamins, potassium, and calcium. Top off cereal or yogurt with blueberries or use them in a smoothie. Berries packed with polyphenols and phytonutrients, these ward off oxidative stress due to free radical damage.
Avocados offer 60 percent more potassium than a banana, Avocados are also rich in healthy fat, lutein, vitamin C and folic acid. It has the highest fiber content of any product in the world. Avocados offer vitamin B that enhances energy levels.
This is a speedy snack with a huge amount of calcium and good bacteria or probiotics in addition to magnesium and vitamin B12. Vegan mamas can get 12 percent of their required intake of protein apart from vitamin C, D, and calcium as well from yogurt.
#4 Brown Rice
This has a carb rich content so it can help you to retain a good quality of breast-milk if you are lactating. Brown rice also has perks such as vitamin B, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous. Brown rice is also rich in choline which aids in preventing liver damage, memory deficiencies and increasing better fetal brain development.
Nuts provide a lot of vitamin E, healthy fat, magnesium, and fiber. Nuts are easy to eat and much. Current research also shows that nuts lower cholesterol, protecting against heart disease and enhancing blood vessel function. This is also a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids.
#6 Greens/ Veggies
Dark leafy greens are teeming with fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, and calcium. Vegan and vegetarian mothers need a huge amount of iron. Eat your greens raw and cook them up if you feel motivated. These greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and more are the perfect addition when it comes to a nutritious vegan diet.
These include beans, lentils, and peas which are a source of nutritious, versatile food for vegetarian mothers. Legumes have less fat, zero cholesterol and are brimming with iron, magnesia, iron, and folate. Legumes also comprise a lot of good fats and fiber that is soluble and insoluble.
These are rich in protein, fiber, complex carbs. and iron. Low iron reduces milk supply. Athletes often eat oats to enhance performance and energy. Those who eat oats show less weight gain over time and are more overweight to start with. Oatmeal can be kept for days.
Flax, flaxseed and flaxseed oil are power foods. These are rich in healthy items like fiber, essential fatty acids, and lignans which are phytochemical. A diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids eases depression. Between 1.1 and 1.6 grams of omega 3 fatty acids are ideal for those who are vegetarians. Mums can use flaxseed to get the benefit of this nutrient, with smoothies, soups, chili, gravy, and dishes enriched with this food.
Zinc is not a food but a nutrient. It is not generally found in plant based foods. However, it can be found in pumpkin seeds, whole wheat grain, sesame seed, wheat-germ and sesame oil. Fermented soy foods such as miso or tempeh are a wonderful source of zinc too. During lactation, more zinc is needed. Even pregnant mothers benefit from zinc.
#11 Whole Grains
These include quinoa and millet. They supply B complex vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber. Opt for the least processed grain type and check for germ and bran removal. Nutrition lost during processing can have a negative consequence for you. So opt for whole grain foods.
#12 Fermented and Cultured Foods
These include natural miso, naturally fermented veggie pickles, yogurt, and sauerkraut. It offers beneficial bacteria too. Consider nutritional yeast which is high in protein and B complex vitamins. The yeast flakes can be added to all kinds of dishes.
#13 Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is rich in magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, and chromium. Buy molasses and use for sweetening fishes.
Seeds are a good source of minerals, essential fatty acids, protein, and fiber. This includes chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. It helps in fetal brain development for pregnant mamas and improves the health of lactating mothers. Seeds like fenugreek are rich in vitamin C, iron and protein. Sesame seeds increase breast-milk production high in calcium and healthy polyunsaturated fats. Cumin seeds can be used to raise breast-milk supply and offer a wonderful source of iron, which helps provide energy to mothers following childbirth. This also lowers acidity.
Citrus fruits such as oranges are critical for postpartum food. Nursing postnatal mothers require a lot of vitamin C and oranges provide these apart from promoting collagen production as well. Vitamin C also helps in developing the bones, cartilage, and tendons of the fetus in the pregnant mother. Vitamin C helps in tissue repair after pregnancy as well.
#16 Seasonal Fruits
Fruits are rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It helps in healing the wounds for C section mothers. Intake of citrus fruits in the diet help to increase the energy level in the body. It helps vegan mums to stay healthy.
This has been used since ancient times by lactating mothers to raise milk generation. Garlic is also antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Garlic also serves as a way to cut down on infections by strengthening the immune system.
These have carbs and potassium which the vegan mother needs for energy and stamina. Additionally, carrots are rich in vitamin A and beta carotene which is good for the mother and the child. Antioxidants in carrots are perfect during the postpartum period to fend off your baby weight.
This along with tempeh made from soybeans is an excellent substitute for meat. Both comprise 16-19 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces or 100 gram. They also contain calcium and iron. Tofu created from soybean curds is a good replacement for eggs too. Tempeh made from soybean which is fermented makes it a good replacement for fish. This fermentation process helps reduce anti-nutrients found in soybean that increase the nutrients absorbed from tempeh.
This is one of the rare plant foods to contain essential fatty acid DHA. Spirulina and chlorella are some other seaweed algae which offer a rich source of protein. Seaweed is also rich in potassium, iodine, antioxidants, vitamin B12, magnesium, and manganese. Mineral iodine plays an important role in metabolic and thyroid functions and is also found in seaweed. 150 mcg of iodine is needed per day and this requirement can be met through servings of seaweed. Seaweed is a protein rich source of essential fatty acids, rich in iodine and antioxidants.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts– the source of nutrients for vegan mums is wide and varied. Vegetarian and vegan mothers can face a lot of challenges with ease, through a proper nutritional management of diet. Dietary intake plays a huge role in your health. Ensure that you follow a healthy vegan diet and health will remain in your hands.