Emily Deschanel just announced that she and husband David Hornsby are expecting their first child later in 2011. Emily is the star of the hit show “Bones” and she is also a well know animal lover and vegan. Yup, another pregnant vegan celeb! Emily is following in the footsteps of lovely ladies like Alicia Siverstone and Natalie Portman – both vegan and also pregnant. So this begs the question: what in the world do pregnant vegan moms eat? And is it healthy? Lets discuss..
A vegan diet has been proven to be completely acceptable – and in fact incredibly healthy – for pregnant women.
Vegan diets (when done right) are rich in nutrients from fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes. Protein is easy when you are eating a balanced vegan diet. Beans, lentils, fortified plant milks, hemp, seitan, nuts, seeds and protein-rich fruits veggies and grains make mom and baby happy.
Plus you’ll probably eating way less saturated fat than you would on a diet rich in animal products like meat, dairy and eggs.
There are a few spots where vegan moms have to be extra careful. Mostly iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium. So lets talk about these nutrients..
Iron - while iron is rich in foods like red meat – it is also found in veggie foods. Your best bet is to take a vegan supplement and include iron-fortified foods in your diet. Vegan foods that contain iron are: beans, soy products, oat bran, pumpkin seeds, barley, seaweed, spinach, blackstrap molasses and more. And have your doctor monitor your diet as well. But really, it can be hard for even non-vegans to get enough iron – since absorption can play a role.
Vitamin D – we get it from sun. But the only known vegan food to have naturally occurring vitamin D is mushrooms! So eat up on the shrooms. Also, make sure your vegan milk is vitamin D fortified.
B12 - B12 is found in many animal products – but vegans are not so lucky. However, many vegan foods like soymilk are B12 fortified. You can also add foods like fortified cereals and nutritional yeast to your diet.
Calcium – You’ve heard it before: dairy milk is not the only source of calcium. Check out all this vegan food rich in calcium! Easy, delicious, no cow required.
So overall, yes vegans can be healthy and happy. Done.
I love watching celebs and even vegan food bloggers discuss their healthy happy pregnancies – new moms like Chloe from GirlieGirlArmy and Kristen from Kristen’s Raw – have all been healthy examples of vegan pregnancy done right.