Pregnancy and plant-based foods

Pregnancy and plant-based foods: great for mom and baby

James Igani

For those thinking about getting pregnant, now is the time to start putting your body into
an optimally healthy state. If you’re not already on a plant-based diet, this is the perfect
time to start. It will help with fertility and put your body in the perfect condition for a baby
to grow and develop in the womb. If you’re already pregnant and not on a plant-based
diet, it’s not too late to make the change.
According to Cathleen Woods at vegan-mama.com (2010-2015), numerous
studies reveal that moms who subscribe to a plant-based diet “have much lower levels
of pesticides and herbicides in their breast milk than meat eaters.” While experts are
somewhat divided on the issue of a plant-based diet while pregnant, the American
Dietetic Association has held that a balanced vegan diet that is well-planned is
appropriate for people at all age levels (Woods, 2010-2015). In fact, a well-planned
plant-based diet during pregnancy could help moms avoid some of those frustrating
side effects such as morning sickness, constipation, and fatigue.
Of course a plant-based diet means avoiding foods like eggs, fish, all
dairy/animal by-products, sugar and caffeine. That leaves most women wondering what
they can eat, but the answer isn’t difficult. Obviously, expectant moms can eat all the
raw fruits and vegetables they want; but they must eat those foods in a balanced

manner, not focus on one or the other while ignoring some that provide complimentary
nutrients. I’m not a big fan of whole grains, nuts and seeds because they lose nutritional
value before they ever make it to the grocery store. However, some legumes are
extremely healthy whether you’re pregnant or not pregnant. The main goal is to remove
all refined sugars and focus on healthy, complex carbohydrates as part of your diet
because you and your developing baby need them to make energy.
While raw beans are great for optimal health, dark leafy greens are outstanding
foods for pregnant women because they’re full of needed folic acid which helps the
baby’s nervous system and skeletal system develop (Woods, 2010-2015). It’s also
important to consume all the different colors of vegetables and fruits because, as
Woods explains, “Fruits and vegetables get their coloring from the different nutrients in
their skin and are literally colored with that particular nutrient. Each helps your body in
different ways, so load up and spread out the colors” (2010-2015). Fruits make the best
snacks, especially if you’re craving carbohydrates. Keep them complex and remember
to avoid, at all costs, refined sugars. Not only will fruits help quench that craving, they
will also quench your thirst.
Gestational Diabetes
There is no reason for any pregnant woman to suffer from Gestational Diabetes
Mellitus (GDM), which is an intolerance to carbohydrates that starts during or is
recognized when a woman is pregnant. It shows up as hyperglycemia (high blood
sugar) and is linked to several complications to the unborn and newborn child such as
macrosomia, the term used to describe a newborn who has a birth weight of more than
8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams), regardless of gestational age. Other complications

include birth trauma, hyperbilirubinemia (too much bilirubin in the blood that can lead to
jaundice), respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), and childhood obesity (Brown-Riggs,
2013). Children born to women with GDM have an increased rate of pre-diabetes and
Type 2 diabetes when compared with children born to mothers who did not have GDM
(Brown-Riggs, 2013). In fact, mothers with GDM have a greater chance of experiencing
C-sections, preeclampsia—a condition during pregnancy that causes a sudden and
sharp increase in blood pressure, swelling in the face, hands and feet (edema)—and
albuminuria (increased protein albumin leaks into the urine) (Brown-Riggs, 2013). They
also have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. So why is this
happening and who stands to gain?
In the United States, approximately seven percent of all pregnancies include the
occurrence of Gestational Diabetes and that number is increasing based on the obesity
epidemic which is the direct result of unhealthy eating, e.g., junk and processed food
consumption. Further, in keeping with Big Pharma’s need to diagnose as many
diabetics as possible (See Insulin: Some Diabolical Truths—Part Two on this site) new
guidelines have been put in place to ensure that more women are diagnosed with the
condition. The system is totally rigged to produce this outcome.
For example, according to Brown-Riggs (2013), “Eight months before Paula
became pregnant, she decided to become a vegetarian. She was 70 lbs. overweight
and believed that cutting out red meat, poultry, and fish, and eating only plant-based
foods would help her lose weight and obtain better health.” However, Paula was
diagnosed with GDM during week 26 of her pregnancy, but there’s no indication if her
pre-existing weight condition caused the problem or the tests are rigged. She stayed on

her vegetarian diet because she believed it was better for her and her baby. She was
not alone.
Lisa Silvius (2013), gave total credit to the plant-based, whole-food diet she
found at forksoverknives.com to help her overcome her fertility problems. Silvius ate
healthy foods and “lots of fruits and vegetables” but still consumed meat and dairy
products. She hadn’t menstruated for almost ten years and medical intervention didn’t
help. Her first two children were conceived via in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which is
“emotionally, mentally, and physically draining and painful” (Silvius, 2013). It cost this
family financially as well since insurance did not cover any of the costs. After the birth of
their son, Lisa decided to remove meat from their diets because of the antibiotics
involved in meat production (Silvius, 2013). She then decided to remove dairy products
after reading up on them at forksoverknives.com. Not only did she notice that everyone
had more energy and slept better, she also noticed they rarely got sick (Silvius, 2013).
The highlight of those changes was the return of her menstrual cycles, and after
two cycles, she was pregnant without artificial means at 41 years of age. Her healthy
baby boy was born nine months later because she made a change to a plant-based
diet. If that’s not an outstanding reward for choosing a life of wellness, then what is? I
can’t think of any greater testimony to a plant-based diet than reversing infertility and
bearing a healthy child.

References
Brown-Riggs, C., MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN (2013) Plant-Based Diets and Gestational
Diabetes.Today’s Dietitian. Vol. 15 No. 3 P. 38. Retrieved from
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/030413p38.shtml
Silvius, L. (2013). Plant-Based Diet Helped Me Become Pregnant. Retrieved from
http://www.forksoverknives.com/plant-based- diet-helped- me-become- pregnant/
Woods, C. (2010-2015). The Most Healthy Diet During Pregnancy. Retrieved from
http://www.vegan-momma.com/diet- during-pregnancy.html

2018-05-09T13:57:09+00:00

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