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I’m a vegetarian and was wondering whether I should give it up during my pregnancy?

Posted: 6 March 2008
by Lucinda Carter

I’m a vegetarian and was wondering whether I should give it up during my pregnancy. What would be best for my baby? Ruth, Manchester

Lucinda Carter
Qualified nutritionist and dietician working for the NHS

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Lucinda says…
There is no reason to give up your vegetarian diet, as long as you ensure it is nutritionally balanced. You should have no problems achieving your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but one of the more difficult areas is protein: try to include plenty of pulses, eggs or textured vegetable protein. Dairy products are also a good source of protein, as well as calcium (important in pregnancy); aim for three daily portions.

The second problem area is iron. Red meat provides an easily absorbed source of iron, whereas the body needs to work harder to utilise the iron in vegetables. You can promote iron absorption by eating iron-rich foods like pulses, green vegetables and fortified cereals with vitamin C-rich foods like orange juice, citrus fruit, kiwi, mango, tomatoes or mango, and avoid drinking tea with meals as this prevents iron absorption. If you avoid fish, an omega-3 supplement would be beneficial. Every month, the new issue of Pregnancy,Baby and You has more questions answered by our panel of specialists.

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hello nutritionist can i eat spinach while prenant

Posted: 13/04/2008 at 17:43

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