When she is not giving Rs 100 crore hit, superstar actor Alia Bhatt Chooses to lead by example. She celebrates a conscientious lifestyle, making choices that resonate with climate-conscious times. Turning vegetarian in 2020 and in the third trimester of her pregnancy, she has now opted for a vegetarian menu for her baby shower. This obviously raises many questions as to whether a vegetarian diet is good and nutritious enough for expectant mothers? And for many young people who are making a conscious choice with vegetarianism, is it enough to sustain during pregnancy?
“The question is about wholesome nutrition and whether a vegetarian diet is a drug that has the power to change the trajectory of our health. Vegetarian foods can be rich in protein and vitamins (two components that are highlighted in every pregnancy diet). It is a misconception that plant-based diets cause deficiencies that need to be addressed. Instead, adequate intake of these provides all essential nutrients, including calcium, protein, vitamins A, C, as well as B vitamins. Additionally, they are naturally high in fiber and antioxidants,” says plant-based food expert Sanjay Sethi.
“The main emphasis of a plant-based diet is on eating more seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. EATLNCET, which outlines a planetary healthy diet, promotes this way of eating as well,” he adds.
In fact, he argues why animal-based foods often contain toxins that enter the human digestive tract and cause arterial inflammation, which is harmful to the heart. For mothers with hypertension, switching from animal protein to an alternative plant protein can significantly lower LDL levels.
“Later, adding nuts such as almonds and walnuts, flax seeds, and hemp powder that are rich in omega-3 and protein can help meet all nutritional needs. The reason is switching to a plant-based diet will damage your gut, so our traditional home practices like eating food with chutneys and using vinegar-soaked onions aid in digestion,” he says.
Plus, foods like bananas, papaya, raisins and ginger are great prebiotics that encourage the buildup of healthy microbes in the gut, leading to better immunity. Many people are adopting plant-based diets and becoming flexitarian. Actually, Ritika Samaddar, the regional head of the Department of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, Max Healthcare, is an advocate.
“People who find it difficult to switch to vegetarianism due to the high cost of plant-based diets or simply work up their proportions, can transition through a vegetarian diet and sometimes rely on yogurt and milk. can do. , Otherwise, we have a great deal of rich, plant-based foods like split or green peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, quinoa, bulgur, oatmeal, whole grain cereals and breads, nut butter, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, soy milk, Tradition. Tofu and Lentils. If calcium (an essential prerequisite for the third trimester) worries you, simply consume milk, cheese and more green, leafy vegetables.
Says Parin Sachdeva, a vegetarian who started Lactose-Free Devi only to prove that vegetarianism isn’t about softness, “Vegetarianism is the perfect antidote for food allergies. Many Indians are not even aware that their stomach health problems like gas and acidity are due to some kind of food allergy. For example, few people know that milk is an additional infant growth fluid, but adults do not need it. Also, animal milk of any kind brings with it hormones and chemicals that are not in sync with the human body, which it rejects. We crave milk because lactose is addictive,” she says. She makes bakes, pizzas, patties and even barfis that do not use milk solids or poultry in place of coconut, soy or almond milk. Similarly, plant-based foods and meats are just as good in terms of satiety value and nutrients.
“Why do we consume animal meat? Because we are attracted to taste and texture, which can easily be replicated. The animals we consume are all herbivores, feeding on plant proteins,” she argues. She uses seitan, a plant-based meat substitute. “Wheat flour and water are kneaded to make a sticky dough. It is then washed to remove the starch, leaving only a mass of pure gluten protein. It has a chewy texture and you can absorb any meaty flavor you want.” Her potato-sprouted burger patties have the same protein value as their animal meat counterpart.
In 2019 the US-based National Library of Medicine found substantial evidence to show that “well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets can be considered safe during pregnancy and lactation, but they require a strong need for balanced intake of key nutrients.” Awareness is needed. A design of pregestational nutrition intervention is needed to avoid maternal undernutrition and the resultant impaired fetal development.”
And while many moms-to-be take iron supplements in general, they can get enough iron from beans, soy, oat bran, barley, pumpkin seeds, dried fruits, spinach and chickpeas. For any deficiency that is not met by dietary inputs, an expectant mother can always rely on supplements as recommended by the doctor. So there’s no need to worry.