Pregnancy is often associated with having tremendous cravings, whether that means waking up in the middle of the night searching the pantry for chocolate or simply wanting a type of food you've never shown interest in before. Pregnancy cravings are common, but it's critical that mothers don't fall into a downward spiral of unhealthy eating while carrying. Researchers have found that consuming junk food during pregnancy can lead to a number of negative outcomes, including excessive weight gain for the mother and child, as well as improper development of the baby's brain, bones, organs and immune system.
To ensure your baby develops in the womb as God intended, we recommend following the Hallelujah Diet. While you won't consume any meat or dairy products with this 100-percent primarily raw plant-based eating plan, it's still possible to obtain all necessary protein, calcium and other vital nutrients for healthy reproduction. Vegetables, fruits, organic whole grains, nuts and seeds are loaded with important nutrients like iron, folate, potassium, magnesium and other essential vitamins and minerals your baby needs to thrive.
In addition, every pregnant women, whether they are following the Hallelujah Diet or not, should strongly consider supplementing with vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, and fish oil. These nutrients are critical for proper brain and nerve development during pregnancy. Many infants have suffered irreversible negative consequences from shortages of these 4 nutrients during development.
Eating well during your pregnancy is more beneficial than you think. Here are a few of the many reasons to prioritize a wholesome, healthy diet while carrying your child:
1. Helps You Mitigate Common Symptoms
Nausea, gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn, indigestion and excess weight gain – all common signs of pregnancy that nobody wants to deal with. Unfortunately, eating poorly can trigger some of these symptoms, but consuming healthy foods can mitigate them.
- Nausea – Eating small, healthy meals throughout the day can help reduce feelings of nausea. Consume lots of ginger, as its natural ability to curb an upset stomach can be your savior during pregnancy.
- Gas and constipation – To reduce gas and constipation, prioritize fiber through fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Excess weight gain – Avoid unnecessary weight gain by eliminating fatty meats and dairy products, as well as refined sugars and processed foods from your diet. Natural, plant-based sustenance from God's garden is all you need to thrive and maintain a healthy pregnant weight.
2. Reduces Your Risk for Pregnancy Complications
High blood pressure and gestational diabetes can occur as a result of eating poorly during your pregnancy. High blood pressure levels can increase your risk for experiencing complications like preeclampsia, which can cause congestive heart failure, changes in vision, stroke and seizures, as well as kidney and liver issues, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Gestational diabetes that goes untreated can impact your baby's birth weight and increase your chance of preterm delivery or needing a cesarean section.
"Our diet has a reputation for lowering blood pressure and blood sugar to manageable levels."
The Hallelujah Diet has a reputation for aiding your body in maintaining optimal blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This makes eating well and considering our diet plan throughout your pregnancy critical for avoiding such pregnancy complications.
3. Increases Chances for a Healthy Weight for the Baby
According to the EatSmart lifestyle blog, babies born with low or high weight can develop more health problems and complications than those who are born at a healthy, normal weight. Eating poorly or not enough can impact your baby's growth and development in the womb, then ultimately when he or she is born. To help your child grow properly in utero, follow a plant-based diet and eat at least 300 more calories per day than you normally would. This ensures you're "eating for two" without doubling the amount of food you have to consume in a day.
4. Helps You Lose Weight Faster Postpartum
For some women, bouncing back to pre-pregnancy weight is more difficult than it is for others. Eating poorly while carrying will only reduce your chance of losing the excess weight after your child is born. Following a nutritious diet throughout the pregnancy instills healthy habits in your brain that you will likely continue once your baby is born, which makes it easier for you to maintain your health and get back down to your pre-pregnancy weight.
As discussed earlier, there's no reason to worry about nutrient deficiency during pregnancy while following the Hallelujah Diet with appropriate supplementation, especially vitamin B12.. In fact, our plant-based eating regimen can improve your overall health and contribute to proper development of your child in the womb.
For more information on following the Hallelujah Diet during your pregnancy, read our own health expert Olin Idol's book, "Pregnancy, Children and the Hallelujah Diet." Also, continue reading our weekly "Science of Her" blog posts. We'll teach you some tips and tricks for prioritizing health during pregnancy, premenopause and postmenopause.