Part Two – Can You Be Vegetarian or Vegan while Pregnant?

2. Calcium is also very important during pregnancy and nursing (and for moms, in the months just after nursing, to replenish the calcium in their own bones). If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, add rich sources of calcium in your diet, such as tofu, tempeh, sesame seeds, greens (collard greens, turnip greens), and figs. (Check the label on your tofu. Tofu processed with calcium sulfate tends to have much higher levels of calcium than tofu processed with nigari.) You’ll also get some calcium from kale, soybeans, bok choy, mustard greens, tahini, broccoli, almonds, and spinach. And you can find many calcium-fortified foods (soy milk, orange juice—even whole grain waffles), and of course, calcium supplements. The lower animal protein intake of vegetarians does seem to reduce the body’s calcium losses, but there is not enough evidence to say that vegans need less calcium when pregnant or nursing. I recommend getting 1,000 milligrams every day (1,300 milligrams if you are under age nineteen).

Read more from Can You Be Vegetarian or Vegan while Pregnant?

Part One – Vitamin B12
Part Two – Calcium
Part Three – Variety and Organics

Published on: October 09, 2007
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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