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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

Vitamin B-2 and B-12 - Certain studies have found that vegans consume insufficient amounts of vitamin B-2 (riboflavin). Riboflavin is essential for converting protein, fats, and carbohydrates into energy, and for the synthesis and repair of body tissues. Good sources of riboflavin include whole grains, mushrooms, almonds, leafy green vegetables and yeast extracts.

Vitamin B-12 is found primarily in meat, dairy products, and eggs and is absent from plant foods. Vegans can obtain B-12 from a wide range of foods which have been fortified with B-12, including certain yeast extracts, veggie burger mixes, breakfast cereals, vegetable margarines and soy milks. Read food labels to find individual products that are fortified with B-12.

Vitamin D - Vitamin D is found in oily fish, eggs and dairy products in variable amounts, but it is not found in plants. Vegans can obtain vitamin D from vegetable margarines, some soy milks, and vitamin D fortified foods. Vitamin D is also synthesized by the skin when exposed to sunlight, and normal daily exposure to sun usually satisfies the body's requirement.

Zinc and other trace minerals - Plant foods contain phytates, oxolates, and fiber that actually interfere with the absorption of zinc and other trace minerals. You can get some zinc by eating whole grains and legumes, but to be sure you are getting the necessary amount, you should take a vitamin supplement.

It is a good idea to speak with a nutritionist to be sure you are eating a balanced diet, and work with an obstetrician who understands and supports your choice. Most pregnant women choose to take a prenatal vitamin, which will fill in any gaps in a normal vegetarian or vegan diet. However, they are not a substitute for good general nutrition. Be sure you eat a balanced diet, and consume enough calories and the right nutrients for your health and that of your baby.

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