Let's Break It Down: Plant-Based Motherhood
Our team of nutritionists have gotten a lot of questions about the benefits of being plant-based/vegan/vegetarian. So, we’ve teamed up with Whitney and Alex of Plant Based Juniors to break it down for you!
The Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet: The Science
To sum it up, studies show that vegans and vegetarians have a significantly reduced risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Additionally, they have a greater life expectancy. One large study of vegetarians in California found that men and women live 7.3 years and 4.4 years longer than their non-vegetarian counterparts, respectively.
Studies of populations living in “The Blue Zones” (areas with the highest concentration of people over 100 years of age) show that their diets are rich in plants and low in animal products.
In Okinawa, for example, which has the largest population of centenarians in the world and also an extremely low risk of hormone-dependent cancers including breast, ovary, prostate and colon cancer, the majority of the diet comes from sweet potatoes!
Combined with other vegetables like cabbage, bitter melon and seaweed, sweet potatoes made up about 60% of the traditional Okinawan diet. Meanwhile fish accounted for a mere 1% of the diet, and meat <1%.
But what about during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Being plant-based during pregnancy and breastfeeding is absolutely doable and healthy! BUT it comes with several considerations and requires educating yourself before committing to say buh-bye to animal products. Plant-based diets can make it more difficult to get bioavailable nutrients, like iron and choline, and if not being mindful, it can be easy to lack certain macro and micronutrients in a plant-based diet.
For example, eggs are one of the best sources of choline, a very important nutrient during pregnancy, so cutting them out of your diet can be unhealthy if you’re not getting adequate choline. Another example is iron. Iron from plants is not as readily absorbed by the body than animal-based iron. Thus, it requires consumption with vitamin C and without calcium in order to be fully utilized by the body.
That’s why I just so respect and admire Whitney and Alex of Plant Based Juniors and their commitment to making a plant-based lifestyle accessible and realistic, while educating you on all the important pieces to consider in order to have a healthy pregnancy and baby while plant-based.
You can now get your own plant-based Bumpin Blends smoothies, along with Whitney and Alex’s super helpful Plant-Based Guides for pregnancy, infant feeding, and baby led weaning - all discounted and in one bundle! We hope you enjoy!
And what about my baby? Can babies be plant-based??
Of course! Whitney and Alex have created the PB3 plate (below!) and their First Bites ebook to help guide you in feeding your babes a plant-based diet, too!