For many people, they can switch to the raw food diet of the SAD (Standard American Diet) without any thought, other than how much healthier they're going to be once they get adjusted and really into this healthier lifestyle. However, for pregnant women, any diet changes are a little more complicated, as they not only have their own bodies to think of but their children's bodies as well. Because of this, we recommend anyone who is pregnant speak to their doctor before completely switching over to the raw food diet. However, we also have more information on the raw food diet and pregnancy, including some positives of adding more raw foods to your diet if not completely switching to raw foods only.
There is a lot of information out there regarding the raw food diet and pregnancy, some of it inaccurate regarding whether it is adequate or not for the developing baby. Of course, you want to ensure that you are feeding your baby quality foods while pregnant, which means nourishing your body in a good way with a focus on fruits and vegetables, which is something the raw food diet encourages. In fact, the raw food diet is very similar to a vegan diet, except for the fact that most of what is ingested in the raw food diet is not cooked, whereas vegans can still cook their vegetables. However, the basis is the same, a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
Choosing a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables is a great choice for a pregnant woman, as these foods provide critical nutrients for your developing baby and changing body. They aren't necessarily as filling or high in calories, so you may need to eat more in a day to ensure you are meeting your calorie needs, but you'll be filling your body with nutrient-dense options that are a healthy choice. Not only that, but vegetables and fruits are often a good source of fiber, which may be beneficial in helping with some of the more unpleasant side effects of pregnancy. This type of diet also eliminates more of the unhealthy types of foods found. Rather than reaching for processed sweets, when you munch on a piece of fruit, you are ingesting natural sugars, without the extras that are added to give it extra flavor. Instead, you'll enjoy flavorful foods without any chemicals added to give them that fresh taste.
One thing to keep in mind during this, however, is that the same rules still apply as far as eating sushi and other raw items like raw eggs. These could be potentially dangerous to your developing baby, so it's important that if you generally enjoy sushi that you allow yourself a break from it during the 9 months of pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association makes this recommendation because these raw foods may be more likely to cause listeria, which is a bacteria that results in sickness and potentially miscarriage. In addition to avoiding certain raw foods, pregnant women should make sure they are thoroughly washing their fruits and vegetables before consumption, especially if you are not cooking them beforehand, as there could be lingering bacteria that could hurt you or your unborn child.
One thing to keep in mind is that variety and moderation are key, as you don't want to consume too many of the same type of food to avoid absorbing too much of a nutrient. So even on a raw food diet or adding more raw foods to your diet during this time, you'll want to ensure that you are keeping this varied and choosing different options for yourself. Don't only eat bananas for breakfast, mix it up with other fruit or even types of smoothies. This applies to the same types of vegetables as well, making sure you allow your body to try different ones and have a good variety in your diet.
The main takeaway from this for pregnant women and the raw food diet is to consult with your doctor before making any large changes to your diet, and emphasize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet to ensure that your baby is getting everything it needs.