There really is a plethora of health benefits associated with a whole foods plant-based diet, and they have been written about extensively (check out the resources page for some great studying materials), but here I would like to present a summary of the benefits as they directly relate to pregnancy, fertility and breastfeeding.
Simply put, animal products wreak havoc on our hormones. Why? Because they’re chock full of them! (Yes, even the organic ones). Estrogen in eggs, pregnancy hormones in dairy, testosterone in meat…it’s a recipe for hormonal disaster. You can learn more about this in Dr. Neal Barnard’s book Your Body in Balance.
I haven’t seen this crop up in any research yet, but having experienced a pregnancy while eating a SAD (standard American diet) and two eating a predominantly plant-based diet, I can say from personal experience that I experienced significantly less heartburn while on the plant-based diet. One reason I believe this was the case is because meat is so high in acid and it takes longer for our bodies to digest.
After my first pregnancy, I had about twenty pesky pregnancy pounds that just didn’t want to go away. I couldn’t believe how fast that twenty pound melted away when I made the switch. I still have some pounds I’d like to shed, but I’m proud to say that even after three babies, I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.
There are hundreds of inspirational stories about people who have successfully lost weight by adopting a whole foods plant-based diet.
Reduced Risk of Gestational Diabetes
A plant-based diet can actually reverse diabetes, so it only makes sense that it can help with gestational diabetes as well.
Check out this informative video about what insulin is, what it does, and what causes insulin resistance.
Decrease your intake of harmful toxins
Which foods seem to contribute the most heavy metals and other pollutants? The number-one source of arsenic was poultry among preschoolers and, for their parents, tuna. The top source for lead? Dairy. For mercury? Seafood.NutritionFacts
A note about BPA: One study showed that consuming more than 400 micrograms of natural folate a day seems to cancel out the effects BPA has on fertility and egg quality.
Reduce reflux and colic in your baby
Even babies who don’t test positive for milk sensitivities may be having bad reactions to their mommy’s breastmilk because of the dairy products she consumes. Cutting out the dairy might just help reduce the painful colic and unpleasant reflux in your baby.