The obsession with Meghan Markle is reaching a fever height — especially since she just broke the happy news: Apparently, she is pregnant!
she’s just past the 12-week mark, which means she’s entering her second trimester, according to a story published October 15, 2018, in People. And there are reports that the royal is switching up her diet, even though Markle is famous for her healthy ways. Here, we take a look at how the Duchess of Sussex’s habits may change now that she’s eating for two:
1. Markle May Drop Her Mostly Vegan Diet
The former Suits actress has famously talked about eating a vegan diet — at least during the week, and loosening up on the weekend. But an article published October 15, 2018, in RadarOnline.com reported shortly after Markle’s pregnancy announcement that the royal was spotted eating a burger on “the advice of royal doctors.”
That could be a boon to her health. For vegetarians, who eat no meat, it can be difficult to get key nutrients in their diet, such as vitamin B12, choline, DHA, iron, and zinc, says Clallam County, Washington-based Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE, author of Real Food for Pregnancy. For vegans, who eschew all animal products — including dairy, seafood, and eggs — some of these nutrients may be impossible to get, she says. To help avoid nutrient deficiencies, Nichols recommends pregnant women consume an omnivorous diet, but of course, eating choices are entirely personal.
If Markle is moving away from a vegan diet and into more animal-based options, she may make the transition easier by choosing the most nutrient-dense options, like eggs (with yolks), shellfish (particularly oysters), and bone broth, says Nichols. Otherwise, she may consider supplementing with a high-quality prenatal vitamin containing B12 and iron, as well as an algae-based DHA to fill in the gaps.
RELATED: Top 5 Vitamins For Women
2. The Duchess Will Likely Ditch Her Beloved Red Wine
Markle formerly ran a gorgeous lifestyle website called The Tig, named for her love of Tignanello, an Italian red wine, per an article published November 27, 2017, in People. (The site has since been discontinued, but is archived.)
And while there’s some controversy surrounding if it’s safe for women to drink alcohol in small amounts while pregnant, it’s probably safe to say she’s skipping the Tig right now. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes there’s no safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant due to the risk for fetal alcohol syndrome. “If mom wants a drink to relax, there are other things out there that she can try to unwind, like having some chocolate or taking a walk,” says Nicole Avena, PhD, assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and author of What to Eat When You’re Pregnant.
3. The Royal Will Probably Be Skipping Her Green Juice, Too
Sipping on one of the fresh green juices Markle has raved about seems like one of the healthiest things you could do! But now that she’s pregnant, Markle should stop juicing, experts say. “Smoothies are healthier for mom and baby,” says Dr. Avena. “When you juice, you extract the sugar from the fruit and veggie, and throw out the fiber, pulp, and other nutrients. When you make a smoothie, you use the whole fruit or veggie and retain all of the nutrients and benefits of it,” she says.
Another concern: raw, unpasteurized (freshly squeezed) juices aren’t recommended because of the risk they can harbor bacteria that can cause illness, Avena adds.
4. Similarly, Markle Will Need to Curtail Her Kombucha Drinking
Like so many on-trend celebs, Markle has talked about reaching for a kombucha, a probiotic-rich fermented tea, for an energy boost. If you read the fine-print on the bottles, you’ll see the warning that advises pregnant women to consult their doctors before consuming. Why? Many are unpasteurized, or “raw.” “All foods consumed during pregnancy should be pasteurized, but many fermented foods are not because it kills the bacteria that is potentially beneficial,” explains Sarah Krieger, MPH, a registered dietitian nutritionist in St. Petersburg, Florida, who specializes in family nutrition.
To get an alternate source of gut-healthy probiotics, Krieger recommends kefir yogurt drinks. “This is the best option during pregnancy since it provides probiotics, calcium, and protein, and is pasteurized,” she says.
5. The Duchess Should Still Fill Up on Fish — but Cautiously
A sashimi lover, Markle may or may not be giving up her beloved raw bites, depending on who you ask. Krieger advises pregnant women avoid any raw or undercooked proteins. “The mother is more vulnerable to food poisoning, which can potentially harm the baby,” she says.
On the other hand, Nichols says that many women opt to eat sushi if they know the place they’re getting it from is reputable. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service says it’s “usually safe to eat sushi and other dishes made with raw fish when you’re pregnant.” So Markle may be digging in anyway. If not, she should still load up on at least 12 ounces per week of sources of cooked low-mercury fish, like salmon or sardines, to potentially help bolster baby’s brain development.
RELATED: 7 Costly Dangers of Going Keto
6. Markle Can Make Mac and Cheese Better Now That She’s Expecting
Markle may be all about the healthy eats, but she craves comfort food, too. Specifically: boxed macaroni and cheese. But, of course, she tries to make it the best possible. “I now buy Annie’s — the organic one — if I’m craving it, but I throw some frozen peas into it and have this gooey, simple, childlike meal,” she said in an interview published in November 2017 in the blog EyeSwoon. She’s just getting out of the food aversion–heavy first trimester, so she may have been eating a lot of these easy carbs recently, says Nichols. Markle could make this meal healthier by using alternative pastas made from lentils (to decrease refined carbs) and make a cheese sauce from scratch, Nichols suggests.
7. She Should Think About Her Health Holistically While Pregnant
No doubt Markle has access to a team who will watch out for her wellness. “Having a healthy baby means having a healthy mom, in every way,” says Avena. That goes beyond nutrition. Staying active with exercise (Avena recommends swimming as a good low-impact option), getting enough sleep (Markle can likely count on staff to take care of the housework), and reducing stress (she may take on fewer commitments).
“Pregnancy is a critical window of development when all of the brain and bodily systems form and mature. Having a healthy prenatal environment is the best way to ensure that the baby will grow healthy and strong,” says Avena.