Pregnancy

Iron Rich Foods During Pregnancy

Many women, especially those carrying multiples, are more likely to suffer from anemia during pregnancy. The increase in blood volume during pregnancy will create a demand for the iron needed for hemoglobin production. In order to boost this production of hemoglobin, it is important to eat plenty of iron rich foods during pregnancy.

You can also talk to your doctor about taking iron supplements, but if the iron comes from a food source then it has a greater chance of being absorbed more quickly by the body. Read on to find out more about iron rich foods during pregnancy.

Foods Rich in Iron that are Recommended during Pregnancy
Here are some foods that are rich in iron:

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Dried fruits like apricots are rich sources of iron and are easy to snack on. Other good sources are pumpkin, collard greens, turnip, spinach and kale.
  • Beans like lentils, chick peas and green peas are also good sources of iron.
  • Vegetables and fruit contain non-heme iron, which is a bit harder for the body to absorb that the heme iron found in red meat.
  • It is important that you take these iron rich foods with iron helpers so that iron gets absorbed into the body.

Eat More Meat

  • It is bad news for vegetarians and vegans that meat contains very high levels of iron that will easily be absorbed by the body.
  • If you are getting your iron from meat sources then there are some things that you must keep in mind such as cooking the meat properly to prevent listeriosis or toxoplasmosis infections that can affect the baby.
  • Poultry must also be cooked well to avoid contamination.
  • If you are a vegan or vegetarian then it is worthwhile having a talk with your health care provider about other ways of adding iron to your diet.

Increase Vitamin C (Helper) Intake

  • It is not enough to simply increase the amount of iron in your diet; you should also take vitamins that will help the iron to be absorbed.
  • Vitamin C is also called a helper vitamin as it helps with iron absorption in the body.
  • Drink a glass of orange juice while you are eating foods rich in iron.
  • If you cannot drink the juice then eat colored vegetables like tomatoes with your meal.

Watch out for These Foods

  • There are certain foods that reduce the absorption of iron and should not be taken at the same time as iron pills or iron rich foods.
  • Caffeine and calcium decrease the absorption of iron.
  • Beverages like milk, tea and coffee must be avoided while eating iron rich foods.
  • You should not cut out milk from your diet completely during pregnancy. But it is best to drink it between meals in order to give your body a chance to absorb the iron. content from the meals.

These are some of the important things to remember before you start the intake of iron rich foods during pregnancy.

Don’t forget, if you have any doubts or questions, consult a doctor for further information.

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