Increasing iron in your pregnancy diet
Iron is a very important mineral. It is an important part of hemoglobin , the substance that carries oxygen throughout the whole body. Iron is absorbed more efficiently during pregnancy. It is therefore essential to consume more of this mineral during pregnancy to ensure that both you and your baby are getting enough oxygen.
How much iron should a pregnant woman consume ?
Pregnant women need about 27 milligrams (mg) of iron daily. There are natural ways to get this mineral during pregnancy. One of the best ways is to eat highly fortified breakfast cereal. There are also other foods that are a great source of iron such as dark chocolate.
Food that are a rich source of nutrients .
Vegetables : Vegetables that are rich in this mineral include the following :
- spinach, cooked
- tomatoes, canned , stewed
- green beans
- sweet potatoes
- green beans
Fruits : Fruits that contain this mineral include the following :
- water melon
- dried peaches
- dried apricots
Egg and meat : This mineral is high in eggs and the following meat :
- oysters ( cooked )
Bread cereals and starches : The following foods are good sources of this mineral :
- oat cereal
- bran cereal
- enriched pasta
- enriched rice
- baked potato
- corn meal
Beans , legumes and nuts : Other good sources of this important mineral include :
- beans ( white beans , chicken peas, kidney peas )
- dried peas
- pumpkin/squash seeds
Absorption of iron
Not all the foods that contain iron have equal amount of this mineral to be absorbed by the body. There are two types , heme iron and non- heme iron. The heme type is found in poultry, meat and fish. The non heme type include both plants foods such as (vegetables, beans, fortified grains ) and meat. The body readily absorbs the heme type than the non heme type. It is therefore important to eat all the various sources of iron. It is also best to pair non heme iron sources with foods rich in vitamins C because vitamin C aids in iron absorption.
Some vitamin C rich foods include :
- bell peppers
- brussel sprouts
Increasing Iron in Your Diet During Pregnancy. Cleveland Clinic . Accessed May 18 , 2015
Iron rich foods. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diet/iron-rich-foods.Accessed May 18, 2015