According to research, more than half of pregnant women are iron deficient, making anemia in pregnancy an extremely common condition. But why is iron so essential during pregnancy, how much must you get, and what Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy? Everything you want to know is right here.
- 1 Why Is Iron Vital During Pregnancy?
- 2 How effective is iron supplementation?
- 3 How Much Iron Should You Take While Pregnant?
- 4 Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy to Consume
- 5 Should You Take Iron Supplements While Pregnant?
- 6 In conclusion
Why Is Iron Vital During Pregnancy?
Iron deficiency in pregnant women is especially concerning because it is one of the most mineral elements for the developing fetus and mother.
“Iron is an essential element of hemoglobin,” says Robert Kiltz, M.D., director and founder of CNY Fertility in Syracuse, New York. “During pregnancy, a mother’s blood volume increases by 50% to produce all the nutrients a growing fetus requires,” he says. Blood volume is increased by red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, and plasma.
Kiltz adds that the body requires extra iron to summarize all new blood cells, which a mom can get from her diet. “Because iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, women who are iron deficient cannot produce enough blood to meet the growing fetal requirements for oxygen and nutrients.”
How effective is iron supplementation?
Iron from animal foods is absorbed faster than iron from plant foods. As a result, pregnant women take priority eating more meat, fish, and eggs, which boosts the mother’s physical strength while also providing nutrients to the fetus.
Iron absorption will be improved if pregnant women consume foods high in vitamin C during meals.
At this time, the availability of fresh tropical fruit will provide pregnant women with a variety of options. Acidic fruits include guava, papayas, oranges, strawberries, tangerines, grapefruit, tomatoes, kiwis, cherries, and so on. Because the fruit contains a lot of water, it should be ingested whole rather than squeezed.
High in fiber, it aids pregnant women in defecating easily and prevents constipation. Furthermore, if the mother accidentally consumes iron-inhibiting substances, the source of iron will be limited. It’s the tannin in tea or the phytate in whole grains.
Also, limit your consumption of dairy products even though dairy products, particularly for women, inhibit iron absorption from food; if used, it ought to be taken away from the main meal. Caffeine, too, inhibits iron absorption from food; therefore, avoid drinking coffee, coke, or carbonated beverages during meals and limit consumption to two hours after eating.
How Much Iron Should You Take While Pregnant?
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, women of childbearing age require about 18 milligrams of iron per day, and to meet fetal and maternal needs during pregnancy, that number increases to 27 milligrams per day (ACOG).
Iron can be heme or non-heme in food. Heme iron is typically found in meat, fish, and poultry, whereas non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods. Other than the food, some pregnant women may choose to take an iron supplement to fulfill the recommended daily amount. Iron supplements are typically made up of ferrous sulfate (325 milligrams) as well as ferrous gluconate (324 milligrams).
Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy to Consume
According to Dr. Kiltz, the following Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy is excellent choices during pregnancy if you have anemia or want to avoid it.
Meat in Red
“Red meat holds heme-iron, which is found only in animal sources and is very bio-available and efficient for your body,” Dr. Kiitz explains.
While there are a few options for red meat, a 4-ounce serving of grass-fed beef includes 2.09 milligrams of iron.
Legumes such as chickpeas, peas, soybeans, or tofu… are excellent sources of protein as well as Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy for vegetarians, with the exception of pregnant women. Not only that but beans can be processed into meals for pregnant mothers to sip, both of which are low in calories and high in soluble fiber.
Pumpkin seeds are also a good iron source and are commonly consumed as a snack because they are tasty and simple to prepare. Pumpkin seeds also contain manganese, vitamin K, zinc, and magnesium, all of which help to lower the risk of developing insulin resistance, diabetes, and depression.
Dark Chocolate Extreme
One of the Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy is Dark chocolate. Milk chocolates have a lot of sugar, and yet super-dark chocolate—think 70% to 85% cacao—has less sugar and more nutrients like magnesium and iron. Iron is present in a 1-ounce offering of 70% to 85% cacao dark chocolate, which contains 3.37 milligrams. It is one of the best food for pregnant women.
Spinach is high in nutrients and is one of the Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy. It includes folate, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy. It’s also one of the good sources of plant-based Foods High In Iron For Pregnancy. Iron is present in.813 milligrams per cup of spinach. And because this leafy green cooks quickly when sautéed or baked, it’s simple to consume a lot of it.
Other Sources of Iron
Looking for additional iron sources? According to the University of California San Francisco Health, the following foods are also excellent choices for pregnant women.
- Clams: According to ACOG, it is not safe to consume raw fish during pregnancy, but cooked clams can be a good source of iron—3 ounces of clams comprise 2.28 milligrams of iron.
- Oysters: While raw and undercooked fish should be managed to avoid during pregnancy, cooked oysters can be a good source of iron. A single medium oyster provides 2.56 milligrams of iron, so eating six oysters provides more than 50 percent of your daily iron requirements.
- Chicken liver contains a lot of iron: 10.2 mg of iron is contained in just 4 ounces.
- Lentils: Lentils, like beans, are an awesome plant-based source of iron during pregnancy. Lentils have 6.59 mg of iron per cup.
- In addition to iron-rich foods, ACOG recommends foods that aid in iron absorption, such as peppers, orange juice, broccoli, grapefruit, and strawberries.
Should You Take Iron Supplements While Pregnant?
During pregnancy, your doctor will check your iron levels on a regular basis. If they discover you’re iron deficient and diagnose you with pregnancy anemia, they may write a prescription an iron supplement.
If your iron levels are normal, you don’t need to supplement with iron, as research shows that taking iron supplements as just a precautionary measure probably doesn’t provide significant benefits. Instead, take a vitamin supplement every day, try to eat iron-rich and healthy foods as well as foods that assist your body to absorb iron, and stick to your doctor’s recommendations.
Iron is essential for both pregnant women as well as fetuses, and it has a direct impact on pregnant women’s health during pregnancy and childbirth. The chance of bleeding, eclampsia and postpartum infection is extremely high and dangerous.
During antenatal care, you perform a Ferritin test to determine whether you have iron deficiency or not, especially if pregnant women have symptoms such as body fatigue, pale sick people, frequent headaches, and dizziness. You should seek detailed medical advice from your doctor and undergo any necessary examinations and tests.