Iron forms an integral part of the hemoglobin, i.e. the protein molecule in the blood that is responsible for carrying oxygen through the body. Iron is also an essential element for transporting oxygen to muscles, helping them function properly and increasing the body’s resistance to tiredness, stress and illnesses.
During pregnancy, your body’s ability to absorb iron increases. Thereby, we advise you to boost your daily iron intake so you can get enough of this necessary mineral for you and your baby and alleviate your symptoms of depression, exhaustion, irritation and weakness.
To help yourself get your daily requirement of iron that is equal to 30 mg per day, you should follow a well-balanced nutritious diet based on a minimum of 3 iron-rich meals per day. Try to eat lots of food and drinks high in vitamin C, because vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron unlike caffeine sources which you must avoid entirely.
Among the top healthy food rich with iron, here is a selection of our choice:
- Spinach: Every half cup of cooked spinach contains 3.2 mg of iron, in addition to other beneficial minerals and vitamins, including Beta-Carotene, Folate, Vitamin C and Calcium.
- Iron-fortified cereals: The iron content of breakfast cereals varies by brand, yet it usually ranges between 1.8 and 2.1 mg per serving.
- Beef meat: Each serving of beef meat contains between 2.5 and 3 mg of heme iron that is easily absorbed by the body.
- Cane molasses: Each tablespoon of cane molasses, commonly used as a natural sweetener, contains 3.5 mg of iron, along with Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium.
- Prunes: Prunes are a viable source of iron. They are also high in dietary fibers that can help relieve constipation which is a common symptom during pregnancy.
- White beans: All beans have high levels of iron but the white type has more iron than others and contains around 3.9 mg per half cup.
- Pumpkin seeds: Try to roast some pumpkin seeds and eat them as a light and beneficial snack. Each handful of these seeds contains 4.4 mg of iron.
If, despite your healthy eating efforts, you still feel that you’re not getting enough iron, do not hesitate to ask your doctor about iron supplements that will increase your daily intake of this mineral and prevent complications caused by iron- deficiency.
Read More: Top 9 Pregnancy Superfoods
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