Expecting moms should consume iron rich food. Iron, the component of hemoglobin not only gives strength to women to cope with pregnancy, but it’s also crucial for the development of the baby. In this post, I have gathered top 5 iron rich food during pregnancy every woman must consume. Do have a read and stay inspired to stay healthy throughout the 9 months!
Iron is a protein component present in red blood cells (RBC) that carries oxygen throughout the body. Deficiency of iron causes deficit of oxygen supply thereby causing the cells to shrink.
[Also Read: List To Avoid When Pregnant]
During pregnancy, since body requires extra amount of nutrients, iron requirement also doubles up as it produces extra red blood cells that help in development of placenta and fetus. The role of iron even doubles up during the third trimester, when the fetus starts storing iron.
How much iron is required for expecting moms?
In order to ensure proper health, an optimal supply of iron through iron rich meals for pregnancy is essential. A recommended dose of 27mg of should be consumed on daily basis.
Below is an ideal meal plan that includes natural sources of iron during pregnancy –
1. Wholegrain crackers with cheese – 4
1. Iron fortified cereals with milk – 1 cup
2. Whole meal toast with peanut butter -1 slice
3. Orange juice – 1 glass
1. Baked beans – 1 small can
2. Wholegrain toast – 2 slices
1. Cashews -1 handful
2. Dried apricots – 6
1. Chicken – 200 gms
2. Steamed spinach – 2 cups
3. Small corn on the cob – 1
1. A glass of milk with Horlicks
Important and healthy food for pregnant women, as mentioned above, thus helps maintain a healthy pregnancy!
What happens if there is deficiency in iron?
When foods rich in iron are consumed in lesser quantity, expecting moms with low iron level are prone to anemia – a common health problem affecting one out of every 5 women. Deficiency of iron further leads to the increased risk of low birth weight of babies, premature delivery and reduced growth in fetal organs.
The common symptoms due to iron deficiency includes the following –
2. Excessive tiredness
3. Lack of motivation
5. Mood swings
8. Weak immune resistance
Post delivery iron deficiency causes the following problems –
1. Reduced milk supply
2. Plugged ducts
3. Delay in healing of sore nipples
Here are top 5 iron rich foods you must have when pregnant –
Firstly, pregnant or not, iron rich foods every woman must include in her diet.Talking specifically about pregnant women,normally there are two types of iron – heme iron and non-heme iron. The iron present in animal foods is attached to proteins and is known as heme iron. But in plant foods, iron is not attached to proteins and is classified as non-heme. While heme iron is typically absorbed at a rate of 7-35%; non-heme iron is absorbed at rate of 2-20%.
Expecting moms, who consume animal foods, should go for the following healthy food at the time of pregnancy –
1. 3 ounces of roasted chicken as it offers 1.1 mg of heme iron
2. 3 ounces of turkey breast as it offers – 1.4 mg of heme iron
Expecting moms, who are vegetarian, should go for the following iron rich diet in pregnancy –
3. 1 cup fortified oatmeal as it offers 10 mg of non-heme iron
4. 1 cup cooked lentils as it offers 6.6 mg of non-heme iron
5. 1/2 cup boiled spinach as it offers 3.2 mg of non-heme iron
Do those were the important foods to eat during pregnancy.Apart from these, iron rich vegetables, iron rich fruits such as orange should also be consumed.
Iron rich diet in pregnancy is highly essential to ensure healthy pregnancy and overall health of baby and mother.