Regularly our GiT spouse Reffat Ara Shegufa writes about health topics. This time about the value of an iron rich diet for pregnant women.
Pregnancy is a very significant and sensitive time. Your body needs to adjust with enormous hormonal alterations.
During pregnancy the body needs extra calories, vitamins and minerals; because during this period you eat not only for yourself but also for your baby.
So your meal should cover the need of two persons!
Among all other nutrients iron is a very important mineral during pregnancy. At this time the body absorbs iron more efficiently.
Therefore it is important to consume more iron while you are pregnant to ensure that you and your baby are getting enough oxygen. Iron will also help you to avoid the symptoms of tiredness, irritability, depression and weakness.
The daily requirement of iron for a pregnant lady is approximately 30mg.
Sources of Iron:
- Green vegetables: Spinach, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
- Liver (not too much to avoid excess vitamin A)
- Cereals made from iron fortified grains
- All types of beans
- Pumpkin seeds
- Egg yolk
- Prune juice
- Whole wheat bread
- Fruits: different types of berries, apricots, grapes, oranges, plums.
Some important notes about Iron
Vitamin C helps your body to use iron. It is important to include sources of vitamin C along with foods containing iron and iron supplements.
Vitamin C rich foods: orange juice, grape fruit juice, green peppers, melon, cabbage, broccoli, strawberries Caffeine can inhibit iron absorption. So do not take caffeine with iron rich foods and supplements.Take caffeine one or three hours before or after iron supplements.
Sources rich in caffeine: coffee, tea, colas and chocolate products. Constipation is sometimes associated with iron supplementation.
To get rid of constipation, fiber rich diet, water and moderate exercise (recommended by your doctors) could be a good solution. Beside iron rich foods, you can talk to your doctors for extra iron supplements. N.B. Make sure that you have no allergic reaction with these foods.
Wish you all a safe and sound journey