Pregnancy is a crucial time in a woman’s life. At this time, she requires a nutrient-dense, balanced, wholesome and iron rich diet for pregnancy. Eating right, especially during pregnancy, plays a crucial role because whatever you eat and drink will influence the growth of the baby inside you.
The mother needs to provide nutrients both for the baby in the womb and her own body. Consequently, there is a huge possibility of depletion of important minerals from the pregnant woman’s body. Undoubtedly you need to increase your intake of calories, vitamins, and minerals. And one significant mineral you need to consume in substantial quantities during pregnancy is iron.
Why Is an Iron Rich Diet For Pregnancy Important?
During pregnancy, your body needs at least twice the amount of iron as it normally does. This is because iron is important for creating extra red blood cells required for the baby. These red blood cells carry oxygen not only to your organs and tissues but to your fetus as well. Foods rich in iron help to maintain a rich supply of oxygen in the blood.
During pregnancy, the baby takes all nutrients directly from the mother’s body. A lack of adequate nutrients in the body can lead to nutritional deficiency. Iron deficiency is very common in people, especially expecting mothers. This deficiency can even lead to anemia. This is the main reason why a proper diet rich in nutrients, especially iron, is important for pregnant women.
Best Iron Rich Diet For Pregnancy
Since the body does not actually produce iron, it is important to meet your iron requirements from your diet and dietary supplements. The best way to get more iron in your diet is to include at least one iron-rich food in each meal.
Some of the best sources of iron include:
Beans and Lentils
Beans and lentils are among the best sources of iron. Besides, they are also rich in fiber and protein, making them an ultimate iron rich diet for pregnancy. You can incorporate them into your healthy diet in several ways: cook them, sprinkle some on your salad, or serve as a side dish at dinner.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach are replete with iron. Including them in your diet will ensure that you never have any iron deficiency. Besides, they are also an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins.
Apart from iron, broccoli is also rich in various other minerals and vitamins that may be very beneficial during pregnancy. It also contains a lot of vitamin C that improves the absorption of iron in the body.
Well-cooked salmon is safe to consume and is considered an iron rich diet for pregnancy. It is a great source of heme iron along with omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that may promote a healthy pregnancy. You can consume 2-3 servings of fish every week to boost your intake of iron and protein. Some other fish that can also be consumed during pregnancy include catfish, herring, trout, scallops, shrimp, and light tuna.
Red meat is an excellent source of heme iron. But it is important to ensure that the meat you consume during pregnancy is fully cooked. Undercooked meat can sometimes lead to bacterial contamination.
Some Other Options In Iron Rich Diet For Pregnancy
Apart from these, several other foods are rich in iron and may help to eliminate the risk of iron deficiency. These include:
- Cooked oatmeal
- Blackstrap molasses
- Slices of boiled potatoes
- Soya beans
- Raisins and figs
- Nuts, including pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, and toasted almonds
- Pumpkin seeds and Quinoa
It is crucial to follow a wholesome and appropriate iron rich diet for pregnancy to promote the good health of the mother and the baby.
Following the right diet infused with all nutrients will make the baby healthier as well. A healthy diet rich in iron and vitamins offers pregnant women adequate stamina to support the demands of pregnancy. There are a variety of dietary supplements rich in iron also available that help to keep both pregnant women and the baby fit and healthy.