Iron Rich Foods During Pregnancy: List Of Foods For Pregnant Women

Iron is an essential mineral which plays a crucial role in formation of hemoglobin which is an integral part of red blood cells. The hemoglobin concentration of the blood determines the oxygen carrying capacity of the red blood cells. Iron rich foods need to be consumed during pregnancy to ensure a healthy and full term normal delivery.

Pregnancy is associated with increased demand for oxygen by the growing fetus. This makes it apparently important to consume foods that are rich in iron, which is the primary mineral that is required to increase the levels of hemoglobin (i.

e. oxygen carrying pigment in the blood). Unfortunately, pregnant females often complain of aversions to foods that are not experienced previously making it difficult to maintain a healthy and iron rich diet. However fortunately there are certain iron rich foods that are palatable during pregnancy, which not only maintain an optimum level of iron but also provide other essential nutrients and vitamins.

Iron Rich Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Here are certain iron rich foods that can be consumed during pregnancy,

  • Meats are a good source of iron. Further unlike grains, nuts and seeds these foods don’t contain iron inhibitors which limit the absorption of iron. However these foods are high in vitamin A levels which occasionally can be harmful for the growing fetus. Hence intake of meats during pregnancy should be maintained in moderation.
  • Grains and beans are also beneficial during pregnancy as they are very palatable and contain a high concentration of iron. However, grains contain phytic acid which is an iron inhibitor and prevents the absorption of iron.
  • Nuts and seeds are also a great source of iron during pregnancy. It is recommended that soaking nuts and seeds overnight in water can reduce the phytic acid content which in turn results in better absorption of iron by the body.
  • Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are also a great source of iron during pregnancy. These foods not only contain iron but loaded with other essential vitamins and minerals that are essential for fetal development.

List Of Foods Rich In Iron For Pregnant Women

Some of the iron rich foods that can be consumed during pregnancy include the following,

  • Meat and fish products like chicken or turkey liver, oyster, cuttlefish, chicken heart, octopus, goose or duck liver, etc. are great sources of iron.
  • Grains like rice barn, wheat barn, Oats, Rye flour, Wheat Germ, Teff and Amaranth are also potentially high in iron content.
  • Vegetables including spinach, soybean, parsley, potatoes, morel mushrooms, lemon grass, winged bean leaves, etc. are also good sources of iron.
  • Fruits namely mulberries, olives, tamarinds, rowal, blueberries, currants, elderberries and passion fruit are good sources of iron.

During pregnancy, a female often requires to take a few snacks on regular basis to prevent hypoglycemia from setting in. Nuts and seeds act as great options for iron rich snacks during pregnancy.

Some of the top iron rich snacks include sesame seeds, water melon seeds, cashews, flax seeds, pine nuts, safflower seeds, hazelnuts, sun flower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Sesame seeds have the highest concentration of iron and one serving can provide up to 82% of the recommended dietary intake of iron for a pregnant female.

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