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Iron Rich Foods for Pregnancy: What to eat and why is it so Important?

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

One must take adequate amounts of minerals, fibre and vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin K in their diet

Pregnancy is a roller-coaster ride with emotional and physical highs and lows. It is one of the most beautiful journeys of a woman’s life. Women go through a lot of physical changes during the pregnancy and their body needs around 200 extra calories per day during this period. Hence, it becomes quite essential to take a nutrient-rich and healthy diet during pregnancy to support the growth and development of the foetus.

During this period, the blood volume increases and so does the demand for iron intake. Lack of iron can cause anaemia which can cause fatigue, dizziness or even haemorrhage during delivery. Also, pregnant women who are iron deficient are likely to deliver premature babies and low-weight babies.

One must take adequate amounts of minerals, fibre and vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin K in their diet. One must include meat, poultry, dairy products, seeds, beans and wheat bran at this time. Women should also increase the intake of Vitamin C as it enables the body to absorb more iron.

Here are some of the iron-rich foods that you must include in your diet:

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Beans, lentils and legumes:

Beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans are some of the greatest sources of iron, especially for vegetarians. A cup of prepared lentils can provide 6.6 mg of your daily iron. These are also a good source of folate, magnesium, and potassium.

Spinach and kale:

Spinach and kale are rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins, and iron. One cup of cooked kale contains around 1 mg of iron, while spinach contains 6.4 mg of iron per cup. You can include these in your salad or chop them up into an omelette, or just sauté some in a saucepan.

Broccoli:

This easy-to-prepare veggie is enriched with several nutrients that are beneficial in pregnancy. This exotic veggie not only increases the iron intake but also contains a hefty amount of vitamin C, which helps in iron absorption. It is also rich in fibre and hence, improve digestion as well.

Pumpkin seeds:

Pumpkin seeds are a tasty, portable snack that is high in iron as well as Vitamin K, zinc, and manganese. They are also the best sources of magnesium.

Meat, chicken and fish:

If you are a non-vegetarian, you can include chicken, fish and lamb or goat meat in your diet to increase your iron intake. These are extremely nutritious and high in iron especially some of their organs like the liver, heart and kidney. These are also high in protein and rich in vitamins, copper, and selenium.

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