Iron is a very important mineral that should be an important component of ones diet. Iron becomes more important during pregnancy, In case you wonder why iron is important in pregnancy, here is the answer.
Iron is responsible for the production of a protein called hemoglobin. This hemoglobin is that component which is responsible for carrying oxygen to the cells in the body. Iron is also required for myoglobin. This is another type of protein required to carry oxygen to the muscles of the body. During pregnancy there is more than 50 percent of blood more than the normal time, flowing in the body.
This increased quantity of blood during pregnancy requires a greater amount of hemoglobin to supply oxygen to the cells. For this increased amount of hemoglobin greater amount of iron is required. A pregnant lady can take supplements to cater to this additional need. This must be done after seeking advice of a doctor. Or a pregnant can even take in adequate amounts of iron through natural foods in her diet. Some of these food products that are rich in iron are fish, meat, liver, poultry, spinach, other green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, legumes, fortified cereal and grains. Adding small quantities of meat, poultry or fish to the diet can help one meet the dietary requirements of Iron. Besides this these foods also help absorb iron contained in other food products on the plate.
Some other tips that help one take in and absorb more iron in the body are. One should avoid taking tea or coffee with a meal or immediately after a meal. Vitamin C aids absorption of iron. Hence one should take in Vitamin C rich foods like, Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, amla, strawberries, broccoli etc. These should be taken with every meal. This is especially important if ones only source of iron is vegetarian food products.. This is important since Vitamin C is known to have increased iron absorption by up to 6 times. These iron enhancers, as these foods are called are especially important in the case of consumption of foods that contain oxalates. These oxalates are contained in foods like spinach and soy foods. These prevent absorption of iron and hence need to be combined with an iron enhancer. Calcium from sources apart from dairy products also reduces the absorption of iron. In case of taking off any calcium supplements or antacids, it is recommended that these be taken between meals.
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