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6 Incredible Foods Rich In Iron For Pregnancy

The list of what not to eat when it comes to diet and pregnancy can go on forever. But the lists you should eat are equally important. Not only are you providing nutrition for your baby while they are growing in your womb for a long time, but your body is working in overdrive to support all the changes in the pregnancy.

Eating for two does not mean doubling your pre-pregnancy needs, increasing your calorie intake, and intake of certain minerals and vitamins. Iron is an important mineral that you increase during pregnancy. Your body does not make iron naturally. Iron is only available through your diet or supplements. This is why increasing your iron intake can be especially important during pregnancy.

Why is iron important?

Pregnancy increases your blood supply by up to 50 percent. This is where the iron comes from. Red iron is used by the blood to make red blood cells. Increasing the blood supply means that you will need more blood cells and more iron to make those blood cells.

If you do not have enough iron in your body, you can develop anemia. Anemia is the most common blood condition for the development of pregnant women.

Anemia during pregnancy can put you and your baby at high risk for a variety of complications, including preterm birth and low birth weight.

Type of iron

Iron is usually related to animal protein, but don’t worry if the thought of meat turns up in your stomach or if you’re vegetarian. Iron is found in various foods.

There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme.

Heme iron you can get this kind from taking meat, fish, and other sources of animal protein. It is quickly digested by your body.

Non-heme iron is found in grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds and takes longer to convert your body to any substance it can use.

Foods Rich In Iron For Pregnancy

Pregnancy-friendly foods rich in heme iron

Although all animal proteins contain heme iron, some sources may be a better alternative during pregnancy than others. You should also avoid eating raw meat and fish, as this can increase the risk of bacterial infections that can be especially dangerous during pregnancy.

Lean beef

Red meat is the best source of frozen iron. A 3-ounce serving of fattened simple beef contains about 1.5 milligrams (milligrams) of iron.

But use your meat thermometer before you throw that stick on top of the grill. Undercooking or eating “rare” meats during pregnancy is not recommended due to the risk of bacterial contamination.


Chicken contains 1.5 mg of iron in an 8-ounce serving. Chicken is safe to eat during pregnancy, but like beef, you want to make sure it is cooked all the way at 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.8 degrees Celsius) to avoid ingesting dangerous bacteria like Listeria.


Salmon is relatively rich in iron – 1.6 mg for the wild-caught, half-pound fillet of Atlantic salmon. Salmon during pregnancy is safe to eat until it is fully cooked at an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (62.8 ° C).

In addition to being a source of heme iron, salmon also packs omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that can contribute to a healthier pregnancy. Salmon also has a lower concentration than some other types of fish, which can make it safer during pregnancy.

Try two or three servings of food per week as a way to increase protein as well as iron.

Other fish that are considered safe during pregnancy are:

  • Shrimp
  • Pollock
  • Catfish
  • Scallops
  • Sardines
  • Light tuna

Pregnancy-friendly foods rich in Non-heme iron

If you haven’t eaten meat or if the thought of meat makes your stomach spin, you can try a few plant-based sources of iron. Remember that non-frost iron is harder for your body to absorb and takes longer to metabolize.

If non-heme iron is your primary source of iron, talk to your doctor about whether they recommend adding iron supplements.

Beans and lentil

Bean and lentil pulses are filled with fiber and protein and their iron components are very hard to beat. One cup of prepared lentils will give you 6.6 mg of iron daily. And white kidney beans are just as fine per cup, dried and cooked.

If you want to start mixing in your diet, make plenty of pulses and beans, and sprinkle some on your salad, or heat a few handfuls as a side dish at dinner.

Spinach and kale

Spinach and kale are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and iron. One cup of cooked kale contains 1 milligram of iron, and the spinach is even better, serving 1 cup and packing 6.4 milligrams.

These greens are very versatile. You can toss some with your salad, cut them into an omelet, or suit in a saucepan. You can throw them in the smoothie for a sweet, nutritious treat.


Broccoli may be a fifth kid favorite, but this easily prepared VG also packs in plenty of nutrients that are beneficial during pregnancy. These cruciferous veggies depend on 1 mg of iron source per cup. As a bonus, broccoli contains plenty of vitamin C, which helps absorb iron.

Broccoli is fiber-dense and full of nutrients. Since pregnancy can slow down your digestive system, adding a source of fiber to your diet can relieve these uncomfortable symptoms.

Try frying it on the head with plenty of olive oil and sea salt or steaming some broccoli and keeping it on hand for a snack. As a bonus, broccoli is a good vegetable to keep in your parenting arsenal because it is easy to prepare and is often enjoyed by young children.

Broccoli can have a pungent odor when cooking, so proceed with caution if you are bothered by morning sickness or lots of odors.

How much iron do you need during pregnancy?

At a minimum, you will need about twice as much iron during pregnancy as you need before you expect it. The recommended daily iron intake for women who are not pregnant is about 18 mg. If you are pregnant, the recommended daily intake is increased to a minimum of 27 mg.

The recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) are high. The WHO recommends that pregnant women take 30 to 60 mg of iron a day.

Ask your doctor or midwife for their advice. These can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the number of babies you carry, the history of anemia, or the size of the baby.


How can I increase my iron during pregnancy?

Eat foods high in folic acids, such as dried beans, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, and orange juice. Eat foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and fresh, raw vegetables. Cooking with cast iron pots can add up to 80 percent more iron to your food.

Are Bananas high in iron?

Iron content in bananas is low, approximately 0.4 mg/100 g of fresh weight. There is a strategy of developing modified lines of bananas to increase their iron content; the target is a 3- to 6-fold increase.

Is milk rich in iron?

Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk, and yogurt, although rich in calcium, have negligible iron content. It is important to eat a variety of foods every day.

Are apples high in iron?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, you heard that right. Not only is it good for your health, but it is also a rich source of iron. Apples are a suitable and delicious option when it comes to boosting hemoglobin levels.


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