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Discover the Iron-rich foods for pregnancy.
During pregnancy, a woman’s need for iron increases. Why is this trace element essential for the good progress of your pregnancy but also your baby? What foods are iron found in? How to properly assimilate it? We will explain everything to you!
Iron, an essential component of hemoglobin, allows the transport of oxygen from the lungs to other organs and participates in many enzymatic reactions.
During pregnancy, the needs increase because the maternal blood volume increases: the placenta and the umbilical cord are formed, many organs (the uterus and the kidneys in particular) are working at full speed, and the fetus draws on blood from his mother the iron necessary for his good development, in particular, that of his circulatory system.
It is therefore common to find iron deficiencies in pregnant women, this remains completely normal. It is even common to take iron supplementation as early as mid-pregnancy and during the first weeks after childbirth.
In any case, at the start of pregnancy, the doctor will always check that the pregnant woman is not deficient in iron.
Iron is found in foods of animal origin: egg yolk, red meats, seafood, lamb, veal, poultry, sardines in oil, anchovies, oysters, clams, gray shrimps.
It is also found in foods of plant origin: lentils, spinach, peas, romaine lettuce, or dried fruits.
Organ meats are the richest foods in iron, unfortunately, they are not recommended during pregnancy.
Red meats provide around 5 mg of iron per 100g. Clams (15 mg of iron per 100 g), periwinkles, or even mussels are also good for your body!
So-called “blue” fish such as tuna, sardines, herring, or grilled mackerel are the most supplied with iron.
We don’t think about it enough, but algae (like sea lettuce or spirulina) are also everyday partners to meet your iron needs.
Dried vegetables such as lentils, chickpeas, or red beans contain on average 3 mg of iron per 100 g.
Dark chocolate is also one of the most iron-rich foods. Thyme has 30 mg of iron per 100g of product.
It is advisable to take about 30 mg of iron per day, and it is estimated that over the entire 9 months of pregnancy, a pregnant woman needs about 1000 mg of iron.
Without iron, our organs suffocate and at the slightest deficiency, we can notice some warning signs: fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating and sleeping, hair loss, brittle nails, sensitivity to infections … At the slightest sign, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Iron is poorly assimilated by our body: the digestive system struggles to extract this mineral from food to pass it through our body or to store it.
Good to know: avoid drinking tea at the same time as foods rich in iron because the tannins contained in the tea slow down the absorption of iron while vitamin C optimizes it.
You can therefore combine your iron diet with a diet rich in vitamin C (kiwi, orange, acerola, etc.).