Iron is a mineral that is important for your body to stay healthy. There are macro-minerals (large amounts needed) and trace mineral (small amounts needed). Iron is a trace mineral type, less than 100 mg is needed in the body to complete its function.
Why Is Iron Important During Pregnancy?
- Iron combines with protein to form hemoglobin, found in all red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen to and carbon dioxide from the cells.
- Prevents nutritional anemia.
- Boost your immune system and increases resistance to infection.
- Provides iron for fetal storage.
Iron is present in two forms in foods:
1. Heme iron
Found in animals products
Absorbed by the body more efficiently
- Clams – 3oz = 24mg
- Oysters – 3oz = 11mg
- Chicken liver – 3oz = 7mg
- Beef liver – 3oz = 6mg
- Beef tenderloin/roaf – 3oz = 3mg
Organ meats are high in iron.
2. Nonheme iron
Derived from plants products and dairy
- Ready-to-eat cereal
- Soybeans – 1cup = 8mg
- Lentils – 1cup = 6mg
- Molasses – 2 tbsp = 6mg
- Beans – 1cup = 5mg
- Oatmeal – 1/2 cup = 4mg
- Prunes – 6 oz = 4mg
- Spinach – 1 cup = 6mg
Absorption is INCREASED with Meat