Nutrition Guide - Iron
Iron from animal sources like red meat provides the best source of iron as it is much more easily absorbed into our bodies. To maximise the iron absorption from non-animal sources, you need to eat vitamin C rich fruit and vegetables eg: kiwi fruit, strawberries, red pepper, tomatoes or a juice like orange or cranberry juice at the same meal as this will boost iron absorption from non-meat sources eg: a glass of orange juice with a bowl of breakfast cereal.
Your unborn baby places huge demands on your iron reserves. Large amounts of iron are essential during pregnancy for the developing blood supply of the foetus and for the extra blood you need at this time.
Iron deficiency or anaemia affects one in three pregnant women particularly in the last few weeks of pregnancy. A deficiency in iron may lead to you feeling washed out and exhausted. It may also lower your ability to cope with infection.
Nutrition Guide - Good sources of iron that are well absorbed:
Other sources of iron (if you include a source of vitamin C at the same meal or eat meat or fish with these foods it will help the iron be absorbed) Breakfast Cereals fortified with iron; wholegrain cereals and breads; Dark green vegetables e.g. broccoli and spinach; Pulses, including baked beans and lentils than non-animal forms of iron like pulses, spinach and dried fruit.
In the last 3 months of your pregnancy your baby needs to build up iron reserves that will last until he is about 6 months old.
Try to avoid drinks like tea and coffee at meal times as these contain tannin which inhibits the absorption of iron. Drink fresh orange juice instead because vitamin C aids iron absorption.