Make sure you read the first part of this article – Iron During Pregnancy.
How can you increase iron absorption? Here are a few little-known principles about iron absorption to maximise its beneficial effects for the body:
- Iron is better absorbed when frequently consumed (each meal);
- Iron from animal sources (meat, poultry, fish) is absorbed better than from vegetable sources;
- Vitamin C can help absorb iron from vegetable sources;
- Coffee, tea, chocolate and herbal teas should be consumed about 2 hours before or after the meal, as they inhibit iron absorption.
Sources of Iron
Here are a few good sources of iron: cooked legumes, clams, oysters, sesame seeds, spinach, tofu, red meat (steak, ground beef…), blood pudding.
Other sources but with lower levels of iron are available: chicken (and other white meats), ham, eggs, peanuts, nuts, almonds, bread, oatmeal, wheat germ.
If you seem to have digestive issues, more nausea or constipation due to your iron supplements, you can change the way you take them. For example, you can take them in the evening with a snack instead of in the morning on an empty stomach. You can also take different products to reduce the impact on your system.
One thing is certain – nothing can replace a good diet during and after your pregnancy for recovery. Consequently, when consuming foods rich in iron daily (keeping in mind the list above for absorption), you will avoid anemia and its adverse effects.
The Baby Expert