Iron is one of the most important nutritional ingredients our body needs. The body uses it as part of the process of transporting oxygen into the cells, our immune system needs it to function properly and so does our muscles. Iron is especially important for pregnant women – the baby needs plenty of it to development properly, and the mother’s body needs it to stay strong and energized.
Not having enough iron may lead to some serious pregnancy and birth complications, such as preterm delivery, low birth-weight and even stillbirth.
Iron for Everyone: Where can Vegan Pregnant Women Find Iron?
The recommended of iron for pregnant women is about 27mg per day.
Most women will find iron in meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. But what about us, the vegans, where can we find the iron our pregnant bodies, and babies, need?
It may seem surprising, but finding iron which doesn’t come from animal products is easier than it seems. Here are just a few accessible, vegan-friendly foods which can provide you plenty of iron in your pregnancy diet:
|Cooked beans||1/2 cup||3-3.5|
|Cooked lentils||1/2 cup||2-2.5|
|Chopped parsley||2 spoons||1.5-2|
|Tahini paste||1 spoon||1.5-2|
|Walnuts||2 ounces (50 grams)||1-1.4|
|Almonds||2 ounces (50 grams)||2|
|Raisins||1 ounce (25 grams)||0.3-0.7|
To allow better absorption of iron in your body have something with vitamin C about 20-30 minutes before having the iron (such as an orange or a kiwi fruit). Caffeine gets in the way of the iron’s absorption, so keep away from coffee, tea and other drinks with caffeine for about 60 minutes after the meal.
*Consult with a professional physician or dietitian before making any changes in your pregnancy diet.