As you pass through the second and third trimester of pregnancy the requirement of red blood cell (RBC) increases and your body automatically increases its capacity of producing them. Increased production of RBC is needed to fulfil the needs of your unborn baby and your body. The structure of Red Blood Cells or RBC has Fe or iron at its centre. However, iron is not produced inside the body and so it has to be ingested from the food groups that are included in the diet.
The issue with iron is that though it is present in most foods it’s rather difficult to absorb and this makes it doubly hard for a pregnant woman to fulfil her iron needs during the course of her pregnancy. Therefore, your doctor may also prescribe iron supplements. You need to take it according to your doctor’s prescription. Also before including and food to improve your haemoglobin levels, you must consult your doctor.
Effects of Low Haemoglobin
A diet that is high in Folate, Vitamin B12 and Iron is recommended by medical practitioners to be conducive for the fast rise in Haemoglobin level. If you are pregnant and do not consume sufficient amount of iron ingested through food then your body will produce lesser RBC and you will suffer from a condition called anaemia. Anaemia can be potentially dangerous for both mother and child. Fortunately it is also easy to cure.
How to Combat Anaemia?
If you have Anaemia then you need to consume food that is high in Vitamin B12, Folic Acid and Iron as prescribe by your doctor. Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 are essential for creating RBC in the body along with iron. Knowing which food groups have these particular elements in them will help you plan your diet better and you can combat anaemia faster.
Food rich in Folate are Spinach, Cabbage, fruits, nuts, liver etc.. Increase the intake of these food groups and your body will increase its absorption power of iron. Vegetables with Dark green leaves, desiccated beans, wheat germ etc are also rich in Folic acid.
Vitamin B 12 is only present in food of animal origin like Liver, Meat (Beef, Pork, Mutton etc) and Chicken. It is also present in moderate quantities in eggs and fish.
Many nutritionists say that the consumption of food rich in Vitamin C like Citrus fruits speeds up the iron absorption rate.
Consuming the Correct Amount of Iron
Consuming excessive amount of iron in the diet can also have severe side effects on the health of mother and baby. It is advised by doctors to stick to the recommended diet allowances or (RDA) of 30 milligrams of iron daily during pregnancy. However, before including anything in your diet it is necessary to make up an appropriate meal plan in consultation with your doctor. Here we have listed few fruits and vegetables which can be a good source of iron for pregnant women. Before, including these food items in your diet, you need to talk to doctor. Your doctor will tell you which ones you should include and how much to include from the below mentioned list.
List of Fruits and Vegetables and Foods Containing Iron
There are some points that should be remembered before you try taking iron supplements or increasing the dose of iron in your diet. Iron supplements are useful tools to combat anaemia but the amount and frequency of taking supplements should only be determined according to the advice of a doctor. Under doctor’s supervised increased intake of iron it is entirely possible to cure anaemia and have a safe pregnancy.
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- The Indiaparenting Team