Expecting mothers require excellent nutrition for both themselves and their child and one of the most important nutrients, especially when it comes to building up your strength, is iron.
Iron is a mineral like calcium, magnesium and zinc. It can come from either food sources or supplements. Food sources are usually considered more bio available than supplementary sources. An iron supplement can be in the form of a multi vitamin and multi mineral pill which contains a specific dose of it, or it can be in a separate iron tablet. It’s important to make sure anexpecting mother is getting the minimal recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this valuable mineral. The RDA is listed on the back of the bottle. For food sources of iron, there are two types. There are food sources that provide hemo-iron and food sources that provide non-hemo iron. Both are very easily absorbed in the human body.
Hemo-iron sources of food include red meat, seafood and poultry. The best non-hemo food sources include iron-fortified cereals, nuts, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, beans, and many whole grains and whole wheat pasta. There isn’t much iron in junk foods, which include potato chips, baked goods, snack cakes, sweets, licorice, or chewing gum. Certain drinks are also devoid of the mineral. They include beer, wine, vodka and other spirits, coffee and even green tea. Fizzy drinks are also low in iron. Some other foods that contain traces of the mineral include whole milk, skim milk, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, Ricotta cheese, and tofu.
A food that is high in iron is very beneficial to an expecting mother because it strengthens her blood. The right amount of iron from a food will help build red blood cells, which are crucial to transporting oxygen and other nutrients to all the cells, tissues and organs of the body. A food that contains no iron, such as a chocolate bar or popcorn, will not be of much beneficial value to a pregnant woman. She requires the safest, effective concentration of nutrients from her daily food intake as possible. She needs to ingest and properly assimilate food that contains protein, carbohydrates and healthy, unsaturated fats, in addition to adequate vitamins and minerals, such as iron.