“Pump Up” Your Iron

ironIron is an essential mineral. It is critical for many functions within the body such as making key proteins (hemoglobin and myoglobin). Hemoglobin is the protein present in red blood cells that carries oxygen from our lungs to our tissues, while myoglobin helps supply oxygen to our muscles.

During pregnancy, iron is especially important to ensure mom and baby receive enough oxygen and extra red blood cells are produced for the growth of the baby and placenta. Iron will also help expectant moms reduce or avoid symptoms of tiredness, weakness, irritability, and depression.

If your blood work shows low levels of ferratin (aka iron) while you are expecting, before or after, there are various ways to bump up your iron levels. You can consume supplements and/or you can focus on iron rich foods (partnered with foods high in vitamin C to increase absorption) and remedies or a combination of all.

 

Top Plant Based Foods with Iron

  • Dark Green Leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens
  • Cacao (Dark Chocolate)
  • Black Strap Molasses
  • Spirulina (sea vegetable)
  • Dried Peaches
  • Dried Prunes
  • Dried Apricots
  • Raisins

 

Foods that Help with Iron Absorption (Vitamin C)

  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Tomato
  • Peppers

 

Recipe Ideas that Support Increasing Iron Consumption

Cacao Protein Bites

Chocolate Banana Bliss Smoothie

Blackstrap Molasses Recipe Ideas

Spinach Salad: Spinach, grilled chicken (optional), walnuts, & dried apricots

 

Additional Strategies

Cook food in an Iron Skillet Add dark leafy greens to smoothies and soups/stews Dried fruit as a sweet snack Consume organic spirulina tablets Recipes that call for Cocoa replace with Cacao

 


 

MelanieMelanie is the Wellness Coordinator for Willowsong Midwifery Care, a Certified Health Coach (through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and AADP), and more importantly a mom of 3 small children. She is very passionate about empowering moms and children in attaining overall health and wellness and loves supporting Willowsong Families with health classes, free initial prenatal consults, information via blogging and much more! Melanie approaches health from a holistic perspective, meaning that she believes each component of our lives creates our overall health and wellness. You are welcome to connect with Melanie anytime via email (Melanie@Food4Thoughtdm.com).

Please don’t just take Melanie’s experience…as always consult with your medical professional and your own self understanding when making health decision; Melanie is not a medical professional, a nutritionist or dietician. She does not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. Melanie makes no claim to any specialized medical training, nor does she dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, preconception or pregnancy health. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor or wellness team if you have questions and then make your own well-informed decisions based upon what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.