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Iron ~How to get in in your foods...

   If you are deficient in iron, you may feel tired, look pale and feel limp,                                                    get sick easier, lose weight, and may not feel like eating.

    Iron is very important; your baby needs it as much as you do.  In the                                                    last few weeks of pregnancy, your baby will store it up to use for the                                                     first 6 months of its life. Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells.  If you do not have enough, your blood and your babies blood will suffer.

    You need to eat a healthy diet.  Your midwife or doctor cannot sit with you at each meal and mother you.  You need to take the responsibility for eating healthy-take it seriously and do it. 

      You need 30 milligrams of iron a day.  You should be tested twice for anemia. Once in the beginning of your pregnancy and again between 24-28 weeks.  You may also be tested again somewhere between 34 and 37th week of your pregnancy.

     Folic acid should be at a minimum in your diet. This is a synthetic form of Folate (B9) that is put in dietary supplements and fortified foods. Folate is the natural source of vitamin B9 found in foods.

You do need folate.  First get it from natural food sources such as beef, spinach, broccoli, kale, turnip, collard, mustard greens, beets, corn, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, papaya, dried beans & peas, lentils, Avocado, Brussel sprouts and breads.  Then if you still think you need more- a supplement may be added.  One glass of orange juice or a salad of greens gives you a daily supply.  So it is very easy to obtain it from your diet.

     Vitamin C is needed to help you absorb the iron.  Avoid taking your iron at the same time as you take your calcium tablets, also do not take it with milk.  Do not eat any dairy products for an hour before and 2 hours after taking the iron tablets.

     Good sources of iron include:  prune juice, prunes, raisins, lima beans, baked beans, chick peas, dried peaches, dried apricots, split peas, asparagus, spinach, black strap molasses, beef, pork. veal, shellfish, nuts, fortified oatmeal, spinach, broccoli, greens, chocolate, enriched spaghetti, and macaroni, chili beans, peanut butter, whole grain breads, and cereals.

      Vitamin C helps with the absorption of the iron.  Raw fruits and vegetables have the most vitamin. C.  When you cook them, they begin to lose their valuable source of vitamin. C.  The best ones are: oranges, grapefruit, and tomatoes, and all of their juices.  Also: raw cabbage, green peppers, cauliflower broccoli, new potatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries, and melons.

AVOID coffee, tea (except for herb tea), brans, and calcium as these make it harder for your body to absorb and use the iron. So be careful of drinking OJ when taking Iron, as most OJ is fortified with calcium.  Caffeine is not healthy for you or your baby.  Please do not use it, or at the very least, limit your intake of coffee and sodas.

                                                       HINT:  cook with a cast iron skillet

                                                       and it will help with adding iron to                

                                                       your diet.  It will also help keep your

                                                       iron where it should be.  You need 2#

                                                       of meat or a meat/protein substitute

                                                      each week.  Do NOT take with calcium. 

                                                      For best absorption, take with vitamin C.,

                                                      at least 500 mg, or Orange Juice. 

                                                                                                                   

                                                          CAUTION:  be sure that the OJ

                                                           does not have calcium added!!

Kung Poa chicken  cooked in a cast iron skillet with snow peas, peppers, peanuts, garlic, and ginger and many delicious spices! 
Home made black berry cobbler baked in a cast iron skillet! (made with very low sugar)