Iron-Rich Foods You Must Eat During Pregnancy

Updated on February 28th, 2020
iron rich foods for pregnancy

Foods that are naturally high in iron prevent a pregnant woman from turning anemic. Iron is an essential element that is required to prevent unwanted diseases and helps build a stronger immune system. If you are in the stage of pregnancy, your iron intake should increase. You can either choose to change your normal food habits or take iron supplements instead.

A pregnant woman needs about 27 mg of iron each day, in comparison to an intake of 18 mg. A pregnant woman needs twice the amount of iron.

Importance of Iron Rich Foods for Pregnancy

The main reason to increase iron intake during pregnancy is to ensure that the growing fetus builds its iron reserves from pregnant women’s food intake. Iron for pregnancy is important during early pregnancy stages. During pregnancy, you are more at risk of anemia; hence doctors tend to recommend eating a lot of iron-rich foods.

It is estimated that about 50% or more women need iron intake during their pregnancy. Iron deficiency might cause premature delivery, miscarriage, and low birth weight.

Types of Iron-Rich Foods

Natural food items such as vegetables, milk products, and meat are regular dietary supplements for pregnant women. These food items give a balance proportion to you, and you’re unborn. These foods are organic and reduce the chances of anemia. Iron-rich foods during pregnancy is an important condition you need to work on.

The following are some foods high in iron that will help you to get a better insight. These food items also state what an anemic pregnant woman must eat during her pregnancy. These easy to eat healthy iron food will help you recover from an iron deficiency(1).

1. Dried Fruits

Fruits, including prunes, raisins, apricots, and figs, are considered to be very rich in iron and should be consumed ¼ cup daily.

2. Broccoli


This green cauliflower is high in fiber and adds more nutrients to the body. About ½ cup a day is necessary.

[Read: Excellent Iron Rich Foods ]

3. Meat

Red meat, particularly pork, and lamb is best during pregnancy. About 3-4 mg is best for consumption.

4. Whole Grain Wheat & Cereals

Fortified cereals, pulses are rich in iron; about 2 mg per day should be sufficient

for a pregnant woman.

5. Eggs

healthy Organic Eggs

Egg yolk is beneficial for iron regain. At least 2 mg can be consumed.

Fact Check

  • Eggs are versatile, apart from being a good source of protein; they include dozens of minerals and vitamins that are important during pregnancy.
  • Choline is also one of the important minerals present in an egg that help in the baby’s brain development.

Fact Check

Eggs are versatile, apart from being a good source of protein; they include dozens of minerals and vitamins that are important during pregnancy.

Choline is also one of the important minerals present in an egg that help in the baby’s brain development.

6. Cooked Oatmeal

Oatmeal is essential during pregnancy and is high in iron; 2mg is appropriate for consumption.

7. Spinach

These greens are universally known for iron content. You can eat it raw or toss it in salads. 1 cup of cooked or raw spinach daily can be a super-nutritious treat.

8. Bananas


These are good for your stomach aches if you incur one during pregnancy. It also helps to balance your iron levels along with potassium(2). 1 cup of banana each day is just perfect.

[ Read: Pregnancy Diet ]

How to Enhance Iron Absorption?

Providing iron to the body during pregnancy is a must. However, iron absorption is simultaneously relevant. By adding one or two iron-absorbing enhancers, your iron intakes get well absorbed into your body, and at the same time, you are less prone to be anemic.

Below there are some iron-rich foods that you could take during pregnancy. These foods enhance your iron percentage in the body.

  • Citric acid
  • Beef
  • Vitamin c
  • Poultry
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Tea
  • Peppermint
  • Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc

Vitamin C acts as a better iron-absorption enhancer. It also reduces the risk of pregnancy complications and prevents maternal anemia.

How to Check your Iron Level?

During the pregnancy stages, you need to consult your gynecologist and check your iron levels. Often in many cases, it has been noticed that consuming iron supplements and organic food at the same time has hampered iron levels.

There are certain measures that you might consider after having a deep consultation with your doctor.

1. Testing the Blood Sample

Your doctor will recommend you to test your blood; in this case, you will be able to identify your hemoglobin levels and iron.

2. Checking Fingertips

This method is less expensive and much faster; if you visit any clinic, they will prick your finger with a sterilized needle to ooze out some blood drops. This will be checked to measure the hemoglobin levels- a less hemoglobin level indicates in low iron.

3. Finger Cuff

In this method, no needle is required. A cuff is placed around your finger, and gentle pressure is applied with light sent through your finger. This measures the blood levels by detecting any iron deficiency.

Usage Of Iron Pills During Pregnancy And Its Consequences

Iron Pills could bring along

  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Dark stool
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache

Women who are found to have iron deficiency in their body during pregnancy always choose the shortest method to cure it that is eating supplementary iron pills. Iron pills might enhance your iron level, but formulate a lot of side effects on your body. If you are not anemic but still want to sustain your normal iron levels, it is always better to adopt fine dietary food habits with vitamins and minerals that give no formal side effects.

Bottom Line

Pregnancy is too complex and could lead to health-related problems. Consuming Iron products plays an important role in the formation of the fetus, and is best when consumed through organic foods.

[ Also Read: Healthy Juices During Pregnancy ]


1. How can I raise my iron levels quickly?

The tips below will help you maximize your dietary iron intake instantly:

  1. Lean red meat: This is the best source of easily absorbed heme iron.
  2. Chicken and fish: These are also good sources of heme iron.
  3. Vitamin C-rich foods: Eat vitamin C-rich foods to increase the absorption of nonheme iron.

2. Do Almonds have an iron?

Nuts and nut butter contains quite a bit of non-heme iron. This is especially true for almonds, pine nuts, and macadamia nuts. They contain1–1.6 mg of iron per ounce, or around 6–9% of the RDI.

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