What to eat to increase iron in pregnancy?

To boost your iron intake, you should aim to add a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of iron-rich foods, such as:

  • Red meat (remember to always cook meat thoroughly)
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs (be sure to cook eggs until they are hot all the way through)
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Wholegrain breads and cereals

If you are vegetarian or vegan, you may need to pay more attention to your iron intake during pregnancy. Vitamin C helps boost your absorption of iron, so try to add foods rich in this vitamin – like citrus fruits, red capsicum, kiwi fruit, or a glass of orange juice – to your daily meals, too. And be aware that caffeine can inhibit your absorption of iron, so avoid drinking tea, coffee and other caffeinated drinks around meal time.

You may have heard (correctly) that liver is a great source of iron. However, liver is best avoided during pregnancy because it has high levels of vitamin A which is not advised during pregnancy.

Iron can be difficult to absorb, as you need more iron during pregnancy you may need to take an iron supplement. Always speak to your Healthcare Professional before taking any supplements.

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