Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

Foods to in­clude in your diet


The right break­fast ce­real can de­liver a good pro­por­tion of your daily preg­nancy iron needs as they have ex­tra iron added—Spe­cial K and Bran Flakes give nearly 15 per cent, and Grape-Nuts al­most 50 per cent. Add sliced straw­ber­ries or kiwi fruit to help you ab­sorb the iron more eas­ily, and sprin­kle on iron-packed ex­tras such as pump­kin or sun­flower seeds and raisins.


The type of iron you eat, and what you eat it with, af­fects how much your body ab­sorbs. Heme iron, found in lean red meat and poul­try, is ab­sorbed most eas­ily, par­tic­u­larly when you con­sume it at the same time as non-heme iron, which is found in plant sources such as beans and leafy green veg. If you’re a veg­e­tar­ian, eat­ing food with non-heme iron along­side foods con­tain­ing vi­ta­min C, such as to­ma­toes, helps you ab­sorb more.


Main­tain­ing good lev­els of iron is es­pe­cially im­por­tant if you’re ex­pect­ing twins, have two preg­nan­cies close to­gether or are in your mid-thir­ties and be­yond. Max your in­take with iron-rich snacks, such as a square or two of plain, dark choco­late with a co­coa con­tent of 70 per cent or more. You’ll be do­ing your­self and your bump good, and hav­ing a lit­tle in­dul­gence. Win, win, win!


Re­search shows that using tra­di­tional cast iron cook­ware can add valu­able traces of this al­limpor­tant min­eral to your food. Iron up­take from the pans is greater with moist, acidic foods, such as to­ma­toes, and in­creases with the slow cook­ing of stews and casseroles.

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