Iron is a mineral that makes an essential part of hemoglobin; this is a substance in the blood that carries oxygen throughout the body. It also carries oxygen in muscles, serving them to function properly. The body absorbs iron more efficiently during pregnancy. Therefore it is important to consume more iron while you are pregnant to ensure that you and your baby are getting enough oxygen. It is considered as an important nutrient during pregnancy. It should be taken regularly to maintain hemoglobin levels. Green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, dates, nuts, soya bean are good sources of iron.
Many women need more iron because they start their pregnancy with insufficient stores of iron. Iron-deficiency anemia during pregnancy is associated with preterm delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality. Vegetarians need to balance intake of iron with vitamin C so that there is good iron absorption in the body. Vegetarians having poor iron stores should include vitamin C rich foods like citrus foods, cabbage, capsicum, sprouts which will improve iron absorption. There are two forms of iron non-heme iron, which is found in plants (as well as in meat, poultry, and fish and heme iron, which is found only in animal products. Heme iron is easier for your body to absorb. To make sure you’re getting enough, eat a variety of iron-rich foods every day.