Menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause are times of increased nutritional demand in a women body. One of the most important nutrition they need is iron.
Iron is an essential mineral required to help the red blood cells transport oxygen to the rest of the body. It also assists in energy production and cell respiration. Women become more vulnerable to iron deficiency anemia due to several factors, one of which is menstruation. During this period, iron gets depleted as blood comes out of the body since most of the iron are found in the blood. Also, during pregnancy, the body produces more blood to support the growth of the fetus. Along with the increase in blood volume is the increase in the iron requirement of the body to produce enough amount of red blood cells that will carry oxygen to the different parts of the body.
An average adult female needs 18 milligram of iron per day. During pregnancy, a female needs 27 milligrams, a triple of what men need.It is imperative for women to be extremely careful of their deficiencies considering they will have to face a dangerous consequences like hair loss,fatigue,PCOD,miscarriage.
Your body is unable to make iron; the only way your body gets iron is by consuming it through the food you eat or by taking a supplement if you need to. Red meat, fish and poultry contain the most easily absorbed form of dietary iron known as Haem iron. Plant sources of iron are leafy green vegetables (for example, spinach and kale), wholegrains, dried pulses, fruit and seeds.
The following foods are good sources of nonheme iron (from plants):
- Instant oatmeal
- Whole wheat bread
- Peanut butter
- Brown rice
Try to combine these iron foods with vitamin C (for example, a glass of orange juice) to increase absorption of iron.