Importance of Iron in Pregnancy

Importance of Iron in Pregnancy Introduction Iron is one of the essential nutrients that the body requires in large amounts for its daily activities. It is a core component of hemoglobin; a blood protein that makes up the red blood cells and that is responsible for transportation of oxygen to body tissues. In addition, iron plays a vital role in various cell activities such as digestion; enzymes that aid in digestion are made up of Iron (CDC, 2011a). Iron is readily available from foods such as meat, liver and other organ meats, chicken and fish. Other sources include green leafy vegetables, whole meal cereals and their products, seeds, legumes, nuts, fruits and beverages such as Milo (Queensland Government, 2010; Royal Women’s Hospital, 2008). Iron from plant products is not readily absorbed by the body, adding vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits, vegetables- broccoli and cauliflower and potatoes can make non-heme iron more bio-available to the body (Norfolk NHS). Vitamin C foods can also accompany animal products diets to ensure maximum iron absorption. Iron uptake can also be hindered by high concentrations of certain substances in the body, these substances bind iron making it unavailable for use; examples include phytates, tannins and some drugs (“Iron Absorption”, 2001).

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