10 Foods to UP your Iron

You’re going to be a mom and that’s amazing! Your body needs a steady amount of iron and vitamins to carry oxygen everywhere it’s needed because women get anemic when pregnant because they don’t get enough of these nutrients. It’s normal to have a bit of anemia in pregnancy since there’s more blood in your body. Being pregnant can lead to anemia because of this extra blood. Not eating enough iron, vitamin B12, or folate are other reasons for anemia during pregnancy.1

(Read our article about “Navigating Anemia in Pregnancy for more information.)

You and your baby need the best foods for best health, so here are 10 things you could include to bump up that iron and folic acid.

Iron-rich foods:2

  1. Lean red meat, poultry, and fish (rich in iron and vitamin B12 too)3
  2. Leafy, dark green vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and kale) (rich in iron and folate)
  3. Iron-enriched cereals and grains
  4. Beans, lentils, and tofu
  5. Nuts and seeds
  6. Eggs

Foods that are high in vitamin C can help your body absorb iron. Try:

  1. Citrus fruits and juices (think oranges, grapefruits, limes – also high in folate)
  2. Strawberries
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Bell peppers

Bonus tips: Cooking in an iron pot ups the iron levels of the food being cooked which could be beneficial for people with iron deficiency anemia.4 Also, avoid drinking coffee or tea with a meal or immediately after meal.5


Remember, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider before making big diet changes during pregnancy. Eating foods with iron, vitamin C, and B vitamins can help prevent and treat anemia.6

Supporting your overall health and the healthy growth of your baby is important, so speak to your doctor about a daily vitamin to give your pregnancy the nutrient boost you both deserve.


1 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/23112-anemia-during-pregnancy

2 Uscher J, Anemia in pregnancy. 2022. Available at https://www.webmd.com/baby/anemia-in-pregnancy

3 https://www.webmd.com/diet/b12-rich-foods

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8266402/

5 Pan African Medical Journal. 2019;34:121

6 https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/23112-anemia-during-pregnancy




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