More than a third of women are iron deficient, according to a study conducted by the European Society of Endocrinology. Iron is needed to make the protein hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your tissues. Iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia, and can lead to a number of health-related problems, including extreme fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, brittle nails, and much more.
Pregnant women are most at risk for iron deficiency, which can cause thyroid disorders and lead to miscarriage or preterm birth. The average female adult should consume 18 mg of iron per day, according to the USFDA, whereas pregnant women should consume 27-30 mg per day.
Great ways to add iron into your diet:
- red meat
- dark, leafy greens
- dried fruit
Foods containing Vitamin C also help increase your body’s absorption of dietary iron:
- citrus fruit (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemon, lime, etc.)
- leafy greens
For more info, check out this great Fit Pregnancy article on iron.