The following is a sponsored post from MegaFood.
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you’ve likely heard about the importance of iron. As a woman who’s had to focus on keeping my iron levels up throughout my life, including during (and after!) pregnancy, the vital role of iron is near and dear to me. Let’s dive into why iron is so important.
A Big Role in Oxygen Delivery
Iron is a micromineral that has a big job to do. In addition to its contribution to cellular energy production, it’s a key component of hemoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen from the lungs to your entire body. Without enough iron to make healthy hemoglobin, your body simply can't get enough oxygen.* So it stands to reason that when people are low in iron, the most common symptom is fatigue!
Who’s At Risk
Iron deficiency mainly impacts women, and specific populations at risk include menstruating women, pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans, female athletes, and blood donors.1
The incidence of iron deficiency is greater during pregnancy since a woman needs extra iron to supply oxygen to the baby. It makes a lot of sense when you think of it! Low iron becomes more of an issue as the pregnancy progresses and incidences increase each trimester from 6.9% to 14.3% to 28.4%.2
Iron in Foods
As a Naturopathic Doctor, I’ve always believed in “food first”. Food is our primary source for vitamin and mineral intake, and nutrition is the first place we should focus. This, of course, holds true for iron, which exists in two main forms in food: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is more bioavailable and is found in meat, seafood, poultry, and eggs. Non-heme iron is found in vegetarian foods such as leafy greens, beans, dried apricots, cashews, and raisins.
Gentle Iron Supplementation
Even with a healthy diet focused on foods with iron, I know from personal experience that it can be challenging to get all of the iron you need, particularly when you’re pregnant. Fortunately, most prenatal multivitamins do include iron. However, your doctor may recommend an additional iron supplement to meet your individual needs.
When searching for an iron supplement, “gentle” is a characteristic at the top of most women’s wishlist. This is because many iron supplements can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation and nausea. MegaFood Blood Builder® is a unique iron supplement made with nourishing, whole foods like beets and organic oranges, plus folic acid and Vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cell production, and vitamin C to support iron absorption.* Blood Builder was shown in a clinical study to deliver a gentle and effective dose of iron without the side effects of nausea and constipation.*†
As iron needs increase throughout pregnancy, finding a personalized combination of a healthy diet, high-quality supplements, and regular check-ups with your doctor, can be a winning formula for maintaining optimal amounts of this mighty mineral.
1World Health Organization
2Mei Z, Cogswell ME, Looker AC, Pfeiffer CM, Cusick SE, Lacher DA, et al. Assessment of iron status in US pregnant women from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999– 2006. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93:1312-20. [PMID: 21430118]
†D'Adamo, C., Berman, B., Chen, K., & Novick, J. (2016). Effects of a commercially-available, low-dose iron supplement (Blood Builder®) on markers of iron status among premenopausal and nonanemic iron-deficient women. (Manuscript submitted for publication.)
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
TagsNutrition Nutrition During Pregnancy Nutrition in Pregnancy Sponsored Post MegaFood