When I was nearing the 28 week mark, I asked my doctor for an alternative for the glucose test after I did some research into it. I wish I was smarter about all this stuff the first 3 times through! I found the Food Babe site to be informative:

Screenshot 2015-04-07 14.00.30

Yuck. My doctor said as an alternative I could eat a meal then get my sugars tested 2 hours later.  The day before I was trying to consider what might be a smart breakfast to eat, but the morning of, who had the time? I didn’t! It was a rushed morning and almond butter on a spoon ended up being breakfast. The results came back fine for glucose but my blood was low in iron! It wasn’t super surprising because I’ve mostly been eating a vegan diet since December and stopped taking pre-natals and take Juice Plus instead.  You also need more iron when you’re pregnant, so you’re more likely to be iron deficient at this time.

According to the CDC, here are some of the recommended intakes:

Pregnant Women: 27mg
Women 20-50 years old: 18mg
Children 1-3 years: 7mg
Children 4-8 years: 10mg
Males 20-70 years old: 8mg
Source: CDC

I started researching the foods high in iron and bought a supplement:

Screenshot 2015-04-07 14.28.56

I like the supplement!

Here is what I found:

One of the symptoms of low iron was being cranky. I blamed the low iron on that as soon as I found out of the deficiency 🙂 Other side effects are feeling tired, winded when going up stairs, and feeling weak and run-down (because you aren’t getting enough oxygen).

Heme Iron is derived from meat, and non-heme iron is derived from other sources and the body does not absorb it as well. Different combinations help in absorption.

SOURCES OF NON-HEME IRON (source: No Meat Athlete)

  • Legumes: lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans
  • Grains: quinoa, fortified cereals, brown rice, oatmeal
  • Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, squash, pine, pistacio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame
  • Vegetables: tomato sauce, swiss chard, collard greens,
  • Other: blackstrap molasses, prune juice

Vitamin C + any above at the same time helps boost iron.
{Vitamin C: kiwi, oranges, broccoli, sweet potato, bell pepper, brussel sprouts, strawberries, mango}
Cook in a cast iron skillet for more absorption.
Spinach is up in the air as a great iron source because it contains oxalates that block the absorption. I thought I was getting a good amount with spinach! Try other greens!

BEANS + GREENS is like a good combo!

Foods that decrease absorption: 

Calcium, Coffee, Tea. Don’t consume these within 2-3 hours of eating iron sources!

So for a while I was drinking my green smoothie (spinach, almond milk) with coffee in it – which wasn’t helping the iron from the spinach which was questionable anyway…to be absorbed! I’m now trying to be more aware and using the supplement to be sure!

 This handy dandy chart was on veganinspiration on instagram!
Screenshot 2015-04-07 20.47.07

If you are vegetarian or vegan, are you aware of your iron intake? What are your top sources of iron?

7 months pregnant today! 2 months to go!

 

 

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Comments

  1. So spinach is not a good source of iron? I am addictive to hummus. What is your favorite kind?

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