How do I make sure to get enough Iron

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Iron is needed to make blood healthy and to help prevent weak blood (anemia). A woman needs to get a lot of iron throughout her life, especially during the years she has monthly bleeding and during pregnancy.

These foods have a lot of iron:

  • meat (especially liver,

heart, and kidney)

  • blood
  • chicken
  • eggs
  • fish
  • beans
  • grasshoppers, crickets, termites
  • peas

These foods also have some iron:

  • cabbage with dark-colored leaves
  • potatoes
  • cauliflower
  • lentils
  • brussel sprouts
  • turnips
  • sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds
  • strawberries
  • dark green leafy vegetables
  • pineapples
  • yams
  • seaweed
  • broccoli
  • dried fruit (especially dates, apricots, and raisins)
  • black-strap molasses

It is possible to get even more iron if you:

  • Cook food in iron pots. If you add tomatoes, lime juice, or lemon juice (which are high in vitamin C) to the food while it is cooking, more iron from the pots will go into the food.
  • Add a clean piece of iron—like an iron nail or a horseshoe—to the cooking pot. These should be made of pure iron, not a mixture of iron and other metals.
  • Put a clean piece of pure iron, like an iron nail, in a little lemon juice for a few hours. Then make lemonade with the juice and drink it.

It is best to eat iron foods along with citrus fruits or tomatoes. These contain vitamin C, which helps your body use more of the iron in the food.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en010406