Pregnancy is the most beautiful but delicate phase in a woman’s life. Women not only give birth to the child, but the child also gives birth to a mother. Therefore, it is crucial to eat a balanced diet so that you and your little one will be healthy. The list of what not to eat and what to eat should always be in front of your eyes.
Did you know that iron and calcium are the essential minerals you require during pregnancy, along with other nutrients? Yes, it’s true. These minerals help in the development of vital structures of the baby. So while you are pregnant, you need to pay more heed to your iron and calcium intake.
Let’s jump in to know more about the importance of calcium and iron intake during pregnancy.
Importance of Iron and Calcium During Pregnancy
Iron is the essential mineral required for the proper function of hemoglobin. You might be shocked to know that around 70 percent of your body’s iron is present in hemoglobin (red blood cells). It carries oxygen from your lungs to your body.
The pregnant woman creates more blood to provide oxygen to her baby. That is why it is crucial to increase iron intake during pregnancy. If you are already iron deficient and not taking the required amount of iron daily, it can lead to severe problems like iron deficiency anemia. In addition, you will feel exhausted most of the time in pregnancy. Not only this, the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression will increase.
Just like iron, calcium is essential during pregnancy. Calcium is responsible for the teeth and bone health of your baby. An adequate amount of calcium also helps develop vital structures like the skeleton, circulatory, nervous, and muscular systems. Conversely, the lack of calcium intake during your pregnancy can result in some complications.
How much iron and calcium does a woman need during pregnancy?
Your body cannot make enough calcium that you require during pregnancy. Teen moms need 1300mg of calcium to develop a healthy baby in their womb. If you are 19 or above 19, you need a 1000mg daily dose of calcium. Talking about iron intake, pregnant women require 27 milligrams of the iron dose every day. These are the essential minerals you must not ignore during your pregnancy.
Did you know too little and too much calcium can create complications? Yes, It is true. However, the right amount of calcium is required for a healthy pregnancy. So let’s examine the difficulty you can face:
- If you are not taking enough calcium:
- (a) It can fluctuate your blood pressure (high BP issue)
- (b) You can give birth to a premature baby.
- (c) Chances of the slow growth of baby
- (d) difficulty in bone development of the baby.
- (f) It can lead to heart problems also.
- (g) Calcium deficiency can lead to death, but it is in rare cases.
2. If you are taking more than the required amount of calcium:
- (a) It is difficult to digest too much calcium, and it can lead to constipation.
- (b) You can face the problem of kidney stones.
- (c) It will be difficult for you to absorb other minerals like iron and zinc.
- (d) You can face heartbeat fluctuation.
Iron and calcium-rich foods during pregnancy.
Your body requires an adequate amount of Iron and Calcium during your pregnancy. There are various iron and calcium-rich foods that can fulfill your body requirement of these minerals:
- Iron-rich foods:
- (a) Beans and lentils: Beans and lentils contain a good amount of iron that you cannot ignore. You will get 6.6 mg of iron from 1 cooked cup of lentils.
- (b) Spinach and kale: A complete pack of antioxidants, iron as well as vitamins. A single cup of cooked kale has 1 mg of iron, and spinach contains 6.4 mg of iron per 1-cup serving.
- (c) Meat: 85g of roasted lean beef contains 3 mg of iron.
- (d) Broccoli: Broccoli is full of fibers, vitamin C, and iron. One cup of broccoli contains 1 mg of iron.
- Calcium-rich foods:
Dairy products can fulfill your calcium requirements:
- (a) Milk and cheese: One cup of milk contains 276 mg of calcium. On another side, 1.5 ounces of cheese contain 307 mg of calcium.
- (b) Yogurt: 8 ounces of plain and low-fat yogurt contain 415 mg of calcium
- (c) Almonds: 1 cup of roasted salted almonds contain 370 mg of calcium).
- (d) Salmon: Six oz of salmon contains 15 mg of calcium.
Do you need Supplements to match iron and calcium requirements?
Visit your doctor to know whether you lack any nutrients or not. The doctor will run some tests and advise you to take a prenatal vitamin to increase your levels. They can also recommend separate iron or calcium supplements if you are iron-calcium deficient.
It is crucial to get the correct quantity of minerals and nutrients to birth a healthy baby. The right person who can help you with this is your doctor. Don’t miss a single appointment. Be sure about all the nutrition intake that you and your baby require during this crucial time.
Remember, a new life is blossoming inside you, so you need more nutrients and care.
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