Information About Dietary Iron

Iron is important in your diet because it has a central role in making hemoglobin, which supplies oxygen to the body. Iron helps to build and maintain healthy blood. Children and women of childbearing age should pay particular attention to receiving enough Iron in their diet each day.

The following foods supply Iron in the diet:

Beet Greens Ham Sardines* Chard Iron-fortified cereal*
Scallops* Sausage* Chicken Shrimp* Clams*
Meat (especially lean) Spinach* Tuna Turkey Veal
Dates Beef & Pork Pumpkin Seeds Sunflower Seeds Raisins
Dried Apricots Eggs Breads Beef Steak Brewer’s Yeast
Dried Peaches Potatoes(With Skin) Organ Meats: Liver Wheat Germ Cashews
Dried Beans & Peas Cod Molasses (Backstrap) Whole Grain Breads Pine Nuts
Prune Products Oysters* Squash Seeds Soybeans

*Indicates a very good source

Why to include Iron in your diet:

  • Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs through your body to your body tissues.
  • During pregnancy, more Iron is needed so the body can make hemoglobin for both you and your baby.
  • Because it is difficult to get enough Iron in your diet while you are pregnant, you should take 30-60 milligrams of Iron each day (This is the amount in your prenatal vitamin).

Other Iron facts:

  • During the last 3 months of pregnancy, your baby stores enough Iron for the 1st four months of life.
  • If you are low in Iron (anemic), you will probably be tired, weak, feel lazy, and may lose your appetite.
  • Taking your prenatal vitamin or Iron supplement with orange juice or another citrus fruit will help your body absorb more of the Iron.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.