I recall when the doctor has started me on Iron tablets that are an essential nutrient for a healthy pregnancy. The tablets did not suit me since they had a strong metallic taste and while they are essential for our nourishment, at times I found it difficult to consume them. Of course, the tablets were replaced by other Iron ones but even so, it triggered a thought in my mind about whether it was better that I tried to consciously incorporate natural sources of iron into my diet.
And that is exactly what I set about doing. We all know of some high-iron foods such as pomegranate, spinach, seafood, nuts, pulses and tofu. This is an indicative list so I am sure you can definitely add to this. What I am sharing below is interesting ways in which you can combine them.
1. Pomegranate – I loved eating pomegranate as is. But at times, just a quick sprinkling into a salad along with a handful of nuts would make it delicious. Adding dried pomegranate seeds to a cake or even biscuits that you might be consuming regularly is a great option.
2. Spinach – Spinach is such a versatile vegetable that you can include it in anything whether it is a soup, dal/lentils, paratha, croquettes or cutlets or even pureed and added to pasta to enrich the sauce. So keep experimenting with it based on what you enjoy eating the most during this phase.
3. Seafood – My tryst with seafood has been restricted to fish and I stuck to it during pregnancy as well whenever my palate allowed it! So for sea food while it is extremely high in iron, it might be advisable to check with your doctor about what you can consume and what you cannot during this phase.
4. Pulses – These are a staple for all Indians. We have our pulses at lunch and dinner both usually. But just eating pulses as is can become boring and you might crave for some more interesting . Sprouts are a good form of using pulses alternatively. You can even use boiled pulses in pancakes, dosas and cutlets or even baked crackers.
5. Tofu – Many Indians have not explored Tofu as an option in their diets as yet. But it is extremely healthy when it comes to Iron. So if you can slowly develop a taste for it and incorporate it into your meal plans even once a week, that should supplement your iron levels.
Remember, vitamin and mineral tablets are essential and you must have them as per what your doctor prescribes. But adding natural sources of vitamin and minerals through your food intake is a better way to incorporate it and improve your overall wellness quotient during pregnancy.