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L1952's avatar

Can you recommend some easy meals that are high in iron?

Asked by L1952 (206points) October 1st, 2014 from iPhone

I am 7 months pregnant and I was recently told by my doctor that my iron is “very, very” low, I have to go get more blood work done this week, and then I won’t actually see my doctor for another whole week so I was hoping and needing to raise my iron a little bit in the meantime. I hate to cook at the moment, I am working about 30 hours a week and I also have a toddler, So I pretty much have no energy to do much of anything at this point like making a 2 hour long fancy meal but but I do need to start eating better. Any suggestions would be appreciated, Thanks!

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14 Answers

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Since you’re pregnant, you have to be cautious about the source of the iron. For instance, calf liver, chicken livers and seafood such as mussels are high in iron but they’re not recommended for pregnant women.

You can eat spinach, beans and other vegetable sources of iron, but they aren’t so easily absorbed by the body. Did they not recommend a supplement you can take? That might be the best option for you at the moment.

I’m not surprised you have no energy. You’re quite possibly anaemic. Are you eating properly generally? I know you’re under a lot of stress at the moment.

L1952's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit thank you, No, Not yet, I don’t see my doctor for another week but I’m sure at that point they will give me something to take. And no unfortunately I typically eat crap, At work I eat a lot of chocolate or chips, Occasionally I may have a bagel or toast (horrible I know) but I have to wake up really early, Get my daughter ready, Myself, Ect. She eats of course but I kind of neglect myself..

And also because I’m pregnant I just really have no desire to eat healthy, It’s stupid. but I need to start eating better, I was also tested for preeclampsia last week because they found high amounts of protein in my urine so I’m just a mess really, I need to get better, and force myself to eat better.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m going to send this question to one of our members who is a walking cookbook. She can probably provide you with a range of easy-to-cook recipes to get you eating healthy. That will be a good start. Try eating some red meat. A small steak, some green leafy veg which contains ron. In fact, eat lots of colourful vegetables. You’ll feel better! It’s quicker to cook a meal like that than to go and get takeaway food. Just steam the veggies.

L1952's avatar

Thank you so much (:

Pandora's avatar

Here is a list from WebMD that are high in iron.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Iron supplements for pregnant women?

seekingwolf's avatar

I would see your doctor before you start to take ANY supplement. You need to make sure that the amount is right for you so check with your doctor first.

Beans are a good source, make sure that you’re eating enough lean protein in general. Chicken is a good, cheap, healthy food that you can make in a hurry. I always have a stash of frozen chicken breasts, both stuffed with broccoli and non-stuffed. You can throw them in the oven in a hurry, bake for 35–40 min or so, then take them out and put some sauce on them. It doesn’t have to be hard.

I’m sure you already know this but it’s important to get your eating habits under control. I have no idea what your general health/risk is but gestational diabetes is a real possibility for some women, especially those who are consuming tons of sugar and simple carbs during pregnancy. You do NOT want to get gestational diabetes. It’s bad for the baby and for you.

jca's avatar

You have no energy because your iron level is low. Take a pill. Food is probably not going to be enough to get your level up to something significant. Iron is very important for your health and for the baby’s health.

ucme's avatar

Anything steamed

hearkat's avatar

Are you taking prenatal vitamins? They usually contain iron and other essential nutrients for pregnancy.

Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron in foods. When I was pregnant I craved orange juice, and I suspect it was my body knowing that I needed the nutrients in it.

snowberry's avatar

@L1952 I know you don’t have energy and don’t feel good, but if you don’t take the initiative to eat properly (whether it’s buying premade meals or fixing them at home), nobody can force you.

My understanding is that it’s hard to absorb the iron in raw spinach, but it’s more easily absorbed cooked.

In addition, if the doctor puts you on iron pills, be sure to take fiber (such as Metamucil) at the same time. Iron pills will cause horrible constipation without it.

Here’s a more complete list of iron rich foods.

gailcalled's avatar

My daughter is anemic and has talked about the difference between heme and non-heme iron supplements. This is an issue that your doctor will discuss with you, of course.

Easy on-the-run sources of heme iron would be canned oysters, sardines, tuna and salmon, roast beef, turkey, and non-heme canned beans of various kinds. See the detailed and all-inclusive link that @snowberry included just above this,. ^^

JLeslie's avatar

Take iron supplements. The likelihood you will get your iron up enough just with diet while pregnant if you are already deficient is low. Iron is best absorbed when also taken with some C so an iron pill and orange juice is a good combination.

Foods high in iron are dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, dark lettuces, and also red meat and especially liver. Other jellies already gave additional sources. Red meat and liver are also high in cholesterol and green veggies affect blood clotting, so you don’t want to overdo without consulting with your doctor.

GNC sells an iron pill that is very effective for me. I think it is 65 mg per pill sold in a green and white box. Certainly your doctor can prescribe you prenatal pills, but I assume you are already taking them and still iron deficient. I would be.

Your doctor should have given you a recommendation what to take. How many mg’s.

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