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Anyone else anaemic? What are you eating?

(46 Posts)
Greenstone Tue 19-Aug-14 10:04:37

Midwife called yesterday to let me know that my iron is way down (again, this is my second pregnancy and same happened last time) and I need to start taking the heavy-duty supplements asap.

Anybody else? What are you eating? I'm not a vegetarian, but I don't eat a lot of red meat or meat in general. I like it it a lot, but eating meat every day just feels like too much. I eat the whole range of veg, and have lentils and beans about 4 times a week. Eggs probably only once a week so maybe I should eat more eggs.

I know I need to take my supplements with vitamin C and to avoid tannins around the same time. Any other tips?

soundsystem Tue 19-Aug-14 12:28:58

I'm just eating lots and lots of veg. No red meat for me, but lots of kale, spinach, spring greens, squashes, also tofu and cashew nuts. Usually all of the above in a stirfry as it's pretty quick and easy! You could do that with strips of beef, maybe, if you're not into tofu?

Septbaby Tue 19-Aug-14 13:46:16

I don't have low iron, which I did expect as I'm a veggie but I do my best to keep it high anyways, dark green veg is good (broccoli, spinach, watercress) but also beans and pulses are really good too. A glass of orange juice is also supposed to help with the absorption of iron smile hope this helps xx

blamber Tue 19-Aug-14 14:02:01

I'm on iron tablets too. Iron from meat is the easiest to absorb, but I also don't like eating loads of meat. I've been eating more green leafy veg especially spinach. And like already said, vitamin c helps absorption but dairy reduces absorption.

blamber Tue 19-Aug-14 14:26:37

Forgot to say

blamber Tue 19-Aug-14 14:28:36

This phone!

Forgot to say I especially eat more spinach, just because its so easy to keep some in your freezer and add it to any meal.

amy83firsttimer Tue 19-Aug-14 19:24:18

Hi blamber!
I was about to mention frozen spinach. I mentioned it at my 28 week appt and neither.midwife knew it existed!!!! Also veggie here but not got results of 28 week bloods yet. Fingers crossed they're still ok.

BeetlingAbout Wed 20-Aug-14 08:50:23

Unfortunately, I don't think frozen spinach has very much iron left in it at all, especially after cooking. I believe spinach needs to be eaten raw for the high iron levels.

I am drinking spatone sachets with orange juice and taking pregnacare max which has more iron in it. I heard that dairy can inhibit iron absorption, so avoid it around the time you take your tablets.

Also, as mentioned above, dark green veggies, lentils, red meat, eggs and dried fruits to name a few.

Greenstone Wed 20-Aug-14 10:26:23

Thanks everyone. I thought I'd read somewhere that even fresh spinach doesn't have that much iron in it compared to other vegetables...oh who knows, eh?!

Anyway, last night I went out for dinner and had both beef and fresh spinach, so hopefully that was a good new start smile

My midwife said to try Galfer supplements first instead of Spatone because they're less expensive and pack a much bigger iron punch. But if they clog me up too much I might have to change that!

I'll watch out for the dairy. That could well have been inhibiting my iron absorption so far.

MissMilbanke Wed 20-Aug-14 10:29:24

Dried apricots are a tasty snack specially the organic ones - they are brown not orange but once you get over that you'll never have the orange ones again.

ChickenMe Wed 20-Aug-14 12:21:04

What about blackstrap molasses? I take iron tablets 4xday any way as I was anaemic before.

EmmaFeb2015 Wed 20-Aug-14 13:01:01

I read the other week that watercress was the most nutrient rich food there is (more vit c than an orange, more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach) so maybe try to have more of that.

I'm having it 2-3 times a week in sandwiches and salads. I've also whizzed a load up and mixed it with a little butter and frozen it in ice cube trays. I use it as a flavoured butter to top chicken breasts, steaks, fish and steamed veg.

I also make watercress soup which is absolutely gorgeous with a bacon sandwich on the side to dip in every now and then. I am now craving that!

Also eat plenty of other dark green leafy vegetables as others have mentioned.

Greenstone Wed 20-Aug-14 13:16:21

Emma, I'm very impressed with your watercress preparation!

Watercress - who knew?

Loving the sound of the soup and bacon sandwich combination, I must say. What else goes with the watercress in the soup?

EmmaFeb2015 Wed 20-Aug-14 13:31:07

Ha ha, I know! I had assumed I was anaemic as well as low blood pressure so took extra notice of the article when I read it - hence the watercress overload.

The soup has a base of sauteed white onion, a little garlic and veg stock and lots of watercress (at least 2 bags, 3 is better). And dont be shy with the black pepper. Blitz until smooth and then add a splash of milk and warm through again. Very simple really. Add salt to taste if you want. It's a very thin soup so if you prefer a thicker soup i'd say add a couple of cubed floury potatoes and blitz once they're soft.

TheBitterBoy Wed 20-Aug-14 17:31:01

I'm veggie and when I was pregnant my iron levels were pretty good - my midwife reckoned it was because I had a bowl of iron fortified cereal each morning with a glass of orange juice - branflakes, cornflakes, anything fortified.

Sootgremlin Wed 20-Aug-14 17:44:13

I got a bit anaemic in my first pregnancy, but luckily I had cravings for beef burgers so ate a lot of those. Never usually eat much red meat otherwise, guess body knew what it wanted!

Also I ate tonnes of Weetabix, 2 or 3 bowls a day so think that might gave helped. Tried Spatone for a bit but couldn't get on with it, so just had pregnancy vits with iron in.

Another thing is to make sure you take vitamin c alongside your meals, so orange juice and not milk or tea, as this helps with the absorption.

thestamp Wed 20-Aug-14 17:58:29

blackstrap molasses dissolved in warm water instead of tea in the morning. tannin in tea inhibits iron absorption.

sesame seeds on everything.
tahini (made of sesame seeds) instead of mayonnaise or peanut butter on sandwiches. i also put tahini into my porridge in the mornings.

two eggs for breakfast every morning, with (preferably fresh-squeezed) orange juice on the side.

thestamp Wed 20-Aug-14 18:00:50

iron rich smoothie:

tahini/sesame butter
frozen spinach
fresh orange segments and/or fresh-squeezed lemon juice
almond milk
(i add an unflavoured fibre supplement, powder form, too)
whizz in blender, drink.

RainbowSpiral Wed 20-Aug-14 19:07:42

A big beef steak is still the best for getting iron levels up, there is obviously iron in green veg but it is harder for us to absorb. This is what I was advised (and did) after a bad miscarriage where my iron was really low. I tried the supplements but stopped due to constipation.

So I'd try red meat - lean if you are worried about the fat. You can go back to your low meat diet once baby is here.

thestamp Wed 20-Aug-14 19:10:08

^ agree that red meat really is the ideal.

I was very unlucky in that i had extreme food aversions to all meat except chicken in my pregnancies. i would be sick at the smell of red meat even past 20 weeks, which made everything worse because then dehydration, etc. sets in.

RainbowSpiral Wed 20-Aug-14 19:45:18

A big beef steak is still the best for getting iron levels up, there is obviously iron in green veg but it is harder for us to absorb. This is what I was advised (and did) after a bad miscarriage where my iron was really low. I tried the supplements but stopped due to constipation.

So I'd try red meat - lean if you are worried about the fat. You can go back to your low meat diet once baby is here.

RainbowSpiral Wed 20-Aug-14 19:45:44

sorry for double post

chinamoon Wed 20-Aug-14 20:29:44

Steak with spinach works best.

But if you need a really quick iron boost get some liquid Floradix. It's nicer than iron tablets with no side effects and it is absorbed really quickly. I lived on it during pregnancy.

TaytoCrisp Wed 20-Aug-14 20:47:40

Plain dark chocolate!

mac12 Wed 20-Aug-14 20:53:19

I second dried apricots as great way to top up iron levels - I'm vegetarian and never had low iron in my pregnancies. They are also easy nutritious snack when recovering from birth

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