Having a baby is a blessing which comes with happiness and responsibility. Pregnant women and their baby’s health depends on the foods she eats and their nutrients. As you may have seen elsewhere on this website, essential during pregnancy is iron - truly a shakti nutrient!
What’s lesser known is that Vitamin C is also essential in keeping you and your baby healthy during pregnancy. It is recommended throughout pregnancy to prevent iron-deficiency anemia as well as many other maternal, fetal and neonatal diseases.(Shu, Ogbodo, Shu, & Ogbodo, 2005)
In particular, Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron from your diet. According to Lynch & Cook, 1980 , Iron rich foods can either be heme or non-heme based.
Heme based iron foods are derived from meat (non-vegetarian), whereas non-heme based iron foods are derived from plants (vegetarian). (Read 10 Super Iron-Rich Foods for Pregnancy & Lactation). The absorption of iron from heme based foods is easier than non-heme based foods. Vitamin C is a powerful aid in absorption of iron from non-heme sources.
Calcium, on the other hand, inhibits the absorption of iron by forming phytates. Also, the amount of iron absorption is directly proportional to the amount of Vitamin C in your diet.
So pregnant women, remember: take Vitamin C (such as fruit juices (lime, orange, amla), vegetable juices (tomato, carrot), whole fruits (e.g., orange, kiwi, mango, strawberries), whole vegetables (e.g., capsicum, tomato)) when you take your iron supplement.
Mamabix, unlike other iron supplements, contains Vitamin C for just this reason!
At the same time, avoid taking calcium and caffeine at these moments, as they inhibit the absorption of iron.