Pregnant woman sitting by window

Best Foods for Folate and Iron in Pregnancy

During your pregnancy, your baby needs blood for it to survive inside you. Thus, you’ll need to stock up on the mineral iron and the vitamin folate so your body can produce hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. After all, you wouldn’t want to succumb to anemia while you’re pregnant. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends pregnant women to take at least 30 to 60 milligrams of iron and 0.4 milligrams of folate orally every day. But before you buy yourself some iron and folate supplements, you’ll want to include first the following foods rich in the nutrients that are best for your pregnancy in your daily diet:

Best Foods for Folate and Iron In Pregnancy

  1. Spinach 

The green leafy vegetable spinach might be more well-known to some people as a certain male cartoon character’s source of strength. But who knew that a piece of fiction would have some truth to it? However, instead of men, women – and pregnant ones like you at that – are reaping the benefits of spinach which is rich in both iron and folate. It’s entirely up to you whether you want your spinach raw or cooked.

Spinach in basket

  1. Kidney beans

There are many varieties of beans out there. But if you want to get both iron and folate into your body the natural way, you’ll have to eat some cooked kidney beans. If you’re craving for Mexican cuisine, you can cook yourself some chili con carne with kidney beans in it and use it as a dip for your pack of tortilla chips. Or if you don’t feel like eating Mexican food at all, you can simply turn your kidney beans into soup.

  1. Lentils

Another food item that’s rich in both iron and folate is a cousin of beans known as the lentil. You can prepare lentils by cooking and combining them with rice, turning them into soup or stew, or using them as a thickener for your curry recipe.

  1. Fortified cereals

Your breakfast might not be complete at all without stopping to eat a bowl of cereal. However, now that you’re pregnant, you’ll want to save your usual box of breakfast cereal for later after your pregnancy and get yourself it’s fortified variety when you do your next round of grocery shopping. Aside from pouring it on a bowl of milk, you can also turn your fortified breakfast cereal into baked snacks that you can eat while waiting for your OB/GYN appointment.


According to World Bank, more than 40 percent of pregnant women worldwide have suffered from anemia as of 2016. Carrying an unborn child inside you is already delicate enough so it’s important to keep your health up and look into pregnancy cover. Aside from supplements to help boost your body’s iron and folate levels, you can add the above-listed foods rich in the said nutrients that are best for your pregnancy in your daily diet so that you can deliver your baby without any needless complications. Good luck with your birth.

Jessica WilsonAbout The Author

Jessica Wilson is a professional health expert who works for some major health industry giants. She currently writes for Membersown and is dedicated to helping people learn more about health related topics along the journey. When she’s not a health advocate, she enjoys some down time traveling or talking with family.


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One comment

  1. Thank you for this informative post.

    I believe that for a healthy pregnancy one needs to eat healthy and take supplements. Our diets are not always sufficient with the correct amount of intake of vitamins that are required.

    In pregnancy it is difficult to always eat what you know is good as they don’t fit in with the on going cravings. Small meals are necessary throughout the day, but sometimes if the cravings are for junk food it is difficult to ensure that all the meals in a day are healthy. I recall in my pregnancy I made it my duty to make spinach and cream every second day for a snack. There was no way that I could eat just spinach, the cream really made it easier and I enjoyed it.

    It is an old Indian belief that if you eat spinach or other herbs in your pregnancy your baby will be born with thick hair. I used to eat the spinach for my iron levels as I was anaemic, but as the myth goes, my son was born with thick hair. 😊

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