Main Foods and Helper Foods 167
Important vitamins and minerals
There are 5 important vitamins and minerals that women
need, especially women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The 5 are: iron, folic acid (folate), calcium, iodine, and vitamin A.
Iron is needed to make blood healthy and to help prevent
weak blood (anemia). A woman needs to get a lot of iron
throughout her life, especially during the years she has monthly
bleeding and during pregnancy.
These foods have a lot of iron:
• meat (especially liver,
heart, and kidney)
• grasshoppers, crickets, termites
These foods also have some iron:
• cabbage with
dark-colored leaves • sunflower, sesame,
• brussels sprouts
• dark green leafy
• dried fruit
It is possible to get even more iron if you:
• Cook food in iron pots. If you add tomatoes, lime juice, or
lemon juice (which are high in vitamin C) to the food while
it is cooking, more iron from the pots will go into the food.
• Add a clean piece of iron—like an iron
nail or a horseshoe—to the cooking
pot. These should be made of pure
iron, not a mixture of iron and other
• Put a clean piece of pure iron, like an
iron nail, in a little lemon juice for a few
hours. Then make lemonade with the
juice and drink it.
➤ It is best to eat
iron foods along
with citrus fruits
contain vitamin C,
which helps your
body use more of the
iron in the food.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012